This is the beginning of a 70 hour work week for me so dinner this is going to be super simple. Last night we had some frozen dinner thing that was actually very tasty and tonight we had Beef Stew that has been in the crock pot all day getting all yummy and sexy. And an admission here, I am not capable of only making a crock pot full of this so instead of adding things in stages to the crock pot I got a dutch oven and put half the batch in that to be simmered low and slow in the stove as well as the crock pot. I put the crock pot on high and the oven on low so it would all be finished at once.
I buy already cubed stew meat just to save time and I use mostly canned veg because I don’t like the way fresh veg doesn’t get as soft. And the fresh I do use gets roasted before it’s added to the stew.
I am going to tell you how I made this batch but a 2 day working period isn’t necessary if you have a big chunk of time to get this all assembled at once.
I started with the onions. I cut them into large chunks and sauteed them in some butter, salt and pepper and oil until they were translucent and starting to stick to the pan. Then I added about 1/3 cup of Shiraz red wine to deglaze the pot and let them simmer in the wine and bits for 3 or 4 minutes before I added in the meats and another round of seasonings in the form of a packet of Beef Stew seasoning mix, 1/4 cup of worcestershire sauce, 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar and 3 teaspoons of Red Wine vinegar. Once the meat is just brown on the outside kill the heat and dump the mix of meat and onions into the crock pot. If you aren’t squeamy about the rareness of the meat then go on and give this a taste, if you are then get a fresh spoon to stir it around with and lick the spoon after you have stirred. This is a chance to add more of anything like salt or pepper or garlic.
For the fresh baby potatoes and carrots I spread them on a baking sheet and drizzled them with olive oil and a pinch of salt and put them in the oven at 400 for about 45 minutes. I happened to already be cooking in the oven so the veg going in at 400 isn’t set in stone in this case it is just because the oven was already set. Yes I was cooking 2 meals at once but I had the time last night and it saved me from having to get up an hour early today to get my stew in order.
So for last night I browned my beef, simmered down the onions, added 1 can of mushrooms, green beans and corn plus the roasted carrots and taters. Once I had all of this in the crock pot I realized that it wasn’t all going to fit and simmer and get sexy so I got out the dutch oven and scooped about half of it into that. After I had it separated into the 2 pots I added 2 cans of diced tomatoes and 1 can of mushrooms to each and stirred it around to check the levels of innards to juice and I determined that for the night in the fridge it was perfect.
This morning I got the crock pot pot from the fridge and put it together and set it on high and let it alone for about 2 hours before I stirred and tasted. I added a 12oz can of V8 and an 8 oz can of Beef Comsomme. Knowing that the oven heats and cooks faster I didn’t put the dutch oven in until the crock put had been on for the 2 hours. I didn’t have any more V8 and for whatever reason the dutch oven had more juice in general in it so I only added 2 cans of consomme to it. When I got home from work I added the fresh mushrooms, we don’t want them to cook for the entire time because they get weird so I add them for the last few hours of cooking.
And now I am going to do my best to give you a concise recipe.
- 3 pounds of stew meat
- 2 large white or yellow onions
- 1 package of baby carrots
- 1/2 pound baby potatoes
- 2 cans sweet corn
- 2 cans cut green beans
- 16 oz fresh mushrooms
- 4 12 oz cans of either diced or crushed tomatoes
- 24 oz V8- this can be regular or spicy
- 2 cans Beef Consomme
- Loaf of crusty bread for dipping
- This can be halved or doubled or tripled depending on the number of mouths you are feeding. Don’t worry about leftovers because they freeze beautifully!
Thanks ya’ll!! Happy cooking!