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.
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.
Chop up the vegetables into stew-sized cubes (just under 1 inch by 1 inch by 1 inch size). Also use a garlic press to crush two cloves of garlic.
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!