2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes and well trimmed of fat
about 1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced (or use baby-cut carrots for convenience)
1 rib celery (optional), sliced
3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small onion, roughly chopped
one 10 ounce package frozen cut green beans (do not thaw)
one 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes
beef base or bouillon mixed with about 1/2 C. boiling water until dissolved
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
few drops Worcestershire sauce (optional)
How to make it
Spray a 3.5 or 4-quart crockpot with no-stick cooking spray.
Combine flour and pepper. Toss with beef cubes to coat well. Place meat in crockpot. Add carrots, celery (if using), onion, green beans, and tomatoes.
In a small bowl, stir together beef base or bouillon/water mixture, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over meat and vegetables and stir gently to combine (crockpot will be pretty full). Cover and cook on LOW setting 10-12 hours. Before serving, make a smooth paste of flour and cold water. Stir into stew and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 mins.
Note: A boneless beef chuck roast cut into cubes, like beef stew meat, is more tender than the prepackaged stew meat, which is a combination of whatever cuts the butcher has left at the end of the day, so you're never quite sure what's in there. To save time, prep the fresh vegetables and potatoes the night before. Store the vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Store the potatoes in cold water in a separate airtight container to keep them from turning brown. The next morning, just mix everything together in the crockpot and go!