Again, this is my mom's "recipe" and I've put that word into quotes because she actually had no recipe. In fact, some of her recipe cards don't have any measurements at all...just the basic ingredients, and then you are on your own. Thanks, Ma! Haha! But, this is the way she taught me to make stew, so I'll pass it on, because it's so good!
I really never use a recipe for stew either, so one day, while making it, I measured and figured out the approximates for the ingredients I like to use. Now, here's the disclaimer...you don't have to use everything listed, I don't every time! It depends on my mood and what's in the pantry. The meat and veggies are the staples in stew. The rest is up to you! Phsst...sometimes I even add a splash of wine.
I almost forgot! If you like to use your crockpot, just brown the meat first with the onions, then empty the pot (along with the juices) right into your slow cooker. Add everything else and set it on high for a few hours or so, low if it will be in there all day.
2 lbs. lean stew beef (sometimes I cut up an eye round roast, if I can't find lean stew beef.)
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 tsp. salt (you can use seasoned salt, if you desire)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 (10.5oz.) can condensed beef broth (optional)
3 cups potatoes, cut up
2 cups carrots, cut up
1 large stalk celery, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp. flour
1/3 cup cold water
1/2 cup peas (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan; add beef and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the meat is browned on all sides, then add onions. (This usually takes 30-45 minutes, because I like my meat fairly tender before I add anything else. I do add small amounts of water during this process to keep the meat from burning.)
Add beef broth (opt.) and hot water to the pot until liquid level is about 1 inch above the beef. Cover and reduce heat to low; cover pot and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
Add potatoes, carrots, peas and celery. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes longer, until vegetables are tender.
To thicken the stew, if desired, combine the flour with 1/3 cup cold water; stir until smooth. Gently stir flour mixture into the pot a little at a time, using as much as necessary to make the stew as thick as you like.
Add pepper, then taste to see you it needs more salt.
"Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts." - Psalm 145:3-4