Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mom's Beef Stew

My mom has been using this recipe for over 30 years and when I started college, it was given to me and of course, I think it is the best. I have made just a couple slight changes. I love the texture of red sweet potatoes {or yams} against the stew meat so I use those for half of the potatoes. You just need to be sure to chunk them very large as they can disappear after cooking all day. It can also help to add them later in the cooking process. I also leave out some things at times for my picky eaters but you can add them. Lastly, I have made this in the slow cooker and the oven in a dutch oven style pot and have to vote for the oven. It will thicken and flavor better.  If you decide to use the slow cooker, remove the lid during the last 30 minutes and turn it to high when you add the tapioca. There is really nothing like this hearty stew at the end of a cold busy day!

*Printable Version*

What You Need:
5-6 quart dutch oven, oven safe pot or slow cooker
1.5 to 2 pounds stew meat
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
2 red sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
4 carrots, peeled and cut
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cans tomato soup
1 package onion soup mix
3-4 cups water
4 teaspoons dry tapioca {Found on the baking aisle or near the pudding mixes}
1-2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: {I do not always use}
1 can or frozen package green beans
1 can or frozen package corn
1 can stewed tomatoes

If not using slow cooker, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Either in the bottom of your dutch oven or a skillet, heat 2-3 tablespoons oil. Season your stew meat with a dusting of flour and salt and pepper. Add the stew meat to the heated oil and just brown on all sides. Add the vegetables, soups & onion soup mix to the pot. Add water until everything is just covered. Cover and place the pot in the 300 degree oven for about 6 hours, or in the crock pot on low. About 20-30 minutes before serving, add 4 teaspoons dry tapioca to the stew and leave uncovered. This will thicken it. If you want it more soupy and thin, cut the tapioca in half or omit. Enjoy!

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