~ Easiest Stew Ever ~ No Kidding! ~

a slow cooker Oval Crock Pot

a slow cooker Oval Crock Pot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think by now you have learned not to look to me for fancy cuisine, gourmet delights, or even recipes with much more than five ingredients. But since it is November, the harbinger of cold weather, I thought I would share my recipe for the “Easiest Stew Ever” with you.

When I shared my Chili recipe in a post, I asked if you wanted my easy stew recipe. Several of you answered in the affirmative (big word for yes, I know-keep it simple stupid). A number of you nodded your heads vigorously (I could hear the rattle). So without further ado, I will give you the original recipe that my sister-in-law, Brenda, provided for me about two decades ago. Then I will tell you how I have adapted the recipe. Are you ready?

Here goes:


1 ½ lb. stewing beef

1 10 oz. can mushroom soup

1 envelope onion soup mix

¼ tsp. thyme

¼ tsp. pepper

1/3 cup sherry (or water)

Put all in casserole, cover tightly and cook 2 – 3 hours at 325 degrees. Brenda’s comment on the recipe: “All in one pot, extremely easy, very good…my kind of cooking.”

Now, I used to be a little bit of a snob about cooking with soup and soup mixes (I don’t know why—must have been from reading Gourmet magazine, not from cooking from it).

I have never made this recipe the way it was written, and a lot of times, I just throw the ingredients in the crock pot—so here is what I do ~

Put the soup and soup mix in the crock pot. Whisk it until it is smooth. (Sometimes I double the recipe). Then throw in the stewing beef—you don’t have to brown it. Add pepper and sometimes paprika if you have it.  I leave out the thyme because for some reason I do not like it. Add the water (as I never, ever have sherry and my husband does not like wine in his food.) I add more than a 1/3 cup of water (usually half a soup can unless I double it). And there you have it—

I usually cook it anywhere from 6-8 hours on low or four hours on high in the crock pot. Most of the time, I add carrots and onions and potatoes and then I have a complete meal.

Sometimes I will do it in the oven—but both ways are delicious. It makes surprisingly good gravy. If you make it without the potatoes and carrots, it is good on rice or noodles.

I have a whole binder full of recipes (not women) from my family. My sister instigated this recipe exchange about twenty two years ago, and for several Christmases members of my family would add three recipes. If there is a demand, I can make Saturday recipe day. Just to get your mouth watering– the next one I will share is my brother John’s Fried Bologna Sandwich. It is a gourmet delight (seriously).

What do you think? Should I make Saturday recipe day? And do you have any easy recipes to share or hints for fast meals?

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56 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sounds delish! I love to cook. Sometimes if I have the time and money, I’ll hang out in the kitchen trying my hand at something “gourmet,” or super involved, but the best foods are always those easy comfort foods that make your mouth water while simmering all day long…aaah, I am so making a stew today! 😉

  2. It does sound good – I love family recipes. They are always the easiest and instant favourites. We can save the Gourmet Magazine recipes for company. I still make my moms beef stroganoff with a package of onion soup mix – I could caramelize onions instead, but that would take a couple of hours as opposed to 20 minutes.

    If you ever have Guinness around, it is great as a liquid in slow cooked stew.

    I think we might have stew tonight now.. We’ll give your recipe a try.

    • I love the idea of the Guinness – thanks for the hint. Share you mom’s recipe some time – I love stroganoff

      • I might just do that. It’s certainly easy – something that came from the first generation of woman who worked outside the home and needed quick meals.

      • I am all for quick meals!

  3. I read through the original recipe and thought I would have to change this and this. When I got to your version I smiled exactly as I would have changed it. Of course I always use the slow cooker to make my soups, what is easier than not having to check the pot?

  4. Love this time of year because I don’t need any excuse to eat soup everyday! People look at me wierd when I’m eating it mid summer, but I just love it. Thanks for the new recipe!

  5. Perfect timing – sounds great and I am gonna do this tomorrow – thank you! I am usually devoid of cooking ideas – keep it coming!

