Beef stew or beef soup? You decide which way you want this!
Now here’s a real bonus meal if I ever did see one!
I made this with the ends of a bottom round roast I originally cut up into steaks to make my chicken fried steak for some guests a week or so ago. I’d used the solid center portion for the steaks and froze the other portion that’s not quite so solid.
Yesterday, I defrosted that meat and cut it into smaller cubes. It makes excellent stew meat and it’s more economical than buying it pre-cut. I look at it this way–I cut off the hunk that’s to one side of the fat that runs through the center of a bottom round and use that for either a pot roast or braising, then have the piece on the other side of the fat to use as stew or soup meat.
The ingredients here are really simple and I bet you have them all! When I say it’s your choice whether it’s soup or stew is your decision to thicken. Thicken it, and you’ve got stew with great-tasting gravy. Leave it alone and it’s a fantastic beef soup that’s a complete meal.
I use a packet of brown gravy mix made up per packet directions as a seasoning–it doesn’t make the gravy because too much liquid accumulates in the slow cooker for it to become thick. If you’d prefer to go the all-natural route or you are watching your sodium intake, then just replace that combo with 1 cup of reduced-sodium beef stock–commercial or homemade.
Likewise with the potatoes–I used canned with this, but quartered regular potatoes put in the slow cooker at the beginning with everything else, can also be done.
- 2 lbs lean beef stew meat, cut in cubes (I used bottom round)
- ¼ cup chopped onions
- 1 cup carrots
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced in half
- 1 can whole potatoes (cut the potatoes in half) -OR- 5 medium fresh potatoes, quartered
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 pkg brown gravy mix
- 1 cup water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or ¼ tsp dry
- Thickening (optional):
- 3 tbs flour
- ¼ cup water
- Place carrots, mushrooms, garlic and onions (and fresh potatoes if using) in the bottom of a 4-5 quart slow cooker.
- Place beef on top.
- Add thyme
- Mix up the gravy mix and water so there are no lumps.
- Pour gravy mixture over the beef & veggies.
- Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, high 3-4 hours
- If using canned potatoes, add them to the slow cooker during the last hour of cooking.
- To thicken, mix the flour & water. Turn cooker to high and stir in the flour/water mixture. Stir until it begins to thicken. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes.