This is definitely a throw back recipe for me. My mom used to make this slow cooker beef stew quite often when we were growing up. I’m not sure why it’s called Nancy’s Beef Stew, although she does have a friend named Nancy…
***Update- I just talked to my mom and, yes, the recipe did come from her friend Nancy. But it turns out that Nancy called it Lynn’s Beef Stew, so apparently it is more complicated than I could have ever imagined. Lynn probably called it Grace’s Beef Stew and Grace called it Hamish’s beef stew and Hamish and his folk probably just called it stew.
My mom has never enjoyed cooking much, it was always more of a necessity than an enjoyment. And who can blame her? Have you ever looked at cookbooks from the 70’s? Blech, double blech! That colors in the food photography are just wrong. And you should not, I repeat should NOT be combining jello and tuna fish. Now there is this fancy thing called my grandpa calls the interweb which allows you to find recipes that are actually delicious and don’t involve the word “loaf.” But she didn’t have that luxury. She had to buy actual cookbooks and clip recipes from the newspaper. I know, the newspaper!
Anyway, we ate a lot of the same things over and over. Some were more desirable than others and there weren’t a lot of recipes that we ate growing up that I asked for when I got married. But this beef stew is one dish that I enjoyed as a child and still enjoy with my own family. It is really easy and satisfying. Great for a cold day and even better because it is a slow cooker recipe.
The strongman hates, HATES, HATES mushrooms. Even cream of mushroom soup is an abomination to him. I, however, adore them. Because I am nice and generous and kind and loving and sweet I almost always use two cans of cream of celery and omit the cream of mushroom soup. You can also add any additional vegetables you desire. I have added peas and green beans at times. You probably want to add them a little while before you serve the stew. Just long enough for them to warm up. Your peas would be pretty gross if you cooked them all day in a slow cooker.
Enjoy! And thanks Nancy, Lynn, Grace, Hamish and his folk.