It’s been in the 60s this week…. 60’s! Isn’t it still August? Did we lose a month somewhere and I just don’t know about it? Was I really tired and I slept like Rip Van Winkle!? This weather is crazy. But, I have to say I am enjoying it! Mid spring and mid fall are my favorite times of the year. The weather is perfect for jeans, hoodies, sweaters, and boots. It isn’t rainy and dreary, and the sun still shines!
This weather is perfect for soup and stew. There is nothing more Fall-ish than a bowl of hot stew with a side of warm, crusty bread.
- 2 pounds of stew meat, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped into large pieces
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- about 20 mini potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces. I used small yellow potatoes
- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 3 cups beef broth, divided
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and then lightly brown the meat in batches. Transfer browned beef to a plate and set aside.
- Place the tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes to the slowcooker. Sprinkle Italian seasoning over the vegetables. Add the beef and any accumulated drippings.
- Pour 2 1/2 cups of the beef broth (save the other 1/2 cup broth for later) over the beef and vegetables. Stir. Add the bay leaves, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.
- 20 minutes before the end of the cook time, add the frozen peas, salt, and pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and the remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth to create a smooth paste. Stir into the stew, replace the cover, and continue cooking until thickened (15-20 minutes).
- Remove the bay leaves before serving.
This is perfect with a nice crusty loaf of bread. You can use the last 15 minutes of stew cook time to heat up a loaf of French bread in the oven. Or, you can even cook up a batch of fresh bread and time it to where it finishes 30 minutes or so before the stew is done so it doesn’t fall apart when you cut into it.
There is nothing better than this on a crisp fall day, or even a frigid cold snow day. And it’s even better the next day!