Rod’s Beef Stew

There is no right way to make stew: It consists of meat and roots cooked slowly over a low heat to tenderize poor cuts of meat.a slow cooking (to make tough meat tender). Traditionally, in the United States, it is made of beef and lots of roots. Add whatever vegetables you want, and spice it the way you want. This is a poor man’s meal, made with leftovers and “whatever” you have around.

However, here is Rod’s. Cook in a 5 quart crock pot (slow cooker). I like a little “hot” in my stew, so I have some peppers in it, but you can leave them out.

  • 1 lb stew meat (or cut some beef into chunks about 1/2″ on a side)
  • Potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes (don’t be precise, just kinda’ that size). Enough to fill the crock pot 1/3 full.
  • 1 large can stewed tomatoes (or simply skin and cut a couple of tomatoes)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 Jalapeño Peppers
  • 1 Serrano Pepper
  • Mushrooms, sliced. Maybe a dozen of the white ones?
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Beef Base (I use Better than Bouillon Organic Beef Base)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped garlic (I cheat an buy Polaner large cut)
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Basil

On the spices, I just put in whatever I feel like. Maybe a teaspoon each? I just add it until it looks right. Dump some into the palm of your hand to measure.

Preparation: Remember to stir every half hour or so, and add water if necessary to cover all the ingredients.

  1. Cut enough potatoes to fill crock pot about 1/3 full.
  2. Add one heaping tablespoon of beef base.
  3. Add tomatoes
  4. Pour some Olive Oil into a cast iron skillet, then add garlic, thyme, oregano, marjoram, basil and the stew meat. Brown everything together, stirring regularly. Add more oil if necessary. When all sides of the beef are brown, empty mixture into crock pot.
  5. Pour a half cup or so of wine into skillet to break loose the leftover spices, stir then pour into crock pot.
  6. Add water to crock pot to cover everything, then turn it on high for about an hour. After an hour, stir the mixture and reduce heat to low or medium.
  7. Cut peppers (Jalapeño and Serrano) into small pieces, less than 1/4″ and add. I put in everything but the stem, but some people remove the seeds to reduce spiciness.
  8. About every half hour to hour, stir the mixture. When you can put a fork through the potatoes, you’re ready for the next step.
  9. Clean and cut carrot into 1″ slices and add to pot.
  10. Slice onion into large chunks and add to pot.
  11. In about a half hour, clean and slice mushrooms and add to pot. Your pot should be pretty full now.
  12. In about another half hour, test the mixture. Meat should be tender, mushrooms full of fluid, carrot kind of crunchy and potato easily smashed.

This is good while hot, but storing it for a day or two in the refrigerator kind of melds all the flavors together, so it can be even better as leftovers.

Don’t freeze. This stores well in the refrigerator, but freezing makes the potatoes change texture to something weird, so you have a few days to eat it all.

I’ll eat it straight, with crackers, or even mixed in a bowl with cornbread and cheese to make a mixture similar to really thick mashed potatoes.