Two words…BEEF STEW

Remember those McCormick Bag ‘n Season meals like pot roast or beef stew in a bag? In my Mom’s efforts to learn more about American cooking, she tried some of these meals. Ugh. Can you say cardboard with a little bit of sauce? And shouldn’t a plastic bag melt in a 350 degree oven? I wonder what sort of yummy chemicals leached into the food. Anyway, I’m not here to share my experiences with stew in a bag, but wanted to share a recipe for beef stew that is delicious and, oh, so simple to make. It’s from the October 2006 issue of Everyday Food.

The recipe gives directions for cooking the stew in a conventional oven and the slow cooker. I, of course, opted for the slow cooker. I decided to try this recipe after remembering my sister telling me about how her toddler LOVED it. Unfortunately, in my efforts to feed my son more meat, he promptly threw his bowl across the table. I ended up freezing half of it and ate beef stew for the next three days. Actually, I mixed in a couple of teaspoons of the sauce into my 7 month old’s pureed squash. She grunted with pleasure spoonful after yummy spoonful.

Beef Stew
– 3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
– 1/3 cup tomato paste
– 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
– 2 tablespoons of flour
– salt and pepper
– 1 pound medium onions (about 2), cut into 1-inch chunks
– 1 pound (about 6) small white or red new potatoes, well scrubbed, halved if large
– 1 pound bag of baby carrots
– 6 garlic cloves (or 2 tablespoons of garlic powder)
– 2 bay leaves

Place beef in slow cooker. Distribute tomato paste, vinegar, and flour over beef; season generously with salt and pepper. Stir to make sure the beef is coated evenly. Add onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic (Since we were out of garlic, I used the powder and added it with the previous seasonings), and bay leaves. Cover slow cooker; cook on high until beef is fork-tender, about 5 hours (or cook on low heat for 8 hours).

BEEF! That’s what’s for dinner!

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  • juleskwonnyc

    i just posted your link on my FB page.

  • Rachel

    looks like i'm going to have to go out and get us a slow cooker!

  • lis

    i've always liked this recipe and have made it several times for DH in the past 3 years…but only *recently* he told me that he doesn't like it! but i think the recipe is really good.