Monday, October 1, 2012

Crock Pot Challenge Meal #1: Beef Stew

My first meal of the Crock Pot Challenge was the "Absent Cook Stew" from my Fix-It and Forget It cookbook, a recipe by Kathy Hertzler.  Basically the recipe told me what to put into the crock pot, there wasn't much cooking on my part.  

Awesome Beef Stew!

The recipe called for the following ingredients:
2 lbs of stewing beef, cubed
2-3 carrots (I used 4)
1 onion chopped
3 large potatoes (I used 4 medium baking potatoes)
3 ribs of celery (I used 4)
One can of tomato soup
One can full of water
1 tsp of salt
dash of pepper
2 tbsp of vinegar

I also added in two bay leaves and also 30 minutes before serving another half cup of water because it was pretty thick.  I like my veggies, what can I say?  Everything went into the crock pot in the morning and dinner was ready when I got home from work. Glorious.

The meal serves 6 so we won't have as many leftovers as I thought we would have.  There will be enough for us to have lunch tomorrow and then one other night this week.  I thought about freezing the two servings that we'd eat later this week, but maybe I'd like to have options for dinner and lunch later in the week.  And let's be honest, the stew was amazing.

Beef stew doesn't look too appetizing, does it?  It looks mushy - but I promise, it was perfect.
I asked Stephen if it was a "Keeper" or "Trasher" recipe.  He said it's definitely a keeper.  It may even rank up there with some of my top recipes ever, he said.  It has been classified as good enough to serve to our friends.  :)  I thought that was a good qualification.  We won't serve everything we have for dinner to our friends.  From now on we'll judge our crock pot recipes on the Keeper/Trasher scale and we'll note if it was good enough to serve to friends.  The only thing that I think I'll add next time is a bit of garlic.  

Night #1 done.  It was so great to have dinner ready as soon as we walked into the door from work.  It was/is a super rainy night and a warm stew was just what we needed.  Tomorrow I'm going to make Pork Roast with Apples & Sweet Potatoes from Amy's Cooking Adventures.  I already have the veggies cut and the spices measured so all I will need to do in the morning is cut the apple and layer the items into the crock pot.  

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