Every time I hear the words “beef stew” it reminds me of a terrible, no good, very bad day I had 10 years ago…
I was on the way to take one of my very last college finals and was rear-ended as I pulled onto campus. As we got out of our cars, the girl who hit me handed me her phone and asked that I talk to her dad. He begged me not to call the police. He did a not-so-good job of trying to convince both myself and his daughter that we did not want to be late to our finals and we could worry about fixing my car later. Because I’m not a total idiot, I didn’t disregard the red flags. After being a complete jerk on the phone with my mom (he threatened her!) the police were finally called. I got into my car afterwards and just sobbed. I had just lost my dad and a girl is supposed to be able to call him in these situations. (Bugs and car stuff, duh!) He would know what to do. He would have put that jerk in his place so fast but in the most respectable, ethical way possible. They’d be shaking hands by the end of the conversation, Mr. Jerk would have two self-help books to read as a homework assignment, and he would have vowed to be a better person. Mr. Jerk would be sitting at home later that night asking himself whether he just encountered the biggest smart ass on the planet or the most intelligent and kind human being in existence. (It’s both. I speak from experience.) Either way, he would have never seen it coming.
After my final, I got a phone call that I didn’t get a job I had applied for. It would have been my first “adult” job and I reeeeallly wanted this one. I think I cried on the phone with my mom the entire way home.
That day sticks in my head for a million reasons. I remember feeling sorry for the poor girl that hit me. She was so embarrassed by her father’s behavior. I remember having my first day really wishing I could talk to my dad. Mostly, I remember driving home that night and mom cooking beef stew for dinner. As the two of us sat down to dinner, she told me she figured I could use some comfort food. And it was perfect.
This isn’t my mom’s recipe but I promise to share that one with you sometime. (Seriously, THE BEST but we were aiming for something a little healthier. If you’ve seen my mom, you know she doesn’t have to worry about this.) In typical Cason and Kat fashion, we search Pinterest high and low and basically combine 10 different recipes to create our perfect version. Here is where we landed! SO GOOD.
Crockpot Beef Stew
:: 2-3 lbs beef chuck, cut into large pieces
:: 1 lb carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
:: 8oz of mushrooms, halved
:: 1 large onion, diced
:: Fresh Market “Anything Goes” Spice Rub
:: 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
:: 2 tsp Dijon mustard
:: 2 cups beef broth
:: fresh rosemary sprigs
:: salt and pepper, to taste
:: olive oil
NOTE: If you’re not eating low carb like the Rainwater Casa is, I definitely recommend adding potatoes to your crockpot and serving with warm crusty bread. (In the words of Cameron Diaz, “I just want to eat carbs without wanting to kill myself!”)
1 | Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Working in batches, add a few pieces of beef to the pan and brown on all sides. When browned, transfer to the crockpot. Repeat with remaining beef.
2 | Place carrots and mushrooms in with the beef. Generously season with “Anything Goes” spice rub.
3 | Add onion to the pan you browned the beef in. Stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add balsamic, Dijon, and broth. Stir until well combined.
4 | Pour the whole mixture into the crockpot over the beef, carrots, and mushrooms. Place rosemary sprigs on top.
5 | Cook stew in the crockpot on low for 7-8 hours. (LOW AND SLOW is the secret to tender beef in the crockpot! ) Shred beef with two forks in the broth mixture. Serve when ready!
Because I love a happy ending, my car did get fixed AND I got a phone call just a few weeks later from the same company with a second job they wanted me to apply for. I got it J