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Today I wanted to share this Slow Cooker Tuscan Beef Stew because it is a family favorite, but the story behind it is what makes it so special. I love slow-cooker meals, but this one takes the cake!
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When you marry your high school sweetheart, you learn a lot of family recipes that carry with you throughout your marriage. Two families + many great cooks = a lot of family favorite meals, like this beef stew.
I can remember Friday night Football games like they were yesterday. Every Friday night, I would forgo hanging out with my friends at my high school and I’d head across town, with my parents, to his football games.
We went to all of Mickey’s football games. ALL of his games… in that cold Pennsylvania weather. Snow, rain, more snow… he played in that cold weather, and we watched. (I did this for 4 years of high school… and 4 years of college.)
One of my favorite parts of Friday night football was the part that came after the game. My parents would drop me off at his house after the game and wait for us would be his grandma’s soup.
Mickey’s family and I would eat while we waited for him to come home from the game: happy for a win or upset after a loss. Either way, he was glad to have something filling and warm to eat.
One of my favorite soups was her Italian Wedding Soup and her Slow Cooker Tuscan Beef Stew. They were both filling and so good! She always used Hunt’s canned tomatoes in all of her recipes. I do the same.
Hunt’s diced tomatoes are steam-peeled, which means that they peel them with steam from water, not chemicals. I know it’s not the easiest way, but it’s the right way. This eliminates the chance of chemical by-products going back into the earth.
When Mickey and I were married, after college, his grandma gave me a packet of papers. When I unfolded each paper, one after the next, they were filled with her favorite recipes: chocolate chip cookies, cakes, pies, wedding soup and Tuscan Beef Stew.
I’ve made each one of them for him and our children, as my way of carrying on a tradition.
Here is her (Very easy!) recipe:
Slow Cooker Tuscan Beef Stew
- 1 Can Hunt’s Petite Diced Tomatoes: Be sure to use Hunt’s petite diced tomatoes. They taste so much better because Hunt’s picks their tomatoes at the peak of ripeness and can them within hours. This means that instead of ripening on a shelf like other brands, they ripen on the vine. That’s why they taste to flavorful & juicy.
- 3 carrots cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic (from a jar).
- 2 pounds stew meat (I use beef tips), browned in the skillet
- 1 Can Tomato Soup
- 1 Can Beef Broth
- 1/2 Cup water
- 2 cans white kidney beans, rinsed & drained (save for the end)
- Optional: Ditalini noodles. (makes it a little more filling & kid-friendly)
- Optional: shredded parmesan cheese.
- Brown the meat in skillet
- Peel & cut carrots
- Put everything, except the beans & noodles, into the crockpot.
- Cook for 5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
- While this is cooking, boil your noodles in a separate pot. When they are al dente, drain & set aside. You can add these at the end.
- Once everything cooked, turn your crockpot to LOW and pour in beans and noodles (optional).
- Cook for 20 minutes.
Optional: Serve with parmesan cheese on top.
This recipe is so filling, comforting and just plain GOOD. I could eat it every single night, and so could my kids! Between this and my Great-Grandma’s Home-Made Spaghetti sauce, we have some great family recipes to pass down to our kids.