Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Beef Stew Recipe

Yesterday morning, I pulled out the crock pot to start my FAVORITE Beef Stew recipe for dinner because I knew I wouldn't have time to cook later in the day. But to my surprise, I'd forgotten to buy some of the main ingredients! I'd already opened the stewing beef and started cutting and cooking it, so I HAD to use it now. I rushed to my pantry and started digging around for something I could throw in. I ended up with a can of Cream of Mushroom soup and a packet of powdered Ranch! I let it cook for 10 hours hoping that it wouldn't be a  disaster and at the end of the day, when I sat down with my little family to eat dinner, my husband shouted from the table that it was THE BEST SOUP he had ever eaten! YAY! And since my attempt at dinner was a success, I thought I would share the recipe, along with the much healthier and also delicious ORIGINAL recipe (which happens to still be MY favorite beef stew recipe ever!)

(Picture credit and recipe from Movita Beaucoup)

Original Beef Stew Recipe from Movita Beaucoup:

Slow Cooker Beef Stew – inspired by many -
  • 2 lbs of stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • about 20 mini-potatoes, cut large ones in half, leave smallest ones as is (I like to use a mix of yellow, red and blue, no need to peel)
  • 1  28 oz. can whole tomatoes (I use plum tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups sodium reduced beef broth, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then lightly brown the meat in batches. Transfer browned beef to a plate and set aside.
Dump the tomatoes into the slow cooker (juice and all). Crush them with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the vegetables and then add the beef and any accumulated drippings. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the beef broth over the beef and vegetables. Give the mixture a quick stir. Add the bay leaves.
Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.
About 20 minutes before serving, add the peas (no need to defrost first), salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together the flour and remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth, creating a smooth paste. Stir into the stew. Replace the slow cooker cover and cook until thickened (about 15-20 minutes).
Remove the bay leaves before serving.

My last minute recipe:

Less-than-healthy Beef Stew - inspired by necessity-

  • 2 lbs stewing beef, cut into pieces about the size of your thumbnail (helps the little kids get it down easier)
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 4 red potatoes, not peeled, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Family size can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • (refill the can with beef or vegetable stock and pour into crock pot)
  • 1 packet of original Ranch powder

Lightly brown beef in a little olive oil in a pan over the stove. Throw it into the crock pot. Throw everything else in to the crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours! Easy Peasy!