1.16.2012

5 hour stew

It's been a bit windy and chilly over here lately, and the weather had me craving this delicious stew.

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Turns out, it's hard to make a photograph of stew look appetizing. I promise it is.

The best part is, this stew is super easy. No exact measurements per say, because you can add as much or as little of each item as you like (or add others!). Add more to feed more! Here's what we used:

1/2 lb beef (you can buy it already cubed, called "stew meat", but it is more expensive. I just buy a cut of beef & cube it myself)
2 TB butter
3 potatoes, peeled & chopped
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
1/4 large onion, chopped
1 can yellow corn
1 can green beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. water
generous sprinkling of brown gravy mix (or about 1 packet- I just have it in a bottle)
optional- dash of soy sauce for extra "brown" flavor
(this made enough for the three of us, with 3 extra meals of leftovers...which I ate in less than 24 hrs. oops)

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Since we have 8 am church (!), I chopped all the fresh veggies Saturday afternoon and refrigerated them over night. I also seared the meat in butter and set aside in a separate tupperware in the fridge (it wasn't cooked all the way through, so I didn't want to mix it with the veggies). I set the cans on the counter so they'd be ready.

To cook:
Sear the meat in the butter (please sear the meat. I have skipped that step before, and the meat turns out...kinda yucky if you don't), then dump it along with all the above ingredients (more water if you want more gravy, and if you are making a larger amount, I'd add an extra can of soup- cream of celery also works great)
I used my crockpot. If I have time, I will cook it on low for...5 hours!
Because we had early church, I knew we would want to eat it for lunch, so I cooked it on high for the three hours we were in church. The meat was nice and tender even after only 3 hours. Don't have a crockpot? I didn't either in my single dorm days. Pile everything in a glass 9x13 pan and cover with tinfoil. Cook at 200* for 4-5 hours, or on 350* for 2-3. Just check on it. When the veggies are tender (I go by potatoes), you can eat!
salt and pepper to taste

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