Saturday, November 19, 2011

Slow Cooker Saturday (Or Any Day!)

Crock pot and Slow Cooker meals have made a big come back lately, largely in part due to the Crockin' Girls and their phenomenal success on Facebook.  Everyone, really - EVERYONE- has been pulling out their Slow Cookers and putting them back to work!

With the Holidays upon us, our weekends are becoming frantic so I am planning on using my slow cooker to ease up some of the stress and take the worry of "when is dinner" out of the equation by planning to prepare at least one meal a week in my slow cooker, preferably the busiest day.  Today is Beef Stew!

I like to play around with the ingredients a bit, I mean, it's stew, you can't really ruin it :)  This time I used:

2 pounds of stew meat
2 Potatoes, you can use more, depending on how Potatoey you like your stew, cut into pieces that are close to the same size as the stew meat.
6 small Cipollini Onions I bought at the Pike Street Market a few weeks ago.  Any Onions work, just cut them into chunks that are about the same size as the Potatoes.
1 Can of mixed Veg
4 packets of that new Swanson Beef Flavor Boost, (1 packet + 1 C. of Water = 1 C. of Broth)
1 packet of Stew Seasoning
1 -2 additional C. of Water

First,  I brown the meat in a bit of oil in a skillet.  You don't have to do this, as a matter of fact, if your cooking it in your Crock Pot for several hours, you don't even need to thaw it out.  Frozen meat cooks just fine.  You might want to thaw it just enough to break it up so your not throwing a big lump of meat in though.

Toss the meat into your Crock Pot, sprinkle a little bit of flour over it and stir it to coat. Add the Potatoes, Onions, Stew Seasoning, the Broth and enough water to cover everything.  Cover and set on low for 4-5 hours.  Truefully, the longer it cooks, the more tender the meat will be.

Walk away...

About  a half hour before your ready to eat, open and drain the can of mixed veg (frozen veg works too) and stir into the Crock pot.  Once they are warmed through, you are ready to have dinner!  Serve with warm rolls and enjoy your home cooked meal :)

As I said before, I play around with the ingredients, sometimes I will add some cooked Egg Noodles or Rice to make it a little more stick-to-your-ribs like.  My mom likes to put Stewed Tomatoes in her Stew.  There are lots of ways to make a yummy Stew. 

You can find a ton of great Crock Pot recipes and ideas on The Crockin Girls and my other favorite Recipe website,!

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