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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crock Pot Okie Beef Stew - Freezer to Crock Pot

Wow, how about our weather?!  Winter here in Oklahoma has been crazy!  It went from 80 degrees one day to 20-something with a windchill in the teens the next day.  That type of cold, blustery, chilly weather makes me hungry for a warm, rich beef stew.

This recipe originally started out as Pioneer Woman's Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika.  However, as I'm known to do, I have modified it to suit our tastes and lifestyle (you'll see why below).  Sometimes I'm not in the mood for beer in my stew, and sometimes I am going to share this with others who may have either dietary, religious, or other personal reasons for not consuming beer, so the recipe below reflects that.  I've also added extra tomato products because, honestly, stew just doesn't seem like stew to me without some form of chunky tomato in it, and we like our stew a little spicier than the original recipe.

Since Pioneer Woman is an Oklahoma girl herself, I'm paying tribute to our shared heritage by renaming it slightly to reflect the changes. The name is also reflective of the fact that I have modified this to be a crock pot recipe (if you wish to cook this stove top, see instructions below recipe). 

Crock Pot Okie Beef Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
2-3 pounds stew meat
1 whole medium onion, diced
1 cup rinsed baby carrots or 3-4 whole carrots sliced into medallions
2 cloves minced garlic
1 can of beer, 12 oz. OR 1-1/2 cups chicken stock or chicken broth (not beef, though it's tempting)
4 cubes beef bouillon or 4 tablespoons buillon granules
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can RoTel tomatoes with green chiles (or other diced tomatoes with green chiles; this is about a 14 oz can)
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon of my All-Purpose Seasoning, second recipe, HERE 
1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
 3-4 potatoes peeled and cut into chunks

In a skillet, brown meat in oil, in batches.  Pour just enough water in bottom of skillet and stir to deglaze the pan. About 2-3 tablespoons of water. Place meat and deglazed mixture in bottom of 1 gallon freezer bag.  Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT POTATOES.   Squish out air and massage to distribute ingredients.  Seal and freeze.  When ready to cook, place cut up potatoes in the bottom of the crock pot and put the frozen mixture on top (or thaw in the fridge the night before before adding to crock pot).  Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.  Serve with cornbread, crusty bread, or fry bread. This is best when cooked low and slow. 

To make this a stove top recipe, follow instructions, except you will need to add approximately 1-1/2  to 2 cups of water to the mixture and allow it to simmer on the stove top for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  Watch carefully and add water if the stew becomes too thick. 

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