Saturday, November 1, 2008

Slow Cooker Stew

I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to cook Shawn and Jonathan breakfast (see the cast of players on the right side of my blog to understand who these people are). I wanted it done by the time Jonathan got here because they needed to get on the road ASAP. They are heading up to Donner Lake to help Mamaw and Papaw with their lake house. Every year around this time they need to weather the boat and prepare the deck for the winter. Shawn and Jonathan help them every year prepare the house for winter, then in Spring, the prepare the house for the Summer. What nice grandsons!!!! Back to my point....I got up early to shop for all the stuff I needed to make them breakfast and for the ingredients to make dinner tonight. What's for dinner??? Thanks for asking!

Crockpot Stew!!!! The picture above is partially cooked. I had sauteed the meat and onions, but those are the only two ingredients cooked. Hopefully it will cook down without spilling out, I quite overfilled the crockpot. Here's my recipe:

2-3 lbs. Stew Meat
3 Yukon Gold Potatoes - cut into 1 inch or so pieces
3 Red Potatoes - same as above
3 Celery Stalks cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1-1 1/2 cups baby carrots
2 Onions cut into hearty chunks
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup mix
1 beef bullion - large
1 Bay Leaf
2 cups of boiling water
1 Tb. parsley
1/4 - 1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 Tb. butter
4 Tb. olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 Tb. flour or cornstarch to thicken

1). Rinse meat, drain and coat with flour and seasoned salt. Brown on all sides in a pan with 3Tb. olive oil. Once browned, add to crockpot.
3). Add butter and remaining Tb. of olive oil and soften onions and garlic.
3). Deglaze pan with wine and add to crockpot.
4). Combine 2 cups of boiling water with Bullion Cube and Lipton Onion Packet, mix well and add to crockpot.
5). Add parsley to crockpot and mix.
6). Add bay leaf, carrots, celery, and potatoes to crockpot and stir.
7). Turn the crockpot on high for 30 minutes, then lower to low setting and leave for 6-8 hours.
8). Once done, you can add the slurry (water and cornstarch or flour) to thicken.

Tips: Here's one of my most important tips to cooking.....are you ready??? Are you sure??? Try to make all of your veggies and meat the same size. This should be self-explanatory, but for some it is not. When people speak of "love" in cooking, this is what comes to mind (for me anyway). Why would people say "It's cooked with love"? I personally think it's because of the amount of time someone takes to cook something, and for a dish like this, that means taking the extra time to cut everything 'right'. Why take the time too cook unless it's extraordinary. :)

The verdict: Well, as is my nature, I didn't like it. Shawn liked it quite a bit, but me, uh no! There was a flavor in it that was a bit off. Jonathan said that it needed salt. I guess I'm still on the hunt for the perfect stew recipe. :)


  1. shesh. It never occurred to me to cut everything the same size. Maybe that's why no one ever eats my stew. :) That and no matter what my meat always comes out hard as leather. Huge, thick, leather chunks. Yummy...

  2. How funny! Yeah, I think a lot of people overlook the "everything the same size" aspect of cooking. Of course, this doesn't always apply, but sometimes it does. And, in this case, having everything a similar size can be helpful. (Of course the meat is going to be a bit bigger than the veggies, and there will be some slight variation, but if you look at the picture, it's about the same size).

    Do you cook in the slow cooker? If not, you can certainly cook stew on the stove but using the same principle as the slow cooker. Very low heat over a long period of time. Sometimes when meat is cooked too quickly (especially when it has an acidic component to it), it comes out kinda tough. When I find a winning recipe for stew I will be sure to post it here. :)