Beef stew is one of my favorite cold weather comfort foods and having it slow cooked all day makes it so easy to have this ready for busy families. Now, I have to admit a few things about this recipe: it’s not from scratch. Believe me when I tell you it’s not from lack of trying! I have tried numerous recipes and my family simply tells me it’s not right. Something is missing. While with a few of the tries, I will agree; there were a few that I was like: this is GOOD. They did not agree. What’s a girl to do? Stick with what they like (and keep trying) – they tell me the best beef stew I make is using the seasoning packet from McCormick. It is good, I will admit that. I don’t use the seasoning packet that is for the slow cooker beef stew, just the original one that the directions indicate to make on the stovetop.
I can hear you now, but you have stated you are cutting back on those “packets” in your cooking. Yes, I am but all things in moderation. If you are looking for a gluten-free seasoning mix, this one is not. I don’t add additional salt so I think I’m good there. I do add garlic, rosemary, and additional pepper. It’s flavorful, thick, and filled with vegetables and lean beef.
Now, if you have a no-fail, from scratch, family-lovin’ beef stew recipe, by all means send it my way. I’m not giving up yet!
- 2 lbs. beef stew cubes, cut larger pieces into 1 inch cubes (trim all visible fat)
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1 package McCormick® Beef Stew Seasoning Mix (the original mix – not the slow cooker one)
- 3 cups water
- ½ bag of baby carrots, larger ones cut in half
- 1 medium onion, chopped (or use 1 cup of frozen pearl onions)
- 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
- 2 stalks of celery, sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- Place flour in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Add beef cubes, close bag and shake to coat with flour.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven on mediumhigh heat.
- Add half of the beef and brown on all sides. Remove beef and place into crockpot. Repeat with remaining beef, adding remaining 1 tablespoon oil. When the last batch of beef is just about browned, add the minced garlic and let cook for a minute, careful not to burn it.
- After all beef has been browned and is in the crockpot, add the vegetables.
- In a bowl or large measuring cup, add the water and Seasoning Mix. Stir to combine. Pour over vegetables. Give it all a stir and cover. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours or until beef tender and cooked through; and the vegetables are fork tender but not mushy.
- *Note: If the sauce isn’t thick enough to your liking, then the last 20 minutes of cooking time, turn the crockpot to high. Make a mixture of ¼ cup of water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, then slowly pour while whisking or stirring into the beef stew.
Inspired and adapted from McCormick