Ahhh, it is time!
The grocery stores are stocking candy, costumes, and fall decorations.
All the kiddos are back in school.
The mornings and evenings bring a chill to the air.
Leaves are getting colorful and crispy.
The basic betches are breaking out the sweatpants and pumpkin candles.
And then comes the first Sunday in September which marks the beginning of a very special season.
Yep, I’m talking about crock pot season!
This Sunday, while Adam watched the first football games of the season, I was busy with my dueling crockpots! There’s just something very special about being together in our home on a Sunday with the sound of football and smell of simmering stew filling the air!
We have two crockpots–remember? When you take two previously single people and co-habitate them, you get two crock pots and two can openers! (To make it simple–I double the recipe so that we get twice as much food all while only having to grocery shop, chop, and mop up after only one time!)
Because it just felt right, (and because I already have a ton of this stuff frozen in mason jars) I made our fave beef stew!
Because it’s got bacon,
and everything nice.
Here’s what you’ll need (for one batch):
- 2 pounds of stew beef
- 2 cups of beef broth
- 6 strips of crispy bacon (optional)
- 4 oz mushrooms
- 4 oz bell peppers
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce (or coconut aminos–if you’re gluten free)
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
Here’s the awesome part about this recipe.
Just put all that stuff in your crock pot and cook it on low for 6-8 hours. It’s that easy.
(Yes, this recipe does require some prep. But once you’re chopped, diced, and scooped, all you do is put all of the ingredients in the crock pot and set on low for 6-8 hours!)
Two crock pots made seven meals for us. We froze four for jar lunches and put the rest in the fridge for meals this week!
Note: this stew turns out more brothy than a traditional stew. I wouldn’t call it a “soup” but it does not have that goopy stewy texture you may be used to. So, if you’re looking for a very traditional stew recipe, this is not the one! In order to achieve that, you’ll need to add some sort of thickener like flour or corn starch and that’s just not something we’re interested in!
Okay. So you’re like, Liquid Aminos? What’s that!? This is what it looks like (^), if you’re gonna search for it at your local store.
One thing that bothers me about most recipes involving tomato paste is that they only call for a small amount of the can.
I normally put the leftovers in the fridge but never find myself using them before I have to throw the rest away.
Here’s what I do:
I stick the rest in my ice cube tray and freeze! This way, when I need a small amount of tomato paste, I just simply thaw the perfect amount needed for the next recipe!