    • it only takes one to ask and I will deliver — maybe I should go out and get the ingredients and cook this up myself–I am getting hungry

      • me too!

  6. If I ate beef, I’d make this for dinner tonight. Looks good…makes me **almost** yearn for my mom’s old-fashioned stew. Hope you’re having a good weekend, LouAnn!

    • I forget that some of my best blogger friends are vegetarians or some derivative thereof–I will pass along my bean salad recipes to you–I have a couple that are really good–by the way you shut off your comments–but I must say that your comments today on your post were (can’t think of the right word so I will use) thought-provoking

      • I am SO far behind that I have to turn off my comments to stay sane. 🙂 Please share the bean salad recipe next Saturday, thank you. I am happily catching up in the blogosphere.

      • will do – alongside my brother’s Fried Bologna sandwich–it is a hoot of a recipe even if you do not eat meat–he has a way with words!

      • Fried…bologna….sandwich?!?!! Well, I am no stranger to bologna. Grew up in a town called Yale, MI, where they have a bologna festival every year. That would make an interesting blog, would it not?

      • most certainly–I would send it to my brother to go with his recipe! (lol)

  7. I’m ready to eat it!

  8. Yes to your question about making one day a week – Recipe Saturday. I think I will try your mushroom soup version tonight.

  9. Sounds like a swell idea to me. Since I no longer actually make a meal per say and I am one of those (veg-i-tair-ee-ons) I make my own version of soup or stew using soy that looks like imitation ground meat or what ever vile name you care to give soy. However, I love reading receipes and some of them I can remove/ add what ever I want and it still comes out tasty to me. (I eat fish, rarely) so I am not a total veggie, nuts and all person.

    • next Saturday I will share a non meat recipe for all of you most non meat eaters – I admire you by the way–think it is a good way to go

  10. Simple quick warming and delicious? Tick tick tick tick 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. I can attest to the taste and ease of this recipe….yumm….yes make Saturday recipe day, love the idea.

  12. This sounds wonderful. My kind of cooking! Keep them coming …. (although I think I’ll pass on the fried bologna sandwich.)

    • bologna is no longer politically correct–but seriously fried bologna sandwiches are a delicacy! lol–read it anyway as my brother is quite entertaining

  13. My mouth is watering!!!!! Lol


  14. Mmmm, I love crock pot stews! And it tis the season for them.

    • yes it is — all this talk about stew, I went out today and bought some stewing beef and am going to make it for tomorrow–talked myself into it

  15. I love, love soups. Not too many kinds I don’t like so this one is going in the recipe book to try this winter..
    Oh, I’m hungry now 🙂

  16. I made made something very similar to this and my husband has always loved it. It’s great belly-warming, hearth food.

    • a lot of men like this guy of thing–my husband will eat it all in one sitting if I let him

  17. Amazing! I just emailed one of my blogging sisters for a good stew recipe! I love slow cooker/crock pot ones, and this sounds good to me–so thank you! And YES, I’m all for a Saturday recipe day–bring ’em on!! I made some really, seriously good barbeque beef in the crock pot recently–served it on Kaiser buns, mmmm! God bless you Big–love, Caddo

    • can you give me your secret–I have made pulled pork but never barbeque beef–hope you try my stew–I actually like it better in the crock pot than oven

  18. That looks like a delicious recipe, and easy too. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I grew up with fried bologna and mustard sandwiches. We usually had them for Saturday’s lunch. If you want to make it a real gourmet recipe, you have to make Bolognioes.

    • tell me tell me–what are Bolognioes?

      • You cut concentric circles out of the fried boloney. That was the only thing my friend’s kids would eat. For a special treat, they got them cut in a spiral. They say that presentation is everything.

      • very cool

  20. If it’s easy, I’ll try it. Thanks!

  21. Love stews…sounds great thanks

  22. sometimes I make a pot roast like this.. good stuff and so darn easy!

    • I have used the onion soup mix but not the mushroom soup with a pot roast — but that sounds delicious–I am going to try it

  23. Sounds yummy and oh so easy! Definitely my kind of cooking. I’m going to have to give this one a try.

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