I’ve not made a beef stew for awhile, but I remember that cutting all the meat and vegetables was labor intensive. I’m convinced I could bake and ice a three-layer wedding cake in the time it takes to get everything in my Crockpot.
Even so I was on a mission to make beef stew.
Cut the Chopping
To lessen the chopping, I cleverly asked the butcher at the meat counter if he would trim a chuck roast and cut it into about 1-1/2″ chunks. He said, “Sure,” and headed to the back room where such things take place.
But when I got home the roast had barely been trimmed and the pieces ranged from one-half to three inches in size. No time saved there.
Tom’s mother-in-law has figured our how to get meat very thinly sliced for making Vietnamese pho. Her butcher has been doing it for years. She thanks him with a regular gift of homemade eggrolls. I’m thinking if I can find a conscientious butcher, I should put him on my Christmas list.
The easy part of the stew is throwing everything in the Crockpot and letting it cook overnight. You, as well as your neighbors, benefit from the homey aroma at bedtime. The next morning you have a perfectly cooked stew to brighten your day.
I had the exact same experience with our local grocer’s butcher. But your beef stew recipe is worth the effort. My biggest help came from Trader Joe’s, where i could get baby carrots, pre-chopped onions, sliced mushrooms or tiny buttons, which really cuts down on the time and chopping. The cool weather makes the fragrance of that beef stew so enticing.