Best Ever Beef Stew
There's nothing like a hearty beef stew to cure those winter blues. Comfort food at its best and if you have a crock pot, this is super easy to make!
Yes you can also cook this on your stove top but I like the meat to be very well cooked and it is so much easier to do that in your crock pot.
This recipe also has one shortcut that I normally would never do but I confess I despise peeling potatoes! Yes, I used canned potatoes in my beef stew and they do taste slightly processed (to those who are not used to canned foods) but trust me, they do pick up lots of flavor from the stew and doing this one simple shortcut doesn't ruin the stew. Here is how to make my easy, best ever beef stew.
About 2 lbs of beef - I like to buy a london broil that I trim and cube myself. When it is on sale it is almost always cheaper than buying stewing cubes.
4 to 5 medium carrots- peeled and cut into diagonal chunks
4 to 5 stalks of celery- washed and cut into diagonal pieces about the same size as the carrots
1 small onion- chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups homemade beef stock or if you must use canned- use low-sodium!
2- 14 oz cans of whole peeled potatoes
How to begin:
Cube the beef into equal size cubes. Size is totally up to you.
Turn on your crock pot and set it to a medium setting.
Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your crock pot and add the beef cubes. Allow these to brown, stirring after about 30 minutes.
When beef is browned (about 1 hour), add the onion, paprika, salt and pepper. Add half of the broth and stir together. Allow this to cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
Next add the rest of the broth and the celery and carrots. Again stir together and then allow to cook for 45 minutes.
Add the potatoes (make sure to rinse them in a collander before adding)
Stir in the cornstarch at this time. If there does not seem to be enough gravy, add about 1/2 cup of water. Stir well, turn to low and cook for 30 minutes.
Test the vegetables. They should not be mushy but still firm. Serve and enjoy!
I try to keep the meat and vegetables all about the same size. The "trick" is to make sure you allow enough time for the meat to cook on its own so it gets tender. You want the meat to be somewhat falling apart. The vegetables you want to still have firmness so if you cut them smaller, cook for less time. Don't want to use canned potatoes? Peel and cut your own. Just add the potatoes (raw) at the same time as the carrots and celery.
Cornstarch will thicken the gravy and if you prefer extra gravy for dipping, just add a half cup more broth or water while cooking.