I polled my group of girlfriends to ask them what they call their slow cooker, a slow cooker or a crockpot? Most of them said crockpot, I mean, it was a landslide win. But did you know that crockpot is the name of a brand? The creators of the original slow cooker called their slow cooker a crockpot, and now it’s a household name. It’s the same as the “Q-tip or cotton swab?” conundrum. I call them Q-tips but they’re cotton swabs, Q-tip is just the most popular name brand to sell those products. Yep, that’s my interesting (useless?) tidbit of info for you today because I promised you I’d teach you something with every post I make, and by golly, I’m keeping my word!
But to get back on subject, I made a slow cooker beef stew recently and was quite happy with how it turned out. It does not contain any Q-tips, I promise. Read on!
I had never made a real stew before, but stewing beef was on sale so I figured, why not? I know stew is basically just thick soup, and I’ve got soup down pat, so how hard could it be? Not a lot of work is required for this recipe, and your slow cooker does all the work for you, so it’s a really great dish for beginners or busy days!
I prepped the stewing beef chunks by cutting them into more toddler-friendly bite-sized pieces, and then I tossed them in a mix of flour and spices. I peeled and chopped the carrots and potatoes, chopped the celery, and added it all into the slow cooker. Then I added my spices and liquids, set the crock to low, and let it do it’s thang for about 5 hours.
Once it was done I took some of the juice out, and mixed it with flour over low heat on the stovetop to make gravy and thicken the stew up. This is totally optional, I just wanted more gravy and a thicker broth to the stew. Then I served it. That’s it! Super simple to make and utterly delicious. It’s not the prettiest dish of food, but it’s one of the yummiest, and the hearty ingredients warm you up and fill your belly, making it a perfect food for a crisp Spring evening.
- 1 package stewing beef
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups broth (I used chicken, it's all I had. Beef would intensify the flavour)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- additional salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- Cut your stewing beef into smaller chunks if necessary.
- In a small bowl add flour, and salt and pepper. Mix beef in bowl with flour mixture until evenly coated.
- Place floured meat, onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes into slow cooker.
- Add broth, garlic, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Gently mix ingredients.
- Add one bay leaf, then set slow cooker to high for 2 - 4 hours or low for 4 - 6 hours.
- OPTIONAL - if you find your stew isn't as thick as you'd like, remove some of the juice and place in a small pot over low heat. Add flour by the tbsp and whisk well until you reach a gravy consistency, Add to slow cooker with the stew.
How do you make your stew? Any key ingredients you think I am missing?