Somedays you just need good, old comfort food. And here in Indiana a big pot of Hoosier Stew is just that. Caramelized onions with fresh green beans, quartered red potatoes and smoked sausage is the staple comfort food of summer for Hoosiers. If you haven’t tried this simple dish, today is the day to try it.
Summer in Indiana, well probably anywhere, an abundance of garden fresh green beans. Combine that with potatoes that are also starting to be harvested and some smoked sausage and it is a random Monday night supper at our house.
So, when I noticed our neighbor had planted the field directly behind our sweet corn patch in green beans, I knew before long I would have plenty of green beans for the fixing. After all, farmers are the ultimate barterers. Trading sweet corn for green beans seems like a good deal to me.
For me, the base of this masterful pot of goodness is the caramelized onions. A sweet onion sliced and then sautéed in two tablespoons of butter deliver the rich, flavorful base. After the onions begin to brown, I add a half a cup of water to speed the process up. The water helps the caramelized pieces off the bottom of the pot and spread around. But, if you have time, this won’t be necessary. But now for the meat of the recipe.
When it comes to potatoes, I buy the smaller red potatoes that just need cut in half or quartered. Now, this can be made with what ever potatoes you have on hand. I cut the potatoes about twice the size of bite size. I find the larger potatoes pieces hold up better during cooking than smaller pieces that might cook faster. When it comes to the smoked sausage, I use the regular skinless and cut into about half inch slices.
I start by adding the potatoes to the onions and let them also get a little caramelized before adding the green beans and then the sausage. Stir together with some ground pepper and salt.
And here is the thing, no water needed. No broth needed. Just stir the ingredients together and put a lid on it over a medium low heat. The moisture that will come from veggies and the meat will be enough. Trust me.
Let it cook for 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally. The done signal is all dependent on the potatoes. When the potatoes are soft to the pressure of a fork, you are good to go. However, I turned off the heat and let the pot sit until we were ready to eat, and it was just fine waiting for 20 minutes.
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 pounds of red potatoes, quartered
- 2 pounds of green beans
- 2 pounds of smoked sausage, cut in half inch pieces
- Place the butter, onions and garlic in the bottom of a large stock pot on the stove and let saute for 20 minutes till onions are caramilzed, a light brown. *This process can be sped up by adding water after the onions start to turn brown and the bottom of the pot starts to caramelize. I use ½ cup of water and cook it all off.
- Add potatoes to caramelized onions. Stir to incorporate onions through the potatoes.
- Stir in the green beans and the smoked sausage.
- Season with salt and pepper to your taste preference.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes over a medium heat or till potatoes are fork tender.