Hearty Beef and Vegetable Stew (Slow Cooker recipe)
I am certainly not a food blogger, and it has been some time since I shared a recipe on the blog. However, I wanted to share a "recipe" or method, if you will, for our very favorite beef roast in the crockpot.
I first had this particular variation when we visited my parents in Minnesota and we arrived in late that night after a long drive. My mom had this stew, warm and ready in the crockpot for a very late dinner, and I texted her later for the recipe. And now, it's a staple in the DeVries kitchen – for the last year or so, it has made a nearly weekly appearance on our menu.
Background aside – here is a very simple recipe for a homey, hearty stew. Beef, carrots, onions, potatoes, and garlic, with simple seasoning and plenty of salt. The perfect meal to make on a cold day, or when you're craving a cozy meal and the ease of dinner prep done in the morning (the best feeling)!
Hearty Beef and Vegetable Stew
- 3 lb grass-fed and finished* beef chuck roast
- several yellow potatoes (amounting to 4-5 cups volume, once chopped into 1/2" cubes
- 1 medium white or yellow onion
- 4 large organic carrots, peeled and chopped
- garlic powder (or 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced)
- Italian seasoning blend, to taste
- 2 cups broth (beef is ideal, but I typically use chicken, since I always have that – store bought or homemade)
- lots of sea salt
- Prepare veggies as noted above, add all veggies to base of crockpot, sprinkle with salt.
- Add roast on top, seasoning it on all sides with generous amount of Italian seasoning, salt, and garlic (minced or powder), then pour broth over all of it. I typically add around 2 cups of broth, since the meat will add liquid as it cooks, and this makes for a brothy, but hearty "stew" texture.
- Set crockpot to low for 7-8 hours**, or until beef falls apart or is very tender.
- Shred beef, or use kitchen shears to chop it into bite size pieces, and replace back into crockpot.
- Serve in bowls with sourdough bread (or crackers, or whatever you have on hand).
A few notes
*I really notice that the quality of meat in this recipe makes a big difference. Our local Meijer sells a high quality chuck roast that I tend to buy in multiples when it goes on sale, and keep some in the freezer, since I make this meal often.
**From my experience, chuck roasts really need the "low and slow" cook to produce that tender, easy to eat texture. I have made this on high over four hours and it's hard to eat, to be honest. That said, one time, I got it prepared on time in the morning, but forgot to turn it on for 1.5 hours. To compensate, I put it on high for a few hours, and then switched to low for as long as I could, and the meat was still tender! So it can be done. But it's ideal to just toss it in the crockpot and know that dinner is made before 10am.
***I mention specific vegetables above, but you can certainly sub in what you have on hand. Celery, rutabaga, sweet potato, or other root veggies would all be nice! Just chop them up small enough that they can easily be scooped up with a spoon.
****This stew reheats beautifully on the stovetop! I actually haven't used our microwave for leftovers in a long time, since a pot on the stove does a fast and more even heating, plus the taste and texture is preserved.
I love the cooler months for the feel of them, in every way. I love cold-weather clothing, and candles, and the idea of slower, soothing months, where life doesn't feel so hectic. I love the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I love a good comfort food meal, that you can start in the afternoon, and let it simmer while doing laundry or a pre-dinner tidy of your home. This chili is that food for me. It's not altogether pretty, but you could always add some color by way of green pepper or jalepenos, etc. It's very mix-and-matchable and well-suited to whatever you have in your pantry. For us, that's chickpeas and lentils, since Nicholas isn't a huge fan of pinto/navy beans, etc. These ingredients afford a "traditional" enough chili for me, with a texture he enjoys as well.
Baked peanut butter oatmeal (our favorite breakfast)
Baked PB oatmeal or just "PB oatmeal" as we fondly call it, serves as our breakfast at least 300 mornings of the year. I've mentioned it about one million times on the blog, since I've been making is for us ever since Summer posted the recipe almost exactly five years ago, but I've never actually shared the recipe and how I make it. Over time, I've adjusted a few things and tweaked it to it's current state. I adore recipes like this that I can make again and again. We eat a lot of eggs for any meal of the day, and so it's nice to have an egg-free breakfast option. And I really love the idea of a make-ahead breakfast that will reheat easily and fill us up with both protein and carbs.
Chicken gnocchi soup
Yesterday, I stopped by my friend Jessica's house to see her and her son. I played with her little boy while she chopped veggies for a meal she was bringing to a friend that night. Whereas I prefer to follow a recipe, since I'm nervous that my kitchen experiments won't turn out, Jessica is naturally good at using up all the food in the fridge, coming up with new combinations and just "throwing together" a meal, or following a recipe with modifications, based on what she has on hand.