Hearty Hamburger Stew

It's been chilly around here lately, and a few weeks ago I fixed up a batch of my grandmother's hearty hamburger stew. Only, we used turkey. But Hearty Turkey Stew doesn't sound nearly as good as Hearty Hamburger Stew. =)

In any case, fix up some of this and it will cure your cold weather blues. It's such a simple recipe that you can add or take away whatever you do or don't like to make it perfect for your family. Cook it in the Crockpot on low while you're at work, and come home to dinner ready to serve!

What we use:
1-1.5 lbs of meat. (We prefer turkey because it's lean and tastes just as good.)
1 white onion, 4-5 small carrots, 2-3 stalks of celery, 1 cup of frozen corn, 1 can of green beans, 3 roma tomatoes or 1 large can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of tomato sauce, 4-5 small potatoes, garlic, Kosher salt, beef stock or broth (2-3 cups), and your preferred seasonings (Lawry's, crushed black pepper, garlic powder and bay leaves).

Finely dice your onion and garlic, and sauté them in equal parts butter and oil. Let them go until the onions are translucent and the garlic is pungent.

Add in the turkey (or hamburger) and cook through. I prefer to season my meat as it cooks with Lawry's, crushed black pepper, kosher salt and garlic powder. Some people just add in the seasonings at the end with the soup, so cook it to your preference.

While the meat is browning, chop up the carrots, celery, potatoes and tomatoes. Go ahead and place these in your Crockpot along with 2-3 cups of beef stock, 1 cup of water and the corn and green beans.

Tip: I learned this from watching Rachael Ray, and I use it all the time.
Cover a deep bowl with a plastic bag and keep it on the counter for scraps. It doesn't seem like a big deal to walk over to the trashcan, but it simplifies things. You can just throw your scraps right into the bowl and tie up the sack when you're done cooking. It really helps!

When the turkey is cooked through, add it into the vegetables and stir to combine.

To deepen the flavor and color of your stew, add in a few splashes of this stuff. It's delicious. It gives your broth a deep, rich flavor. We love it.

Salt and pepper to taste. Add in 2-3 bay leaves and stir. Let cook for 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on med/high.

Fix up some cornbread and enjoy! This is probably one of my favorite soups. It's soupy and hearty and meaty and vegetably. It's yummy!

I hope everyone stays warm (or cool) wherever you find yourselves this weekend. Happy Friday!

-Jenn (With 2 N's)

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