Beef stew is a popular make-ahead meal easy to adapt to the crockpot. From Chuckwagon stew to Irish stew, this hearty meal can accompany cornbread, beans, or buttered rolls, with a slice of pie for dessert. Stew has been a mainstay throughout the world for hundreds of years. It is an economical way to stretch inexpensive cuts of meat and uses whatever vegetables are on hand. Known for its slow, simmered, tender meat, beef stew is as popular today as it was on the Oregon Trail.


1. Gather Your Ingredients

Basic beef stew contains beef, broth, and vegetables. You will need the following ingredients to create a stew that serves four people:

  • 2 lbs. stew meat
  • 2 T butter or vegetable oil
  • One chopped onion
  • packet of brown gravy mix (optional) and water or beef broth
  • 4 large chopped carrots or 2 cups chopped baby carrots
  • 1 chopped stalk of celery
  • 4 cubed potatoes
  • One can sweet corn (drained) or 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup rice or barley if desired
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour for dredging the meat if not using gravy
  • Cornstarch for thickening

A heavy dutch oven is ideal for preparing and simmering stew on top of the stove, and it can be placed in the oven to keep warm. A crockpot is another great prep option, and the instructions are at the end of this article.

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