I think that I have started every blog post for the past year…. “My life is so hectic these days!” or “Is anyone else crazy busy right now?”
No seriously, I can’t even get over how ‘active,’ ‘engaged,’ ‘packed’ my schedule is these days.
The thing is I know I am not alone!
I have recently heard all my real life friends and even all my invisible internet friends, voice their concerns about hectic and full schedules.
I even thought that November would be a bit slower than normal, and it is in some areas of my life, but in other areas it is full speed ahead with deadlines, multiple birthday celebrations (including yours truly), various out of town excursions and oh yeah, holiday happenings.
Since this time of year is jammed packed with
errands fun (or if you are like me and the rest of the world, and just your ‘life’ is jammed packed), I rely heavily on quick meals and more specifically my slow cooker!
I have professed my love for my slow cooker many times on this blog and I must confess that I don’t think my love for this simple kitchen appliance will ever end.
I mean seriously people, if you don’t have a slow cooker run out and buy one stat! It makes dinner a breeze (dump, set and go) and if you are like me, who gets a tad bit irrational when you are hungry and are so delirious you can’t even think about dinner, much less cooking it (only shoveling food in your face) after a long day, a slow cooker is a life.saver. Not to mention most slow cooker meals can be made for $10 or less (which means more money for Black Friday shopping)!
My latest slow cooker recipe is a fall-inspired beef stew. And I know what you are thinking… “Isn’t all stew considered fall food?” And yes, you are right, but this stew is rich in fall flavors. With pumpkin, sweet potatoes and a hearty Tavern Style stew sauce (made easily with Campbell’s new Slow Cooker Sauces) this meal has fall (and hectic) days written all over it!
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Beef Stew
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes plus 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low Serves: 4
1 pound beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 (12-ounce) bottle seasonal spiced or stout beer*
1 (13-ounce) package Campbell’s Tavern Style Pot Roast Slow Cooker Sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour, steak seasoning, salt and black pepper. Add cubed beef to flour mixture and toss to coat, shaking off excess flour.
Heat 1 ½ tablespoons oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Working in batches, add flour coated beef to hot pan and cook until just browned on all sides. Add browned beef to slow cooker.
Add remaining oil to saute pan. Add onions and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until caramelized and fragrant. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add sauteed onions and garlic to slow cooker.
Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours on on high for 4-5 hours. Add additional salt and pepper, if needed, right before serving.
*Note: Beef broth or tomato juice may be substituted.
This post brought to you by Campbell’s Dinner Sauces. Weekend-worthy dinners with only weekday-level effort needed! Learn more at http://www.campbellsauces.com/.