With the cold winter days upon us it is nice to have something hot and hearty for dinner. And it's especially nice when that hot and hearty something doesn't involve standing in the kitchen for an hour to cook it!
I am a big fan of the crock pot. I love being one step ahead when that witching hour comes and the kids are cranky and hungry and I'm tired and we all just need a break. I love the way it makes my house smell like "home." I love how I feel like I'm providing healthy meals for my family and it's so easy to do. And economical. Most of my crock pot meals are multi-night affairs… or night and a few lunches at a minimum.
Here's one of our all-time favorite crock pot recipes. I hope you enjoy as much as we do. (Oh, and this makes a great gift meal for someone if they are sick or need a helping hand.)
Fresh Vegetable Beef Stew
1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat
1 small green bell pepper chopped (I use 1/2 bag frozen)
3/4 cup green beans (fresh, or I use 1/2 bag frozen)
3/4 cup onion, chopped (I use 1/2 bag frozen)
3/4 cup carrots, sliced (I use frozen – see a pattern here?)
3/4 cup frozen corn
4-6 red potatoes, washed, cut into pieces (about 1 inch)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt / 1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme (fresh) or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 1/2 cups beef broth (2 cans or 1 carton)
2 cans diced tomato w/ garlic
1 can tomato sauce
Add all ingredients in slow cooker – I usually put potatoes on the bottom, vegs in the middle, meat on top.
low 8-9 hrs or high 4-5 hrs
I also season my meat with my own homemade "House Seasoning" (recipe below) (Who says Paula Dean is the only one who can have her own house seasoning?)
Houston House Seasoning
1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/4 cup onion powder
Mix all thoroughly. For storage, reuse a large seasoning bottle (I reused my leftover garlic powder jar) or a Ziploc-type baggie.