Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Nonna used To Say...

Got Agita? It's Not What You Eat; It's What Eats You

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Humble Crock Pot Beef Stew

A crock pot or slow cooker is one of the most useful kitchen appliances invented. A busy mom, an in -the-workforce gal, a newbie chef...whomever, will save time and stress once she gets the hang of it. Don't keep this appliance in a back cupboard...keep it where you can readily get your hands on it. Everything from soup to dessert can be cooked in a crock pot.

Coming home on a cold winter's night to a pot of chili, soup or stew is one of life's delights. On a blistering hot day, you can cook anything your heart desires and not crank up the temperature in your home. The latest and greatest of the slow cookers now allow you to brown your meat in the pot, add additional ingredients, press a button and start the slow cooking process. Though, I don't always brown my roasts or stew meats before placing them in a crock pot, I will admit that doing so does add a more flavorful "home-cooked" taste to the meal. Now that it's more convenient to do so, it would be foolish not to.

My household consists of two, so it's not imperative that I have a large crock pot BUT I do. A five or six quart pot will hold a sizable roast or several pounds of stew meat and all the veggies. This makes it possible to either make extra for freezing or enough to send over to my son and his wife whose work day often extends into dinner time. Having a smaller pot is a good idea, too. This is perfect for split pea soup or tomato meat sauce for two or three.

Don't hesitate to get everything ready mid-day or early eve and hit the "on" switch before you go to bed. The meal is ready when you awake. Let it cool, then put the ceramic section of the pot that's filled with your meal in your refrigerator for supper or package the meal in containers.

I have found over the years that recipes I cooked a long time on the stovetop esp. ones that I had to keep a sharp eye on....stirring on a regular basis, were a snap to do in my crock pot. Not only did the recipe taste just as good, but because of the convenience-those "special dinners" were enjoyed more often. One that comes to mind is a specialty called Genovese, an Italian onion and pot roast meal.

An all-time favorite is the humble Beef Stew. I hope you enjoy my version of it. A few added ingredients make this basic recipe more hearty and extra tasty. As the stew cools, the gravy will thicken and be less "soupy". Be sure to serve with hot biscuits and a salad.

 Humble Beef Stew

4lbs stew meat, cubed
1/4 cup flour
10oz baby carrots
8-10 red potatoes, quartered
6 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, cut in slices
1 envelope of dry onion soup
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 can beef gravy
2 Tablespoons parsley
2 Tablespoons flour mixed
in 1/2 c of cold water until
all lumps dissolve
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons Gravy Master or
Kitchen Bouquet (optional)

Place cubed beef in a large bowl and add 1/4 cup of flour and garlic powder. Mix well. Set aside. Place onion, red potatoes, carrots & mushrooms on the bottom of crock pot. Top vegetables with cubed beef. Sprinkle dry onion soup over meat. Combine the broth and parsley with the flour that has been mixed with cold water. Blend. Add Gravy Master (optional) into broth mixture. Stir. Pour mixture into pot. Add beef gravy. Blend into meat & vegetables keeping most of the vegetables at the bottom of pot. Add salt if desired. Be sure lid is secure. Cook on low 10 hours.

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Remember To Make Memories At The Table

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