23 January 2011

Absent Cook Stew

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.


  1. This sounds yummy. What about diced tomatoes? It adds more texture and the tomatoes have their own sauce in there. You could puree or smash half of the can if you want them to be soupier. I just got a crockpot, so I'm looking for good, inexpensive recipes. Thanks for posting!

  2. Oooo... I like the idea of diced tomatoes-- good suggestion! This would be good with a garlic clove or two as well. And this is definitely inexpensive to make.

    I have a yummy recipe for White Chicken Chili that's a little more high maintenance than this one but still affordable. I'm not going to post it because it's my MIL's and she wouldn't appreciate me publicizing it. So I'll message you soon!