We had a recipe for beef stew, but it was rather ordinary. I thought I could improve on it. I have made it for a number of people and all of them like it very much.
Step 1: First Ingredients
- 2 pounds of stew meat (beef) cut into small cubes
- 1/2 pound of beef stick summer sausage sliced and quartered
- 2 medium onions cut into eighths
- 4 medium carrots in thick slices
- 2 stalks of celery sliced diagonally
- 1 can of kernel corn (10 to 12 ounces)
- 1/3 cup of quick-cooking tapioca
- 3 or 4 medium potatoes quartered and sliced
I added part of each of these in a continuous rotation so they are already mixed as I place them into the crock pot. Press these down into the crock pot to make room for the lid, if necessary. Normally I peel the potatoes, but decided to leave the skin on this time. The skins are supposed to contain good nutrients.
Remember that this is stew, and you can use whatever you have. Add something extra that is not in the recipe, if you like. If you do not have some ingredient or find it difficult to get, do not worry. Stew ingredients can be flexible.
Step 2: Spices, Etc.
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of salt (maximum--less if you are restricting sodium in your diet)
- 1/2 teaspoon of basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/2 cup of bourbon whiskey
- 10 to 12 ounces of tomato sauce
Step 3: Start the Cooking
I needed an hour to prepare everything before I was ready to start the stew cooking. This stew also needs 7 hours to cook. Plan ahead.
Place the lid on the pot. Set the crock pot to "high" and let it cook.
Step 4: Stir During Cooking
About every hour lift the lid and stir the ingredients in the pot. The photo was taken about 30 minutes after cooking began. Some of the ingredients still feel cool to the touch.
Step 5: After 5 Hours
This is a photo of the stew after 5 hours of cooking on high. Bubbles are appearing and bursting open around the edge of the crock pot. No extra liquid has been added. The liquid in the pot is about the consistency of gravy. The stew could probably be eaten now, but the potatoes are still a little harder than I like. The stew meat is pretty well cooked already. More cooking will make everything softer and easier to chew. In the past I have usually cut the heat setting back from "high" to "low" after 3 hours and let the stew cook for an additional 4 hours. But, if you start this when you go to bed or when you leave for work in the morning; there is no harm in letting it cook all day on "high." I do like to stir the stew while it cooks, but that is probably not critical, either.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy
After 7 hours of cooking on "high" the meat was tender like a roast that falls off of the bone and the potatoes were soft enough to cut easily with a spoon.
When the stew cooled enough not to burn my mouth, I ate it with whole wheat bread. Rye bread is preferred for a great taste combination. Milk makes a good beverage with it. I am having a can of diet cola. The stew was very, very tasty; and it has vegetables in it, too.
A great follow-up is a dessert of hot fudge pudding cake. Rather than describe how to make that, I will simply link to someone else's Instructable on it. That Instructable uses the same recipe I have.
This is a great meal for a cold winter night. I am making it to feed myself while my wife is out of town for a few days. I will refrigerate it, and then heat an individual portion for various mealtimes.