Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Beef Stew

on November 25, 2016

Are you tired of eating leftover turkey? I have a great recipe for you today that is NOT turkey and that is perfect for the upcoming holiday season when time is of the essence and you don’t have a lot of time to make a great meal. This recipe for Old-Time Beef Stew is from an old cookbook series that my mom had years ago (and I now have in my possession) from Better Homes and Gardens, called the Creative Cooking Library. The book that this one came out of is called So-Good Meals, and believe it or not, the section it’s under is called “Meals Men Like”. Seriously? Um – women like them, too. I know it was a different time, but wow. Anyway, there are some great recipes in these books, and this is one that I’ve been making since I could write like I did on this one to use “no thickening”. The recipe is for making this in a Dutch oven, but I use my crock pot and just throw it all in.


This is one of my all-time favorites!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Old-Time Beef Stew

If making this in a Dutch oven, brown the meat:

2 Tablespoons fat (I use olive oil)

2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1 1/2″ cubes (I will sometimes use a more economical round steak for this)

Heat the fat and brown the meat on all sides.


1 medium onion, sliced

1 clove garlic (they say to take it out, but I mince it and leave it in)

2 cups boiling water

1 Tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 or 2 bay leaves

Dash allspice or cloves

Cover and simmer (not boil) for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove bay leaf and garlic.


6 carrots, cut in chunks

1 pound small white onions (or whole onions cut in chunks)

6 medium potatoes, cubed (optional)

Cover and simmer 30-45 minutes longer or until everything in the pot is tender.

If desired, thicken the gravy (I clearly thought when I first made this in about 4th grade, that this step wasn’t necessary).

Combine in a jar:

1/4 cup cold water

2 Tablespoons flour

Shake to blend.

Stir into mixture.

Cook, stirring constantly, until gravy thickens and boils.

Gently cook 5 minutes more.

To cook in crock pot:

You can brown the meat for more flavor, but I don’t. I’m all about quick and easy. I just put everything into the crock pot in the morning, turn it on low and let it go until dinner time. I never thicken it.


Please excuse my very well used crock pot – it IS clean. I promise. I just put in the cubes of meat – no browning.


Next in go the veggies and spices. Put on the cover and turn it on! Dinner is done!


This is really more like a soup when you make it in the crock pot. The Dutch oven method makes more of a stew. You could serve this with a green salad, some crusty bread or crackers, and some fruit.


There’s nothing better on a cold winter’s day when you’ve been running around shopping, or baking, or wrapping. Throw this all into the crock pot, run your errands or do your chores, and dinner is ready when you are!! This stew is delicious and I know it will become one of your favorites, too! Well, your man will like it. Oh come on, everyone will like this stew!!!





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