For it being the first day of December, it’s been ridiculously warm here in South Dakota. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I know there’s a drought and all, but as one customer pointed out earlier this week, we can have a wet spring–The mild winter is really nice! Even still, the fact that it’s December makes me crave comfort food like crazy. The meal plan I got last night’s Cheesy Rigatoni Bake from also had a recipe for Crockpot Beef Stew, which I thought I’d try out.
Of course, I made some minor changes to suit my tastes…The original recipe calls for fresh mushrooms, and since Jay doesn’t really care for them and I refuse to eat them, I left them out. I also added more beef, but that was more because the stew meat I picked up came in 1 1/2 pound packages. And I know Jay and the bambino won’t complain about extra meat. I also got a chance to use these:
I have a lot of issues with canned diced or peeled tomatoes for the most part. I hate tomato peels with a passion (it’s one reason I won’t eat them raw if I can help it), and if I make sauce with canned whole, peeled tomatoes, I will stand over it and meticulously pick out any extraneous peels I see pop up. I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon the Jovial Foods website, but I was intrigued by their story and figured I’d just save up until I could place a bulk order. Imagine my surprise at discovering their products at my local Hy-Vee (before I’d even had the chance to request them, no less!)! So, of course, I had to buy some tomatoes (and some Einkorn pasta), in the hopes Hy-Vee won’t stop carrying them any time soon.
But back to the stew…
It’s hearty, it’s comforting, and if we had S-n-o-w coming or it was colder out, this would be perfect. Better yet, because it’s a crockpot meal, you can set it and walk away for 8 hours. Which is exactly what I did this morning. Jay had some guys over for game-playing this afternoon, so I didn’t even have anything I had to worry about prepping while my dining room was overtaken by geeks! Whisk together the first 5 ingredients in the bottom of a crock pot. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and mix well. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until meat is tender.
I’m really tempted to go back to the store and get more beef as well as tomatoes, and make up a batch of Barley-Beef Soup as well…Which is what this meal almost ended up being. But this, along with some deliciously crusty Italian bread from Buttercrust Bakery, made a perfect meal to kick of the month of December. And Jay proclaimed it the best beef stew I’ve made, if that tells you anything!
Whisk together the first 5 ingredients in the bottom of a crock pot. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.
Cook on low for 8 hours, or until meat is tender.