This is such a simple recipe – just dump everything into the slow cooker (crock pot) at night and let it cook! Then, simply wake up and smell the amazing aroma of beef stew. I know it’s not winter, but this is really great to eat any time of the year.
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First, start with the veggies. Pick ones like parsnips, carrots, onion, celery, mushrooms and parsley as they won’t turn to complete mush in the pot. I put in 2 sweet potatoes too – they do turn to mush but their sweet flavor works really well with the splash of paprika I put in. The vegetables you see in the photo below (2 sweet potatoes, 2 white parsnips, 1 small onion, 4 carrots, and around 4 celery sticks) worked well with around 2.5 lbs of beef, but you can add more or less vegetables/beef depending on what you have available and what you like.
Then, chop up the beef meat into 1 inch cubes (any type of beef will be fine, but I’ve found that short rib meat without the bone works really well because it has a bit more fat than stew meat). Pour a 14.5 oz can of broth (beef, chicken or vegetable) into the bottom of the slow cooker and then place the meat in the broth. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (or granulated garlic), 1 teaspoon of onion powder, and 1 teaspoon of paprika.
Then place all the chopped vegetables on top and set the slow cooker onto the low setting for 8 hours. Slow cookers can vary a lot in terms of how hot they get (and therefore how quickly they cook) since most of them come without any temperature controls. I would go to sleep, wake up in 8 hours and check on how tender the veggies and meat are and then decide if it needs a few more hours. My slow cooker cooks at a pretty high heat even on the low setting (which is a problem with a lot of slow cookers) and everything was super tender after 8 hours. Don’t worry about the fact that the vegetables aren’t sitting in the broth because they will still be tender.
I keep the stew in the fridge and then heat up a bowl of it in the microwave for dinner – it provides quick, easy, and great tasting dinners for several nights!