This is one of my family's absolute favorite winter time meals and one I grew up on as a kid. It's so easy, requires few ingredients, and the best part- it is a slow cooker meal that require no attention all day until about 30 minutes before you are ready for dinner. It takes about 4 hours on high or 6 on low. I make this on nights we have sports, Scouts, or drama classes. Last night I made it for my husband and daughters so they could eat while I was at my Brownie meeting. I made a bowl for myself when I got home and it was perfect for warming me up after being out in the cold.
1lb stew beef
1 medium onion diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4-6 carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
3-4 medium potatoes, chopped.
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
I didn't include a picture of the raw stew beef because raw stew beef is unappetizing.
1. Heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add your diced onions and your stew beef. Season with salt and pepper and let cook until the meat is browned on the outside and the onions are translucent.
2. While the meat and onions are browning, prepare your carrots and celery and place them in the bottom of your slow cooker. Don't cut the potatoes- those get added later in the cooking process.
3. Once the meat is browned, cover with water. This will help to de-glaze the pan, and to make a a broth for the stew. Let cook until it starts to simmer.
4. Pour the stew beef, onions, and water into the slow cooker. Add additional water if needed to make sure all the meat and veggies are covered. Season with additional salt and pepper. Let cook for 4 hours to 6 hours.
5. About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat, add in your peeled and diced potatoes. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will cook. Once you can break them up with a fork, they are done.
6. Thicken the stew by combining flour and water to make a paste and adding that to your stew. You can make this as thick or as thin as you like. We prefer ours thicker than soup so I usually use about a 1/4 cup flour mixed with roughly 1/2 cup water and whisked into a smooth consistency. Make sure there are no lumps in your paste. (You could also use cornstarch instead of flour, I have used it for this before)
Add it to your stew and stir well.
You will need to add more salt, especially since you do not use a premade broth. Potatoes absorb salt, and every time I make this we have to add more salt. Just be careful not to add too much.
We serve this with crusty bread and salad. It feeds a family of 5 easily with leftovers for the next day. I can't wait for lunch today!
What is one of your favorite winter time soups?