CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Great Northern Bean Stew

Good recipes can come from a variety of sources. Some people are fortunate enough to have ones that have been in their family for years. If you are really lucky, you might have you mom’s recipe box like I do. The internet is also a good source as are friends and newspapers.

The publication that I worked at for more almost 40 years had a food section. In fact, there was a time back in the 1970s and ’80s that the Grand Forks Herald had two food sections in its Wednesday edition. I was fortunate enough to work with features editor Marilyn Hagerty in those days before taking over as food editor when she quit working full time.

A couple of years after I retired, the Herald, under new ownership, dropped the food section, so the local newspaper was no longer an option for finding new recipes. That was until we started getting the East Grand Forks Exponent, a weekly production in our city.

Each Wednesday, the Exponent’s JoElle Boucher, whose mother-in-law Elaine was a good friend of my Mom, shares two or three recipes in her Munchies, Meals & More column. Most of the recipes she shares look pretty tasty. In fact, just last week, Therese commented on JoElle’s recipe for Great Northern Bean Stew, saying we should give it a try, which I did the other night, and we were not disappointed.

I did tweak the recipe a bit, adding a couple of diced potatoes, and a quarter-cup of yogurt. I’ve always liked potatoes in my stew, but the yogurt was something new for me. It became necessary because I got a little carried away with the Tabasco sauce, which made the stew too spicy for Therese’s taste. I also only used about three-fourths of a pound of pork.

I hope whoever inherits my recipes will give this one a try. It’s definitely a keeper.

Great Northern Bean Stew
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15½-ounce can great northern beans
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup sliced carrots
2 small potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ cup yogurt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
In a large saucepan, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

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