Beef stew, frequently considered an inexpensive way to make a hearty meal, is truly one of those Crock-Pot dishes you can prepare in the morning and serve after a day at work. Because it’s a stew, you can use whatever vegetables you like, though very tender vegetables such as summer squash should be added near the end of the cooking time. Use a chuck roast, bottom round or top round if your market doesn’t carry cubed beef for stew. The long cooking time tenderizes the meat.
Place beef cubes, sliced and peeled carrots, chopped onions, cubed and peeled potatoes and other vegetables you like, such as green beans or celery, in the Crock-Pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, thyme and chopped garlic. Combine a carton of beef stock with a few teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and pour it into the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 8 or 9 hours, or until the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked through.
Taste the stew and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Combine a few teaspoons of tomato paste with a few tablespoons of flour and about half a cup of stew liquid, mix well and stir the mixture into the stew half an hour before it’s finished.