Something you should know about me is that I have to be more creative than the average cook when it comes to meals. I adhere to kosher dietary laws (well, let me specify; as kosher as I can get in West Texas). Not only that, but my fiance is lactose intolerant and gluten intolerant. This often makes for some interesting dishes as we are relatively limited in our food choices.
I cook a large amount of food on the weekends to last for all week, since I keep a full-time job and also have 2 Etsy shops that take up most of my time. This is by far one of my favorites.
You will need: 2 lbs beef stew meat, package of celery, 4 potatoes, package of mushrooms of your choice, package of ranch seasoning, package of onion soup mix, one medium onion, 2 cups baby carrots, butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, steak seasoning, one cup of water, one large crockpot
1. Turn the crockpot on low. Add about a teaspoon of olive oil in the bottom. Open the beef stew meat, sprinkle an ample amount of steak seasoning (I use Savory Steak by Red Monkey) and rub it in. Dump into the crockpot, then add the water.
2. Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and dump in crockpot over the meat. Sprinkle ranch seasoning (I used a Hidden Valley packet) and the onion soup mix (I used Lipton) over everything. Cover with the lid and cook for 3 hours on Low. Go watch an episode of Hoarders and get motivated to clean your bathroom.
3. After your meat has been simmering for 3 hours and your bathroom is clean, chop your celery and onions and get the two cups of sweet baby carrots ready.
4. Take your mixed vegetables and lay them on top of a sheet of aluminum foil. Place two teaspoons of margerine or butter (that may not seem healthy, but in Texas, that's how we like it ;) Wrap up the ends so that the vegetables are fully enclosed.
5. Thinly slice the potatoes so that they form pretty little circles. This is going to add the "oooooh...ahhhhh" factor later.
6. Wrap up the potatoes just like you did with the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of butter before closing up.
7. Place your wrapped vegetables on top of the stewed meat (you heard me: in the crockpot, on top of what's already cooking). Close of lid again and let it continue to cook on low for another 4 hours.
8. After the 7 hours is over, take out the wrapped foils and open them up. You should have some wonderful smelling tender vegetables ready to go. Also ready should be a wonderfully flavorful and tender stewed beef. What's even better, you can use the stewed juices later for future soups and cooking and even freeze them :O)
I pretty much spent about $40 for the whole thing, which is not bad for the weekend dinner/lunches for all week. Enjoy!