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Crock Pot Beef Stew
This is just one of the many versions of a crock pot beef stew we prepare during the winter months.
There are so many version of beef stew, it would take months to prepare them, create a meal around them and sit down to eat what is without a doubt the #1 comfort food in our house right next to Cassoulet and French onion soup.
This recipe combines the two favorites.
Prepared in any slow cooker or crock pot, it is the easiest recipe to prepare ahead of time. After all, cooking is the last thing you want to be preoccupied with as family members come “home” for the holidays.
You may even have to pick them up at the airport or the train station as they arrive at all hours of the day!
Knowing that dinner is ready to eat gives the hostess plenty of time to catch up on happenings since family members last gathered under one roof on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
Not only is the crock pot beef stew a meal in itself, it is hearty and flavorful. In fact, you can change nearly all the ingredients to make numerous variations on the basic meat stew.
Our best beef stew actually includes pork! Just to give the stock a bit of body and richness. Angus beef stew meat is very lean. The fat in the pork adds a little more flavor to the broth.
So gather all those family members around the kitchen or dining room table. Enjoy a bowl of crock pot beef stew.
Preparation Time For Beef Stew…
This stew tastes best prepared a day ahead so the flavors have time to blend.
When crock pot has finished its “timed” cooking period, it remains hot and bubbly for several more hours. This is perfect to cook the vegetables.
The carrots go in first as they will be completely submerged in the broth and cook more evenly; the potatoes are layered over the carrots so that are not completely submerged – they still cook evenly and keep their shape; the mushrooms are layered over the potatoes as they require the least amount of time and will add liquid to the broth.
If you decide to “re-heat”, set to Low for about 1 hour. Stir all stew ingredients just prior to servings.
20 oz combined of chopped celery and onions; 2 medium onions and 4 celery stalks or to taste
1 lb bag of carrots, sliced into 1 inch pieces
6 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into even pieces
1 (8 oz) pack of sliced Baby Portobello Mushrooms
Spices: rosemary, thyme, sage and fresh parsley (for garnish)
Lipton onion soup mix - 2 envelopes = 1 box
4½ pounds stew meat (3/4 beef to ¼ pork) - Pork can be any boneless end chops
26 oz container of Swanson beef broth - 33% less sodium
HIGH for 4 hours
quart Rival crock pot slow cooker
or so hours before serving time, set crock pot to HIGH for 1 hour. Allow to sit (still plugged in) for 2-3 hours, after the timer has sounded.
Step 1 >
Spread the chopped celery and onions in the bottom of the crock pot.
Add the boneless pork end chops - Top with stew beef.
Sprinkle meat evenly with both envelopes of the dry soup mix. Carefully pour the beef broth around the edges of the meat so as to keep the dry onion soup mix above the meat.
One 26 ounce beef broth container should nearly cover the meat but not submerge it.
Cook on high for 4 or more hours until the meat is tender and becomes submerged in the broth.
At this point in the recipe you can opt to stop to finish the following day.
Step 2 >
Add the carrots spreading them evenly over the meat mixture, then layer the potato pieces on top of the carrots. Last, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook another hour or until carrots and potatoes are tender.
The crock pot will be quite full when the cooking time is completed. Stir meat and vegetables carefully prior to serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.You can thicken the broth (see notes) but our preference is for a more liquid broth. Add a huge green salad and slices of warm, crusty baguette.
NOTES:Want to change it up into a more traditional Beouf Bourguignon stew? Substitute red wine for half of the beef broth.
You can also thicken the stew. At the end of Step 1, transfer about ½ to ¾ cup of beef broth to a 2 cup measuring cup. Allow it to cool and stir in 1 tablespoon of corn starch or 2 tablespoons of flour.
Cornstarch is better as it does not impart a floury taste to the juices. Stir until smooth and well blended. About 30 minutes before the end of Step 2, add the liquid to the crockpot. Stir gently to distribute evenly.