Crock Pot Beef Stew

The crock pot is a godsend!  No, really.  There’s no better feeling than coming home from a long day of work and having a hot meal ready to go.  No stress, just deliciousness.

This love has been extended with my new slow cooker cookbook.  I’m excited to make my way through all the recipes America’s Test Kitchen has to offer me in my crock pot.  Since this week in DC has been rainy, chilly, and all-out gross, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to crock pot it up.

EASIEST-EVER BEEF AND POTATO STEW (courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution Vol. 2)

2 cans (10.5 oz) condensed French onion soup
1 cup water
¼ cup tomato paste
2½ tbsp. instant tapioca [Find it in the baking aisle]
1 tsp. dried thyme
Small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
4 lbs. sirloin steak tips, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces [I used 1lb of tip steak and didn’t cut it up – this let the meat really fall apart)
Salt and pepper
2 cups frozen peas

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1.  Whisk soup, water, tomato paste, tapioca and thyme together.

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2.  Coat the bottom of the slow cooker with a thin layer of the mix.

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3.  Place the potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker.

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4. Place the beef on top of the potatoes.  Pour the rest of the mix over top of the meat and potatoes.  [I usually freeze meat before putting it into my slow cooker.  This way it cooks and melts at the same time and leaves the meat in a soft, falling apart state.]

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5.  Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 10 hours on low or 6 to 7 hours on high, depending on your cooker.  [With my machine, I set it for 8 1/2 hours and it then turns on to a ‘Keep Warm’ setting until serving]

6.  Just before serving, boil a pot of water and warm the frozen peas on the stove top.  Once peas are cooked, pour into slow cooker and mix with stew.

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7.  Using a fork, tear apart the meat into strings.  Use the side of the fork to cut potatoes into smaller pieces (they should just fall apart).

8.  Serve and enjoy!

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Results:

This was DELICIOUS and perfect for a cold day.  Even though I only used 1lb of the steak, there was plenty left over for second-day meals.

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