Now that it’s off their menu, you can make Cracker Barrel’s beef stew at home!
Thank Goodness For Copycat Recipes!
About a month ago, my neighbor and I took a trip to Cracker Barrel because we wanted to treat ourselves (and not cook that evening LOL). Both of us had our favorites that we looked forward to eating.
However, it’s been a long time since we visited. We were disappointed to learn that many of the dishes we liked were removed from the menu. Needless to say, we were not happy campers.
Then a couple of weeks ago, a reader emailed me with a request for Cracker Barrel’s beef stew. I learned from him that this, too, was removed from the menu. I told him of our experience and he understood full well how we felt. In fact, he told me he nearly cried when they took the strawberry shortcake off the menu. I honestly wonder why very popular items disappear from a restaurant’s offerings. My idea is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it–especially when stuff is popular.
So here is a credible copycat that I adapted from Noshing With The Nolands, for their stew! Now you can make it forever at home!
Beef Stew In The Summer?
You bet! Comfort food really knows no season.
You can easily convert this to make it in the slow cooker and even better in the Instant Pot or any pressure cooker. The Instant Pot is a better choice in my opinion because you can also brown the meat in it. And in the same pot so no extra dishes to wash!
Don’t Skip The Browning!
Although you may be tempted to bypass this step–don’t do it.
If you think the flour should be reduced–again, don’t do it.
These two things are absolutely essential for the proper flavor. The combination of the browned bits and the slightly “toasted” flour are the key to the great taste of this stew.
Copycat Cracker Barrel Beef Stew
- 1 pound stewing beef in medium sized chunks
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 medium potatoes cut into chunks
- 5 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 large turnips cut into chunks
- 1 quart beef stock high quality see NOTES
- 1 beef bouillon cube like Herb-Ox
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme -OR- 1/4 tsp dried
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 cup peas
- Mix the flour with salt and pepper to taste, and toss with the meat.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large pot and over medium high heat brown beef in flour, add all the flour.
- Stir often so the flour and meat doesn't burn, but browns nicely. Remove meat to a plate.
- Add the last tablespoon of oil and saute the onion until translucent scraping up an browned bits from the meat.
- Transfer the meat back to the pot, add the potatoes, turnips and carrots. Add the stock, thyme and ketchup. Stir well to combine.
- Simmer over low heat, stirring often for 1 1/2 hours. Adjust seasoning. Remove thyme sprigs if using fresh.
- Add frozen peas just before serving. Stir to defrost and serve.
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**Adapted from Noshing With The Nolands