My favorite beef stew

When I first ventured in to the world of cooking, I had a specific motivation: I wanted to hide vegetables in my food. Yeah, just like you do to a toddler. I figured if I pureed some veggies and added them to a stew/chili/soup then I could have a healthy meal without even realizing it.

Well, it backfired. Worst chili I ever ate. Tasted like broccoli. So then I moved on to plan B: Just chop up veggies real small and add them to the mix. And this was how I started making Beef Stew over and over and over. Here’s my latest recipe:

What You Need

– 1.5 pounds of beef stew meat.
– Optional: Hot spicy sausage
– 1 can of corn
– 1 can of red kidney beans
– a few carrots
– a few stalks of celery
– 1 yellow onion
– 3-4 Russet potatoes
– 4 cloves of garlic
–¬†worcestershire sauce (few table spoons)
– ketchup
– Balsamic Vinegar
– 1 can of lager or light beer
– seasonings (salt, pepper, etc)
– beef stock (about 16 ounces)

Chop The Vegetables

First I peel the potatoes, cut them in to small bite-size chunks, and throw them in to the crock pot.
Next, chop up the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and put them in a big bowl. Personally, I like to chop the celery and onions up really small so they practically disappear in the stew. I don’t like onions – but they add flavor. Also, check out this video on how to properly chop an onion.

Glaze the Vegetables

Heat up a pan with some olive oil, dump in everything from the bowl, and saute it for 5 minutes. The onions should get a bit of a dark glaze on them. Then dump it all in to the crock pot on top of the potatoes.

Meat Time

Coat your beef in a mixture of flour and seasonings then throw it in the pan while it’s still hot. This way it browns and picks up the leftover flavors from everything you just sauteed. I like to throw in spicy sausage too because it adds some zest to the whole stew – but you don’t have to use it. Don’t cook the meat too long – just a little brown. And dump it in to the crock pot too.
Pour some¬†Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and balsamic vinegar over the meat – a few tablespoons worth. The reason we include Balsamic Vinegar is because it’s an acid. It breaks down the meat to make it more tender. And just about any acid will work.

Fill The Space

Pour the corn and beans in to a strainer and rinse off any liquids from the cans. Then pour them in to the crock pot on top. I don’t usually have enough room to use them all so that’s why I leave this step for last.
Pour in the can of beer, then fill the rest of the crock pot with beef stock. Don’t go all the way to the top, though, because as everything cooks the water level will rise.

Cook That Shit

I let it cook on low for 12-14 hours, stirring occasionally. If you do this before bed it’ll be ready to eat for lunch the next day.

Nom Nom Nom

I get about 6 bowls of stew out of it. I bought some bowl-shaped tupperware containers so I can separate out each serving right away and refrigerate them. It tastes even better after a day or two when the liquids thicken and it all starts to look like a stew instead of a soup.

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