I have been on the watch for a good beef stew recipe for ages. Now, when I say on the watch, take that literally. I haven’t actually gone out searching for one. I just eye recipes I come across critically to decide if it might be good and I may or may not try it. Most recipes tell you to flour and then brown the beef stew meat before putting it in the stew (or crockpot, which is how I prefer to make my stews), and, frankly, I am too lazy to actually want to take the time for that. I like being able to dump ingredients into my crockpot, turn it on, and just leave it – not do a bunch of extra cooking work ahead of time (isn’t all that veggie chopping enough as it is?) – I mean, what even is the point if I have to cook things before putting them in??
I did actually find a beef stew recipe from Trim Healthy Mama – amazing flavor! – where you do just dump it all in the crockpot, but because it IS from Trim Healthy Mama, they use radishes instead of potatoes, and bell peppers, and random things like that to keep it low calorie. And, it is delicious – but sometimes you just want that good old-fashioned meat and potato flavor, right? So, finally, the other day, I actually went looking for a beef stew recipe. One using ingredients I had in my pantry because I didn’t feel like shopping. And I found recipes that had great components, but none that totally worked without me having to go shopping (did I say sometimes I am lazy?). So, that’s when I decided to just make my own.
Anyone who know me knows that I tweak recipes all the time. I’ll be like – hey, this looks good! And then make random decisions as I cook such as leaving out onions (okay, that’s never a random decision – I will use onion powder, but I do NOT cook with onions. Especially in soup, where I feel like their flavor takes over everything), add in random seasonings, sometimes extra ingredients, and do a mish-mash until I finally get what I want. So, this time, I looked at the half dozen recipes on my computer, the trim healthy mama one, and created my own using bits and pieces from each recipe. And it actually turned out really well! I told Daniel it was the first time I had ever created my own recipe, and he laughed because I make random stuff all the time (I’ll tell you about two more in future posts, because this one is getting long as it is), so I suppose it would be more accurate to say this is the first time I’ve actually noted measurements and written down what I did. And then I made it again with tweaks and to make it gluten free because half my friends are gluten free, and still, it is delicious. I mean, I don’t want to brag, but I think this might be the most well-flavored beef stew ever. And that is why I have decided to share it with all of you, my devoted readers! Let me know what you think, if you decide to make it! Yes, yes, I know there are a lot of spices. But that is what makes it so good!
Jacinta’s Superb Stew (working title – any suggestions?)
- 1.5 pounds of stew meat (or, you know, any amount you want – I didn’t actually weigh my package)
- 2-3 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 6 or so carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3ish celery ribs, chopped
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder or 3ish garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3-5 cups beef broth (depending on how many veggies you use and how thick you want the stew)
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Put all ingredients except cornstarch and heavy whipping cream into crockpot. I recommend putting all ingredients in before the broth, so you can decide from there how much you want. Cook on low 7-ish hours or until veggies are tender and meat is cooked. Take a cup or so of broth out and mix with cornstarch, then return to crockpot, mix, and let cook for another 30ish minutes. Mix heavy cream in (I admit I didn’t actually measure it – I just kind of poured some in), and serve.
I’m sure you could cut the cooking time if you cooked it on high, but the meat probably won’t be as tender.
And that is my beef stew recipe! Okay, I admit it. I’m a little proud of it.