Really. I. do. I use my crockpot at least once a week. If you are a work-outside-the-home mom, your crock pot could very well become your best friend. You toss all you ingredients in before you leave for work in the morning, and by the time you get home (tired & bedraggled) dinner is ready for you! I should also mention that I use it throughout the summer when I am not working, too. It's great for cooking larger quantities of soups & sauces for freezing/canning.
Today I'm sharing my family's favorite crock pot dinner. Beef Stew. I must apologize for my "recipe." It's one of my own, and I tend to cook a lot like my Nani (Grandma). You know, a pinch of this, handful of that, etc. You'll probably want to figure out your own measurements according to the preferences of your family.
Keowdie's Best Beef Stew
1 lb of beef stew meat (or venison)
1 white or yellow onion
A couple cloves of garlic
3-4 potatoes (red or baking)
A couple handfuls fresh green beans (optional)
A few cups of frozen corn (optional)
1-2 packets of brown gravy mix
Seasonings: rubbed sage, savory, rosemary, salt, pepper, whatever...
- Cut the stew meat into kid friendly bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Cut onion, mince garlic & saute them in olive oil. When onions are translucent & it starts to smell yummy, add the meat. Cook meat just until browned.
- Remove from heat & drain.
- Cut potatoes, carrots & green beans into bite sized pieces.
- Put meat, potatoes, carrots, green beans & corn into crock pot. Add water to crock pot until everything is covered.
- Stir in the brown gravy mix and seasonings. I usually do a small handful (each) of sage and savory, and a large pinch of rosemary. You could also add parsley if you want.
- Mix it all up and cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or on high 4-6 hours (depending on your crock pot). You basically want all your veggies to be tender.
- You can, if you prefer a thicker stew broth, use a few tablespoons of flour or corn starch mixed with water to thicken a bit before serving.
- Serve with warm whole wheat rolls on a cold day. Yum.
- If I make this on a week day, then I usually brown the meat and chop the veggies the night before. When I do this, I also season the meat with sage and savory when I brown it. Then, I put the meat, carrots, green beans & corn in a big Ziploc bag, add a little more seasoning, shake it all up, then stick it in the fridge. This gives everything an awesome flavor.
- I also cut up my potatoes the night before. I just put them in an airtight bowl, and cover them with water before putting the lid on. Then I store them in the fridge. I know potatoes can "sugar" in the fridge, but I think it must take more than a few hours, because they always taste fine.
- You can always add more seasoning as the day goes if it seems a little weak. You can also use fresh herbs (I do whenever we can afford it).
- This recipe works really well for venison. Because the meat basically hangs out in a hot tub all day, it's never dry or tough.
- If you like mushrooms (we do), you can add them about 30 minutes before you serve this stew.