2large Russet potatoespeeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
3medium carrotscut into 1-inch pieces
2stalkscelerycut into 1-inch pieces
Pour flour (1/4 cup) into a 1-gallon Ziplock bag. Add meat (2 1/2 pounds), in batches, and shake to evenly coat all pieces.
Add oil (2 tablespoons) to a large skillet and heat. When the oil is hot, brown the meat in batches without crowding it. Transfer meat, when it's browned, directly to the crockpot. Add 1 1/2 cups water and bouillon cubes (2) to the skillet and cook, stirring up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet and dissolving the bouillon cubes. Remove from heat and add tomato soup (1 can), Italian seasonings (3 teaspoons), bay leaves (2), and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon) and stir to combine. Pour into the crockpot over beef. Add the onions (2), potatoes (2), carrots (3), celery (2 stalks), and mushrooms (8 ounces).
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until the beef and veggies are tender. If needed, add more water. Add the thawed peas (3/4 cup) to the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. Discard bay leaves and serve.
Browning: This stew recipe begins in a skillet. It is best to use a heavy-bottomed skillet for this step because it will distribute heat more evenly.
Be sure not to overcrowd your pan when browning your meat. Overcrowding traps pockets of heat and prevents all surfaces from cooking evenly.
Sauce: When making the ‘sauce’ you’ll be stirring up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan (commonly known as deglazing) and dissolving bouillon cubes. I find that a wooden spoon works best because it’s sturdy and it won’t scratch your cookware.
Bouillon: Speaking of bouillon cubes, it’s best not to add salt until the end. Bouillon cubes are pretty salty, and you may not need extra.
Mushrooms: This slow cooker beef stew recipe calls for mushrooms and they really take the meatiness factor of this dish to the next level.
Soup: This recipe also calls for a can of condensed tomato soup (undiluted) unlike slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix. Your stew will not taste like tomato soup!
Instead, you’ll get slightly sweet nuances to balance out those salty bouillon cubes. It’s a rich, complex flavor profile that is off the charts on the yummy factor!