The fire is crackling, leaves are cascading from the trees, and you’re hunkered down at the kitchen table, dipping your crusty bread into the delicious herb and wine-infused beef stew that’s been simmering away all day long.
No, it’s not a Sunday night, it’s a Tuesday night, and you made this stew with only 10 minutes of prep that morning! You are a weeknight dinner rock star.
Beef stew is the ultimate cold weather comfort food, and the ultimate one-pot meal. I love any meal that has meat, starch and veggies combined in one delicious bowl, and can simmer in the crockpot or on the stove for hours — growing tastier and more tender — until everyone’s ready to eat.
BUT…beef stew can be a bit labor-intensive to make. Most recipes involve a lot of measuring, searing, chopping, stirring and dicing in addition to the slow cooking process.
I actually enjoy measuring, searing, chopping, stirring and dicing when I have the time and energy to do so. I would gladly spend a chilly Sunday afternoon tending to a pot of beef stew with some good music playing and a hearty glass of red in my hand.
However, since those leisurely cooking opportunities don’t arise as often as I’d like, I set out to create a beef stew recipe that I would be willing to make regularly, which meant it would need to be as simple as possible.
To accomplish that, I eliminated the searing process, and made this a “no chop” recipe by using ingredients that are either pre-chopped (like the onions, celery and beef) or small enough that chopping is unnecessary (like baby carrots and small whole potatoes). I also used an herb bundle to skip the step of having to dice up the herbs.
I made this stew last night, and I’m pleased to report it was every bit as good as the complicated beef stew recipes I’ve made in the past. Just put your ingredients in, set your slow cooker, and come home to a delicious, comforting home-cooked meal that will put Martha Stewart to shame.
Cooking note: As is the case with many of my recipes, this beef stew is best served with some warm, crusty bread!