There are some smells that will automatically take you back to childhood. Comfy nights after school when you’ve made it through the snow and wind to change into comfy pajama pants and watch a cheesy Christmas movie in the family room on a blissful night when everyone else is out (Mondays could give me this delicious alone time in high school). The smell of my mom’s beef stew always takes me back to nights like that. Also, good family times too. There is nothing like opening your apartment door and smelling home and this stew never fails me there.
This recipe can be made in a crock pot or in a dutch oven. I had planned to try the oven for the first time this week but remembered I had to be out of my apartment for two hours on Sunday morning volunteering so the crock pot it was. That turned out to be a very good thing as later on Sunday, Tallahassee got hit by wicked thunderstorms that took out power all over the city (some only just got it back Tuesday afternoon/evening). If I’d been using my stove, the stew would not have been done yet and that would have been tragic. Luckily, it was pretty much finished in the crock pot and my biscuits were just done enough to eat when the power went out on me. I also managed to save all the leftovers in a cooler until the power was back on 4 hours later and the fridge could handle them. Win-win all around! Also a win, following the storm, we went back to much more seasonal weather around here so the stew (which makes for awesome, and lots of, leftovers) has been fabulous to come home to every night this week.
[Note: this is one of those recipes that Mom could really only give me the ingredients and cooking instructions, not how much of most things to put in. I have a smallish Crock Pot and these amounts for the ingredients fit perfectly (i.e. just barely and if I shove the top down hard). A more normal sized crock pot or a dutch oven would take more ingredients]
Mom’s Beef Stew
1.5 -2 lbs. Russet potatoes, skinned and cut into large pieces
1 lb. Carrots, skinned and cut into large pieces
1 med. Yellow Onion
1 lb. stew beef
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
- Chop and add all the vegetables to the crock pot
- Add meat over the vegetables
- Empty the soup cans over the meat. Do not mix!
- Place the Crock Pot on high for the first hour and then on low for the rest of the cooking time. Should take 7-8 hours of cooking for stew to be ready. [In the oven, Mom says she cooks it 8-9 hours at 200F]
- Serve over Bisquick Biscuits (follow recipe on Bisquick box, will take 9-10 minutes to bake)