Better than Average Beef Stew – tomato and yeast free.

My mom is the real cook of the family.  She can add a little of this and a scoop of that and come up with the most flavorful, melt in your mouth meal you have ever experienced.  Nearly 30 years later and it’s still a mystery to me.  I keep thinking the “cooking fairy” will sneak in my kitchen and empower me with just a pinch of this gift. I’ll keep waiting…

Until then, I will do my best to post some EASY, I mean really easy, recipes that I either invented (because nothing else was in the pantry) or some old favorites I have memorized for those amazingly simple days where everything goes right and you get your house clean and bills paid while an enticing aroma seeps out of your crock pot.

The day I made this stew was one of those days. I felt so motivated and full of life that I even took pictures and planned out this blog post. Two weeks later and here I am…finally posting it! You know what that means right? A lot of not so “simple” days have happened lately, but hey, at least I’m getting this up before 2014!

Here you go ladies and gentlemen….my Better than Average Beef Stew.  Yeast free, tomato free and weird vegetable free – the eating standards of our house now that my hubby’s allergies have been identified (tomatoes and yeast) and the weird veggie part is according to my own personal taste buds.

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • Round steak, hamburger or a small roast….whatever beef you have in the freezer (I used 2 round steaks)
  • Potatoes (I prefer the small red ones but you can easily peel 6 brown potatoes which I did here)
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • 1 stick butter
  • Seasonings you like
  • Beef broth
  • Water

*I purposely didn’t include measurements b/c it truly is based upon your liking and your size of crock pot. The pictures should fill in the missing pieces of this recipe, if not, let me know!

1. Place 1 stick of butter in the bottom of the crock pot and turn the crock on low.

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2. Place your selected cut of meat on top of the butter. (If it is too frozen to remove from the wrapping, simply nuke it for a minute or two until you can unwrap it.) Shown below are my round steaks.

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3. Dice your onions, carrots and celery and chop up your potatoes into bite sized pieces. If you are using red potatoes you can leave the skin on for extra vitamins. Likewise, the same for the brown potatoes depending on your preferences. I prefer brown potatoes to be peeled so that’s what I did!

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4. Add those diced veggies & onion to the crock pot (I like to make sure they are evenly dispersed). Now you can add your beef broth, water and seasonings. You want to make sure your liquid comes pretty near the top of your pot so that it doesn’t dry out during the day while it cooks. This is especially important if you are not going to be home.  I used half of this container of broth and another cup of water.

Here are the seasonings and brand of broth I used and I was very pleased with the outcome but please do not feel like you need to make a special trip to the store for any of it.

The seasonings include Parsley, Nature’s Seasons (variety and MSG free), Rosemary and a few Bay Leaves.

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5.  After adding your butter, beef, veggies, seasonings, broth and a little water you should have something beautiful like this…

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6. Place the lid on the pot and let it cook for 6-8 hours (depending on the meat – full 8 if it’s a roast. You can get by with only 5-6 if it’s a steak.)  As it gets closer to dinner time, I would make a batch of corn bread or you can cheat like I did this time and use the new Pillsbury corn bread rolls in a can! They work just as well to soak up that yummy, healthy juice.

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7. About this time your husband, kids or just you are drooling because the entire house is filled with this incredible aroma of goodness.  It should look a little like the stew we devoured below. Your meat should hopefully be tender enough to shred or break up with a spoon. You may have to use a knife to cut it up into chunks if you used a roast, but hopefully the meat it super soft. Don’t forget to pull out the bay leaves now!

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Enjoy!!!  Love, Kara

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