02. February 2011
I know we’re not exactly buried in snow drifts, but it is winter in San Diego, and the chill in the evening air makes me long for the hot, hearty “comfort” food I grew up with in Iowa.
So yesterday, I broke out the Crock Pot, filled it with my favorite ingredients and last night the aroma of beef stew wafting through the house took me back more than 40 years.
Vegetable beef stew was one of my Mom’s specialties, and it still hits the spot. Her recipe is timeless. I’ve just made a couple of simple adjustments – with the help of my friend, Carolyn – to make her heart-warming stew a little more heart-healthy and a little easier for her domestically-challenged daughter!
The key to a healthier stew is more veggies and less beef. Just make sure it’s a good cut! So get out your crock pot… here we go!
VEGETABLE BEEF STEW – CROCK POT STYLE
2 carrots, cut up (I do the julienne cut into fairly short pieces)
2 small/medium or one large Idaho baking potato cut into bite-size chunks
Beef – 1-11/2 pounds Eye of Round or other “good” cut of meat. Cut into pieces. (Avoid packaged stew meat chunks. Meat quality really affects the flavor)
Add 1 pkg. Lowry’s or McCormick beef stew spices (if you want to cheat and make it easy! Carolyn swears Lowry’s is best!)
1 cup water
1 onion cut up
2 stalks celery (include the tops of one stalk)
1 can whole tomatoes pulled apart (pour in the juice if you want more tomato flavor)
Put all ingredients in the Crock Pot in the order listed. Cook on “high” one hour. Stir just enough to slightly mix the spices. Set on “low” for 10-11 hours (or “high” for 5-6 hours.)
Serve with garlic bread (or biscuits) and salad
*If you are a purist and have the time, you can use the following spices instead of the packaged mix. (Carolyn and I swear we can’t tell the difference!)
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 level tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.