Ahhh, my crock pot! One of my favorite tools in my kitchen. It gets a lot of use. I’ve made my own apple sauce, chicken noodle soup, stuff peppers, enchilada soup, and so many more recipes I can’t list them all. When I was working longer hours, the crock pot was essential. To have a hot meal made when I got home from work was a blessing.
This week I changed things up a bit. Instead of the usual chili and chicken breasts, I made a beef stew that went over pretty well. Below are the ingredients I used.
2-3 lbs cubed beef
2 low sodium beef bouillon cubes
2 cups water
chopped celery, carrots, green onions
1 chopped red onion
marinated rosemary red potatoes
1/2 cup of flour
Now we like our stew to be thicker so I keep the fluids low and don’t add any beef broth. First, I get two cups of boiling better and set the bouillon cubes in it to dissolve. While they are working their magic I chop up the veggies and onion and dump into the crock pot.
When the bouillon cubes are good a dissolved, I pour the water mixture in with the veggies and let them sit.
Now I make up the beef. In a large bag I throw in a 1/2 cup of flour with the seasonings of choice. This week I used the Everything Spices from Flavor God with some cracked black pepper. Then I toss the beef into the bag and mix it all together. I get that beef nice and coated. I heat a pan with oil and then brown the meat before placing it into the crock pot.
Not everyone believes this is a necessary step but I’ve learned to love it. I feel my meat has more flavor and because we like our stew thicker, this step works as a thickener. Once all the meat is browned, I scrape out the leftover bits into the crock pot. Just can’t leave behind any flavor!
Into the crock pot it goes! Flavors and all!
Then I add in the potatoes and any last herbs like bay leaves or rosemary. I do find that the crock pot tends to blend the flavors so that it can come out bland. So I don’t use salt until it’s completed, then I add as needed.
In the end, the meat is tender, the potatoes are perfect, and the broth is creamy. With a little extra salt for flavor or a sprinkle of something spicy to add a kick, it’s a hearty meal with a good source of protein and veggies or diversity.
Making so much gives us a few extra days of leftovers for lunches and busy nights. And it freezes well to be used in the future.