Sometimes the simplest dishes get the most response. This was the case when I posted a photo of my beef stew recipe on Instagram a few days ago. Beef stew was one of those dishes my mom made growing up, and has always been very comforting to me. Traditionally she made it on the stove, mainly because she was never really a "Crockpot cook". I've done it both stovetop and Crockpot, and they both do the dish complete justice.
My butcher has pre-cut "stew meat" cubed and ready to go in 1 lb. packages so this is what I always use. Also, you should really sear the meat in a pan first but I was running late this morning and didn't get a chance to. It was still fantastic!
2 lbs. cubed beef 3/4 bag baby carrots (or regular carrots sliced) 1/2 large onion, sliced 4 large potatoes, cut into big pieces 1 cup frozen peas 2 packets dry brown gravy mix 2 tbs butter 3 tbs flour Kosher salt cracked black pepper water
Put the beef in the Crockpot and season with salt and pepper. Add the carrots, onions, and potatoes. Pour both packets of brown gravy mix over top. Pour water until 1 in below the meat/veggies. Cook on low for 8-10 hrs, or high for 4-6.
When the stew is done cooking, add the peas (they just need to heat through). In a small bowl, mash together the butter and flour until it forms a paste. Add the mixture to the Crockpot and stir with a fork until melted and the stew thickens.
As another variation, this is exactly how I cook a pot roast except I use an eye roast, sear in a pan, then shred the beef at the end. Thickening w/ the butter/flour is optional. I like to add a dollop of horseradish at the end.