Easy Beef Stew

This recipe is one of those quick, easy recipes that I go to when I know I am going to be pressed for time. I make it often times when I know I won’t be home until late. The most recent time I made it, I was working in the fields until 9 pm. Walking into the house that night and knowing that we had a great meal waiting on us, well, it was a good thing. It was way better than the PB&J that we would have had, if we’d not had this stew. I will share that sandwich recipe with y’all sometime, too. Wink, wink.

Since it is a beef stew recipe, we start with the beef. This is a roast. A 2.75 lb shoulder roast to be exact. Some beef cuts, such as shoulder roasts are a little tough. Thankfully, they lend themselves beautifully to simmering for long periods of time. When cooked properly, this roast will be very tender and flavorful. I will trim this up, removing the fat and bone.

The discarded meat scraps and bone can be used to make beef or vegetable broth. That’s always a great thing to have in your freezer. Next, I cut roast into nice chunks. I went with a 1″ size, but you can easily make smaller or larger pieces.

To add great flavor, we are going to brown those beef chunks. Heat up a large skillet over high heat. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. You want the skillet hot, but not smoking. When we add the beef chunks, we want the outside edges to brown. The goal here is not to cook the beef just yet. We want to sear it. To add flavor.

When the skillet is sufficiently hot, toss in the beef chunks. Let them sit for a minute or so and then begin tossing them around in the skillet, so that all sides get access to the bottom of the skillet. They will brown quickly.

After your beef chunks are browned (not cooked through, just browned) toss them into your slow cooker. A 5 quart slow cooker is the smallest size I would use with this recipe. It makes a lot, but leftovers are wonderful. Now, its just a matter of tossing ingredients in the slow cooker and letting it do its thing all day.

Onion = flavor. Peel and finely chop one large sweet onion. Throw it into the slow cooker.

Toss in some seasonings. 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

Next, add diced tomatoes. I usually use home canned tomatoes. Two quarts. Or you can use diced tomatoes from the grocery store. I use those occasionally, too. They will work just fine in this recipe. If you’re buying the tomatoes from the store, use about 64 ounces of them.

Next, peel and chop 4 medium sized potatoes. Toss those into your slow cooker, too.

Now, plug that slow cooker in (that part is really important) and set it to low for about 8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Often times I will assemble this stew midday and turn it on high to have it ready by dinner time.

After your stew has cooked, the very last thing you are going to add is my favorite part: corn! Just thaw a package of frozen corn, 8 to 10 ounces, and toss it in the slow cooker. No need for the corn to cook all day, it will heat through well when it hits the heat of the stew.

The best part! Dish it up and enjoy! Also, since this recipe makes a large quantity, I have often filled a freezer safe quart canning jar and frozen it for future use. It is always really nice to be able to pull a portion of stew out of the freezer for a quick meal.

Easy Beef Stew

2 to 2.75 lbs of stew meat (you can purchase stew meat already prepped or you can buy a roast and cut it into stew sized pieces)

1 large onion

64 ounces diced tomatoes (in tomato juice)

1 1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. ground cayenne pepper

1/2 t. black pepper

4 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces

8-10 oz. frozen whole kernel corn

Trim and cut up the roast into 1″ stew meat pieces. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet over high heat. Brown the stew meat in the skillet. Don’t cook it through, just brown it. Add the meat to the bottom of a slow cooker – a 5 quart size or larger. Next, peel and finely dice the onion. Add it to the slow cooker. Add the seasonings: salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Add the tomatoes to the slow cooker. Peel and chop the potatoes into 1″ pieces. Add those to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 hours. Before serving, thaw and toss in the whole kernel corn. Stir. Enjoy!

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