Crock Pot: Savory Beef Stew

I have several family members who are now venturing out on their own and starting their own homes, or going off to college. One of the first things I love to give is a crock pot. This is a versatile piece of equipment and it can even be used in some college dorms. I even tuck in a couple of easy recipes and some tips to get them started. Here is one of them for making beef stew. Adapted from an old recipe of my grandmother's, It is simple and anyone can follow the directions to make a delicious, hearty meal with little effort. The pot does most of the work of cooking the meal.

In small towns all across America after WW II children shared bedrooms with siblings. Whole families shared one bathroom. Some families had a car. If dad drove off in it every morning he would take mom and the family to the stores on Saturday. In northern towns where there were commuter trains into the city, women, still in their robes and slippers, took husbands to the station to catch the 6:45. Dads on trains and buses had time for the paper and easy beef stew even read books.

I let the stew cook for an hour or so on high and then I taste it and start to season. It will need some salt, pepper and garlic powder. I also add some simple beef stew bouilon cubes and some onion soup mix as well. At this point you can also add some frozen corn and green beens or whatever else you want.

Add to the mix the abundance of artificial colorings, preservatives,artificial flavours, excessive sodium quantities and sugar and we are often making dietary choices for ourselves that would make a nutritionist cringe. It hardly seems wise to pass on our poor food choices to our unwitting pets.

Carne guisada has some similarities to chili. The biggest difference is that the meat is the star in the guisada, while the chile peppers, and their combinations, are emphasized in chili.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly dust the meat pieces with the flour. Heat the oil over high heat, in a Dutch oven or large skillet. Brown the flour-dusted meat quickly. Add all remaining ingredients, and simmer on the stove for about five minutes.

Nine 75 is a great place for lunch. You will find some of the same items that are on the dinner menu and some lunch only items like the nine 75 hamburger for $8.00, whisky slow cooker beef bourguignon for $8.00 and for desert, the flourless chocolate cake for $8.00.

If you feel that there isn't enough liquid, you can add a little bit of boiling water to the mix as you see fit. Just keep in mind that the juices will rise over time.

If you're not a store brand shopper because you've been concerned about quality, give them a try. They're usually every bit as good as other products, basic beef stew crock pot the price is right. Kroger brand foods convinced me.