My brother gave me a CrockPot for Christmas and I am infatuated with it. For once those canned-stuff sales and eerie, tough, stew meats at the supermarket have a purpose for me! Though whenever possible I like to buy fresh veggies and free-range, organic whatever, grass-fed happy meats, I am for all intents and purposes, a penny-pinching young person. So those crappy cuts of beef and 15 for $10 canned vegetables are pretty awesome when you’re broke and have a slow cooker to play with. Yesterday, after an awesome breakfast by C (whole wheat pancakes, Italian pork sausage, eggs, and pineapple… with previously posted sage and mint tea) I busted out the slow cooker to get dinner cooking while we were out enjoying the sunshine. Here’s a recipe! Whoa! It’s been ages! I am making this up as I type since I don’t remember the exacts! But dudes, this shit is eeeeeeasy. This recipe is inspired by my mom’s stew she used to make me growing up.
Starving Artist Stew (Contrary to what it’s name implies, this is MEAT-HEAVY. Because I’m a carnivorous artist. And you should be too. Well, on second thought, this would easily be made veggie-friendly if you just leave out the steak and substitute veggie broth. )
A package of the mysterious “stew meat” from your grocery meat section… I don’t remember how much weight it was. Just go with the amount of painfully tender meat you can imagine yourself eating in 6 hours from now and use that much.
1 can peas
1 can green beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can corn kernels
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
3 cups or so chicken, beef, or veggie broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp crushed rosemary
freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
Alright, nuggets! Pretty much all you do here is what you’d immediately assume based on this recipe. It’s made for morons. Or smartish monkeys. Brown up the stew meat in a cast iron or other heavy pan with a bit of veggie oil. I was going to sautee the carrots and onions in the meat juice but then I was like, “naaaaaaaah, I wanna do as little as possible, please!” If you’re following the so-easy-it’s-stupid way, do what I did! Turn your slow cooker to high and throw in the browned meat and accompanying juice. Then throw in everything else! All at once! If the cooker is piled high with too many ingredients and not enough watery stuff, just add more stock. Or water. I don’t care.
Now here’s the fun part: go do something else all day! I started this at 9:00 in the morning, went on a beach adventure for a couple hours, puttered around aimlessly for awhile, and then it was ready around 3. Well, it might have been ready earlier, but I didn’t check it. I turned it down to low around 2 (after 5 hours) but wanted to let it stew for longer since that is the glory of stews. I had my friend Orion over to my house to work on my veggie-skull sleeve and didn’t try the stew until I was 2 hours in and in need of a little break.
He worked on the reds and oranges (finally!) and after admiring the awesomeness for a few minutes I dove into that stew and took a much-deserved whiskey shot. The whiskey shot was… well… low budget. But the stew! It was lovely! The beef was flakey and tender, the veggies stock-saturated and melt-in-your-mouthey, and the seasonings were pretty much spot on, though I added more pepper since I’m a pepper freak. And just now I had some leftovers for dinner… because stew just gets better every time you microwave it! I don’t know why. But it’s science.