November is a month of transition….cool, crisp weather intermingled with a handful of warm, sunny days. I LOVE fall! The colors, the smells….what I don’t enjoy are the frigid days of winter coming soon. It’s time for the comforting warmth of soups, stews, and the CROCKPOT! Coming home from a day at school to a house filled with the aroma of savory meat and vegetables is heavenly, and the recipe I have for you is one you can throw together in the morning and you will have a hearty, delicious meal ready to eat when you are.
You really can’t go wrong with this recipe. You can use canned, frozen, or fresh vegetables. You can use any kind of beef–stew meat is called for, but I wanted something very lean. With the price the same per pound, I used an extremely lean cubed steak and cut it into bite sized pieces. The V8 juice along with the instant tapioca make a rich, wonderful gravy when it simmers with the beef and the vegetables. I have an older crock pot that doesn’t seem to get as hot as some of the newer ones, so setting it on high for 10 hours works for me. Some of the newer crockpots seem to get hotter than the older ones, so you may need to adjust the time or the temperature. I have also made this in my electric pressure cooker and it turns out just fine.
There are a couple surprises that I used in my stew. My husband and I try to limit white potatoes and carrots. One of the surprising vegetables that can be substituted for potatoes are…ready for this? RADISHES! Who’d a thought?! They have the flavor and texture of potatoes in stews and roasts, but without the carbs. Another surprise…after it was cooked, I stirred in 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. It gives a depth and richness to the gravy that is mmmm!! I hope you enjoy the warmth and comfort of this stew in these cold months of fall and winter. Enjoy the upcoming seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and blessings to you and your families from me and mine!
Easy slow-cooker stew
- 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
- 1 1/2 cup frozen or fresh carrots
- 1 1/2 cup celery
- 3-4 potatoes, cubed
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 package stew meat
- 12 ounces V-8 juice
- 12 ounces water
- 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
- Seasonings to taste (I used cut radishes in place of potatoes, and added a 1/2 cup pumpkin puree.)
- Put in peas, carrots, celery, onion and potatoes into the slow cooker. Place meat on top.
- In 2-cup measuring cup or bowl, pour in V-8 juice. Add seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic or anything you like) and tapioca. Stir together. Pour over mixture in slow cooker. Pour 12 ounces water overall.
- Cover, turn to high and cook for approximately 10 hours.
Note: I use fresh vegetables instead of frozen or canned (either are fine). It makes a wonderful rich gravy.