5-Ingredient Homemade Beef Stew

We have had the world's funkiest weather in the Bay Area lately. On Monday my back and shoulders got burned while gardening, and today I'm all snuggled up in a heavy sweater and fuzzy slippers.

I've been getting emails asking for "easier" recipes --- so I dug through the cabinets and freezer and made a delicious and hearty beef stew using ONLY 5 INGREDIENTS!!

I'd totally pat myself on the back, but I'm still burnt...

The Ingredients
serves 6
2 pounds beef stew meat
1 (16-ounce) jar southwest salsa (has corn, black beans, onions, tomatoes, chiles)
4 cups beef broth
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup baby carrots, or chopped carrot

The Directions

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Put the meat into the bottom of your cooker and add the rest of the ingredients --- there is no need for any other seasoning; the southwest salsa provides plenty of flavor all on it's own. If you can't find this particular kind of salsa, you can certainly add frozen or canned corn or diced potatoes, or anything else you'd like. 
I was trying to keep the ingredient listing to 5, and to not pull out a cutting board, but if you'd like to doctor it up with veggies you have in the house, go for it!
Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the meat is so tender it falls apart when poked.

Serve with crusty bread and a green salad. I made a loaf of homemade gluten free bread in another slow cooker. I used this recipe, but added sliced garlic cloves, diced onion, and a teaspoon of kosher salt to the batter.

The Verdict

This was a successful meal! I was pleased at how the salsa and beef broth created a fantastic soup base, and was thrilled at how easy this was. It took no time to plop everything into the pot, and because I didn't need to peel or chop vegetables I had plenty of time to whip together the bread dough before leaving the house for the day.
I used a medium salsa, and it really retained it's heat, even when mixed with the broth. If you or your family doesn't like things spicy, opt for mild salsa. You can always add a dash of Tobasco at the end if you'd like a punch of heat.

Not the stew for you? Here are a few more!
Harvest Stew
Azorean Spiced Beef Stew
Sausage and Lentil Stew
Doro Wat (Ethiopian Chicken Stew)
Turkey Stew
Bean Stew (vegetarian)
Chicken and Sweet Potato Southwestern Stew (flop! don't make this!!)



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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at April 25, 2013

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What they say about this article

  1. Looks yummy. And totally easy to freeze in a ziploc too! Also, how did I not know you were a bay area-er? I used to be! I'm in so cal now. :)

  2. This looks and sounds terrific, Stephanie! I just love simple recipes like this one. :-)

    Hope the sunburned back heals okay. I love the image of you gardening on a sunny day though. ;-)


  3. Sounds like your weather comes to Utah after it leaves your area. :) Last week I was bundled up against wind and cold. Today it is absolutely beautiful and no jacket needed!

    This recipe sounds delicious! I need to put it on my "To Try" list. :)

  4. Easier? Really? Perhaps I'm missing something, but 99% of your recipes seem "easy" enough to me. usually it's 1. measure, 2. turn on crockpot, 3. wait the allotted time while the delicious food happens, 4. eat mass quantities because it's too yummy to stop. :)

    Your General Tso's crockpot recipe had reduced takeout in my home by half. Now I've got to figure out how to adapt it for tofu.

  5. Anyone try a chicken version of this? How was it?

  6. Anonymous4/01/2014

    What's the best cut of beef to use with this? I think I have some flank steak in the freezer...

  7. Hi there, I used beef chuck stew meat, but I think your flank will work great since it has a lot of chew to it.

  8. This goulash looks amazing, and I am not usually a fan of Bavarian food.