It's been such a long time since I posted a recipe and with all of this ridiculously cold weather, I thought I'd post one of our household winter favorites: a delicious, super easy crock-pot beef stew. Also, this is a great meal you can prepare the night before-- just dump everything in the crockpot, store in the fridge, then pop it in the cooker the next morning.
"Absent Cook" Stew
(Makes about 5-6 servings... but if you serve it in smaller bowls you can make this filling stew stretch)
2 lbs. stewing beef, cubed (you can buy it cubed @ the store)3 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped (unless they're really small then use 2 onions)
3 large potatoes, cubed
3 ribs celery, sliced
1 can condensed tomato soup (10 3/4 oz)
1 soup can water
1 tsp. salt
dash of fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover. Cook on Low 10 hours. Great with a hot roll.
**Chef Hodge Podge's Notes:
When the stew has cooked about 8 hrs and if you're home to do so, check to see if it is finished. Depending on the crockpot, the stew may take less time to cook and I wouldn't want you to eat dry beef.
This is a fairly healthy meal altogether made up of mostly fresh ingredients. I am trying to brainstorm a substitution for the condensed tomato soup as that adds a lot of sodium to a healthy meal. Perhaps a 12 oz can of tomato sauce and a small can of tomato paste? Let me know if you've got a good substitution.
Finally, I like to add a bit more flavor by using only a 1/4 cup of water then substituting the rest with a mini bottle of red wine-- Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent choice. You'll really notice the flavors the next day after they have had a chance to marinate.
Looking for a vegetarian option? Check out my recipe for Aduki Bean Stew in the archives.