Monday, July 25, 2011

O, Crockpot, how I love thee! Ode to my Beef Stew!

Have you ever gotten a present from someone and it just sat at the back of your pantry for YEARS?  As a cook, I am reluctant to admit, I have.  My mom bought me a crockpot several years ago for Christmas, and I had so many intentions of using it, but never got around to it.  Mostly, I was afraid of it.  Afraid of a crockpot.......yes, but I digress.

So, after hearing great news about how "easy" it was to use, I decided I'm going to pull that baby out and take her for a test run.  I mean, the tape to hold the box closed was still intact!  It was a yellowish-brown color by then, but still there.  And I got some simple recipes (thank you to my ladies in CafeMom's cooking group!) and I set foot onto my biggest successful journey YET!  Maybe not quite like that, but close enough.

I am actually starting with the dish I am making tonight since I will have pictures to post.  I will be posting some of my most LOVED crockpot dishes later on as I make them again (it is on the menu).

I am making my first stew tonight, its a beef stew.  It actually required a few more ingredients than I usually like (the lesser the better since I still kind of have a lack of counter-space) but I made do.

So, my most fave thing about the crockpot is you just toss stuff in, toss anything in actually.  Anything that's edible, toss in the crockpot together and it will somehow come out great!  So, tonight's menu has beef stew meat, potatoes, carrots, celery among a few other things.  There wasn't anything in this dish that surprised me (other than the Worcestershire sauce) so we will see how it turns out tonight.  So far, I haven't failed at anything in the crockpot, even things I did totally wrong (well, felt that the recipe was totally wrong so I made my own amendments).

Moral of the story.  If you have a doodad, electronic thingamabobber, or some other dohicky,  Dig it out and use it!  It may just be one to of the best "new" things you come across!

Beef Stew (Crockpot)

  • 1 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 in. cubes
  • ½ c all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2c beef broth
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped

Place meat in slow cooker.  In small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and pepper.  Pour over meat and stir to coat meat with mixture.  Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots and celery.
Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours.  Or on HIGH for 4/6 hours.

And it turned out GREAT!  My husband thought it was one of my best creations YET!  It was just that "comfort food" taste that you would expect from someone with a Southern touch.  The meat was so juicy, it was just like a roast.  Very good :).  The one thing I changed with the recipe was that I added water, which the recipe didn't ask for.  The broth wasn't enough fluids to cook through the veggies, so I would suggest adding a cup or two of water as well.  Didn't water down the taste at all!


  1. Hi, enjoyed reading your post....that stew sounds really good...might try it myself sometime.

  2. mmmmm i love my crock pot :D So glad you finally got yours out to use :D i make a TON of stuff in my crock from chicken enchiladas, brisket, stews, soups, fajitas....the works :D If you ever want a couple of good "recipes" I've got some too...and I'm like you...VERY few ingredients :D