As I mentioned in my last post, last evening I threw together the ingredients for a beef stew into my slow cooker. After attending to it for about the first two hours I then had to go to sleep. I was a bit apprehensive about what I would find when I woke up but I was optimistic. Before I went to bed, the whole thing seemed like it was going right. It smelled great and more importantly, it looked like it was becoming a real and tasty stew. I remember the pot roast I made and two hours in, it looked a goopy mess that was heading towards a slow boil.
Upon waking, I immediately went to check on the stew. Everything was still in good shape. I took a spoon to the stew and stirred it around. The carrots, celery, and onion were soft but not too mushy. I poked the potatoes a bit and discovered they were still a bit too crunchy for my own liking but they were definitely cooked. The beef itself was nearly perfect. It was soft and easily broke into pieces when I prodded it with a spoon. Best of all, my kitchen smelled like a home-made and old-fashioned stew. Because of the potatoes, I decided to leave the stew cooking for another hour or so. After that, it was ready to eat.
Though I’m happy with how things turned out, there are some improvements to be made. My slow cooker is definitely too small for my liking. I had to ease up on the amount of vegetables, especially the potatoes, I added to the slow cooker. This was because there wasn’t a lot of space left after I added the beef. I could have used less meat but I didn’t want to split recipe into two. I’d prefer a little more veggies in the mix but that’s just my preference. I also chopped up my onions a bit too finely as they were mostly lost into the stew itself.
I’m tempted to get a bigger slow cooker now that I’ve successfully cooked one recipe with it. A larger one would allow me to cook easier and a wider variety of items. Perhaps, it’s time to visit Wal-Mart.