I’ve been searching for some good slower cooker recipes. I’m talking about the kind of recipes where I could just literally dump the ingredients in my crock pot, turn it on and and after several hours my meal is ready. Yep…I want something easy.
I know crock pot cooking has become extremely popular recently. My only issue is many recipes still require lots of prep work.
So again…I was on a mission…and then I discovered Slow Cooker Freezer Meals. These are meals you prepare, freeze and when ready you put it directly into your slow cooker.
I don’t want to get sidetracked. But for the purpose of this story, my latest freezer cooking adventure took place one afternoon when I was making chicken & dumplings for dinner.
While I had some split chicken breasts simmering to make broth for my chicken and dumplings, I figured I might as well put together a freezer meal.
I decided on beef stew. This was my first time attempting homemade beef stew. It was also my first time making a freezer meal meant for a slow cooker. Talk about experimenting. 😉
I found a great Freezer Beef Stew recipe HERE. I prepared two batches of it.
I first mixed up the beef stew liquid mixture. I cut my beef. I peeled and cut the carrots and potatoes. I placed the beef, carrots and potatoes in a freezer bag and then poured the liquid mixture on top. I closed up the bags and labeled it as “Uncooked Slow Cooker Beef Stew.”
Meanwhile, while I was preparing my beef stew, the chicken and broth for my Chicken & Dumplings was coming along nicely. After about 1 hour, it was complete. I took out the split chicken breast and let it cool. I then pulled the chicken. I had more pulled chicken than I needed for the Chicken & Dumplings so I took about 3 cups of the chicken and placed in freezer bag.
When all was done that afternoon, I had the following ready to freeze:
- 2 Freezer Beef Stew meals
- plus 3 cups of pulled chicken
And don’t forget I cooked a meal (the Chicken & Dumplings) ready for that night’s dinner.
So the BIG question is how was the Beef Stew when cooked?
I decided to wait until my family actually had a chance to taste this beef stew before posting about it. The result…it was delicious. I took it out of the freezer and thawed it in the refrigerator about 24 hours before putting it into my crock pot. I cooked it on low for about 7 hours. My husband, who is a big beef stew fan, loved it.
I really loved it’s convenience from freezer to refrigerator to slower cooker to a yummy meal. I can’t wait to try another freezer slow cooker meal. Stay tuned…
How about you? Do you like to cook using you crock pot? Have you ever tried a freezer slow cooker meal?
Slow Cooker Freezer Beef Stew Recipe
(Adapted from Real Mom Kitchen)
1 cup Diced Onion (or 1 tablespoon onion powder)
3 cups Beef Broth
2 cups Diced Carrot
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Cup Cubed Red Potato
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 ½ lbs. Beef Stew Meat
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tablespoon flour
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp Tomato Paste
2 Tbsp cornstarch (if desired to thicken)
Combine and mix together onion, beef broth, brown sugar, salt, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, flour, garlic and tomato paste in a bowl.
Put beef stew meat, carrots and potatoes into a gallon size zip lock freezer bag. Pour wet mixture into bag. Remove as much excess air, close bag and freeze.
To cook, thaw completely in refrigerator and cook in crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. Time varies depending on slow cooker. Mine usually takes no more than 6 hours.
If you want to thicken the stew, then add 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water and add it to the cooked stew. Turn slow cooker on high and cook for 30 more minutes.
I’m on a mission to make food ahead of time and freezing it. If you missed my previous Freezer Friday posts, then be sure to find them HERE. My goal is to make and freeze food in less than 2 hours every 1 to 2 weeks. I don’t necessarily mean whole meals but food items that we can get from the freezer. It provides us homemade food that is convenient while also saving us money.
(This is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.)