freezer friendly and crowd pleasing beef stew

There's no denying it.  Ok, maybe if you live in the South you can deny it.  Here in Virginia it's cool and rainy and even if it warms up again, everyone will know it's Fall.  With the knowledge of what was ahead for us I took to stocking the freezer.  I've found freezer meal making isn't always simple, and sometimes it means long hours in the kitchen.  The beauty I find is that when I don't want to cook, I have something prepared.  When we decide to host or go somewhere last minute, I either have something already made or something to bring.  When I do want to cook I can have something like this beef stew made, and time to decide on making a new take on biscuits to go along side it.

Do you cook in big batches and then freeze the rest? Our family doesn't plan on meals out each week.  They happen a couple times a month, but they aren't a given or part of the meal plan I set for the week.  Eating in is where it's at for us in this season, and I'm a.o.k with that.

When I saw Joanna had a beef stew recipe packed with lots of vegetables I knew I wanted to try it.  I also knew I wanted to double it and freeze some.  I ended up tweaking her recipe just a bit and froze 3 gallon size bags in our freezer. 

Tip: make sure your soup cools before you transfer it to the bags.  Lay it flat on a cookie sheet to freeze, then stack the flattened bags in your freezer!

Like I said, I tweaked the recipe a bit.  I didn't add as much salt or seasoning.  I knew I could always add those things, but I couldn't take them away.  I'm happy with how this turned out!

My recipe below- based on the Original Recipe from the Magnolia Table 

Ingredients You'll Need:
  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • kosher salt + pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  •  1 white onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut or 2 cups chopped baby carrots
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 32 ounces beef broth.  I love better than bouillon because it's one less thing in my pantry!
  • one 14.5 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes.  Don't use fire roasted if you don't like the spice!
  • 1 can corn- and it's liquid
  • 1 large baking potato
  • 2 cups frozen peas
1. Season your meat with salt and pepper then heat the butter and let it melt, then add your beef and saute it.  You could cut some of the fat here and half the amount of butter.

2. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute about 10 minutes and then add in the flour, garlic powder, and more salt- about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.  Again, you can always add more salt, you can't take it away!

3. Add you broth, tomatoes, corn and it's  liquid, and the potato.  Add a cup of water if you want to make sure everything is covered and then bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for an hour.  Once it's been hanging out for awhile, you'll add in the frozen peas at the end and turn up the heat for about 5 minutes so they're cooked.  Now it's time to serve it up!

That was easy right?  I'm tempted to try this out in the Instant Pot for dinner tonight.  Hmm...

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