There really is nothing better then a good beef stew. Throughout the summer the barbeque is the king of dinner. As the weather cool the crock pot comes out and the beef stew start too cook.

This is really a basic stew however it can be modified to suit your taste. This will get you started in the right direction and you can take it from there.

Start by getting the crock pot set up and heated. Fill the pot with hot tap water and start to heat it up. I don't like to heat up the crock pot without liquid in it. I don't want to crack it.

Then in a large saucepan add some oil to the pot and let it heat up add the beef and start to brown it. The goal is to seer the meat and lock in the juice. Keep turning the cubes so all the sides get browned. Keep an eye on the heat, you don't want to burn the beef to the pan. I generally use about 6 on my stove. The meat should cook about half way then remove it from the pot.

Add a little oil if needed and start adding your cut carrots, potatoes and onion. Get everything moving around so everything gets covered in the oil. You also want to scrape off the bits left on the pan from seering the meat. There is a ton of flavor left in the "pan drippings".

Allow these veggies to start to cook down. You don't want the saucepan to get too hot or to have the veggies start to dry out and stick. You can add a half a cup of soup stock to cool things down. Add the meat once the veggies have heated and started to cook through. Add about a half teaspoon of salt now also.

Time to add a liquid to this. It is ideal to use beef or vegatable stock for this but hot water will work also. Add enough liquid to cover all the veggies and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.

By this time the crock pot is ready. Pour out the water and add the soup, be real careful. I have been spashed and it hurts so I have started to use a laddle until almost all of it is in the crockpot.

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 beef 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.

Let cook in the crock pot for about 5 hours on low and 2.5 or on high. Just before you serve it will need to be thickened. I use about 3 table spoons of flour mixed in 3/4 of a cup of milk. Pour in and stir. Let cook for another 20 minutes or until thickened.

Let leftovers cool and put into the fridge or freezer and enjoy when ever you fell the need for some comfort food.

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