This is a simple slow cooker, no prep, recipe for beef and vegetable stew with orange juice for extra sweetness. I’ve got a lot of fresh foods that have been lurking in the kitchen for some weeks, so was keen to crack through them a little bit more (not use them up as I’ve still a little more!), but it’s a start. These are my Christmas leftovers still! It’s never ending isn’t it.
This is a no prep recipe, so everything has gone in raw. There is no browning of the meat, just tip it all in, twist that dial and run!
I cooked this in a 3.5 litre slow cooker. It will make four portions, I’ll probably eat three in the next 3-4 days and freeze the final portion as I’ll be fed up with looking at it!
Ingredients, Serves 3-4:
- 400-500 grams of cubed beef, whatever pack size is being sold!
- 1 large parsnip
- 3 medium potatoes
- 1 medium-large onion
- 1-3 sticks of celery, sliced
- 1 tin of butter beans
- 1 small carton of orange juice, 200ml
- 2-3 teaspoons of Herbes de Provence, or your favourite dried herbs
- 1-2 Oxo cubes, or 1 tablespoon of gravy granules
- Put the beef raw into the slow cooker
- Peel and cut the parsnips, potatoes, onion and add them to the slow cooker. You choose the size you cut them to, chunky if you wish, or thin. Chunkier will hold their shape more during cooking.
- Drain and rinse the butter beans and add those to the slow cooker
- Add the herbs, crumbled Oxo, salt and pepper
- Pour the orange juice into the slow cooker, then refill the empty container twice with water and add that to the slow cooker: so that’s 200ml orange juice + 400ml water.
- Turn the slow cooker onto High for 1-1½ hours until you can see it’s hot. Turn the slow cooker down to low and let it bubble away for 5-6 hours until you fancy it!
- An hour before serving time you can check it’s got enough liquid/gravy for your tastes and now’s the time to make any final adjustments if you wish to add a little more. Sometimes you want a lot of gravy and sometimes you just fancy a big bowl of chunky stew 🙂
What to Serve With Beef Stew
Beef stew can be served with lots of side dishes, including but not limited to:
- Stew and dumplings. You can make microwave dumplings by scooping out a ladle of gravy and making them in 3 minutes just before you serve up.
- Baked Dumplings – make up a simple dumping mix of suet/flour, or flour/oil, put some of the stew into an ovenproof dish and top it with the dumpling mix and bake in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes to cook and brown.
- A Cobbler topping – make up a simple scone recipe, then put some of the stew into an ovenproof dish and top it with the scone mix and put the dish into the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes to cook and brown.
- A medley of fresh, mixed vegetables, steamed – I use the microwave to steam vegetables that I’ve got in the house that need using up.
- Mashed potato
- A baked potato on the side.
Menu Cost – £3:
This was quite a frugal recipe to make for dinner. I’d bought the beef steak when it was Lidl’s Offer of the Week, costing £2.19 for 400 grams. The celery had been Offer of the Week at 39p and this recipe used ¼ of that. The three potatoes had been bought at a ridiculously low 29p for 2.5Kg and I’ve used about 3p in this recipe. Onions cost about 4p each and the tin of butter beans cost me 33p. The orange juice was (from memory) about 14p/carton. The parsnip was one of a 2-pack which cost 19p, so it’s 10p for the parsnip. That’s a total of £2.93 – so round it up to £3 for the salt/pepper/herbs. This works out to 75p/portion, so not one of the cheapest meals I’ve made, but the weather’s cold and icy, and, as they say “I’m worth it” 🙂
Most of these ingredients I’ve used were actually Christmas leftovers!
- The celery I’d bought in early December, to keep the celery fresh I’d wrapped it in foil to make it last until I needed it for my Christmas Day Nut Roast recipe, but five weeks after Christmas Day it’s still fresh but needed using up.
- The parsnip was one of a pack of two large parsnips I’d bought to make roast parsnips for Christmas Day, so I bought these just before Christmas.
- The potatoes were part of a bag of Maris Piper potatoes from Aldi that I’d bought in Christmas week. Maris piper potatoes aren’t ideal for a slow cooker stew as they will tend to become too soft and mushy, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me using them up. You can see in the photo how there are a few sprouts forming – you can use sprouting potatoes – I keep them in a green stay fresh bag to prolong the life.
Using a slow cooker is a great way to make an easy stew without prep – you don’t have to pre-cook or brown meat. Simply empty raw meat into the slow cooker and add any other ingredients you have, then add a liquid, which can be any fruit juice, beer, cider, or just gravy…. what’ve you got that could be tossed in?