Grandmother’s Beef Stew

At my grandmothers, there were big sit-down meals with 4-6 different veggies, 3 kinds of salad, a bowl of fruit salad, 2 meats, hot rolls and cornbread, 2 pies and 2 cakes.    That was for a table with 10-12 adults, plus 2 kids tables.

Then there were weekday dinners — 1 meat, 3 veg, some kind of bread, and some kind of desert.  That was for 6-10 adults, and no kids.  The men and older boys would come in from the fields hungry — granddad would come home from the store — and everybody would eat, talk, then go their separate ways.

Otherwise, it was just grandmother and granddad — and me if I was there for some visit.  Supper on those nights was usually a pot of something with cornbread — or bowls of cereal and milk, a sandwich from the only café in town, or leftovers.  The big pot of something was either red beans with ham, chili, or beef stew.

This is the beef stew.  Made to be a pot-full — then put up in the freezer for single or double serving portions. Remember to take the potatoes (and eat them!) out if you’re going to freeze this stew.  Their texture will change and they’re not so good.

serves 12+

3 1/2 – 4 lbs beef sirloin tip roast, cut into 1″ cubes.
2 lb russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 1/2 lbs carrots, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 lbs onion, chopped to 1″ pieces
2 16oz can green beans, with liquid
1 16 oz pkg frozen corn kernels
1 16oz pkg frozen peas
1 16 oz can lima beans including liquid
10 oz celery, minced fine
3 15 oz cans stewed tomatoes
2 11 oz cans V-8
6 – 8 c beef stock
1-2 c water to maintain volume
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 bay leaf (remove after stew is done)

  • Sear meat in the bottom of a large stew pot (about 10 – 12 qt)
  • Add cut up carrots, celery, onion, and bring to a boil with the beef stock.  Simmer on med heat, covered, for 45 min.
  • Add potatoes, and simmer for 30 minutes more.
  • Add canned/frozen veg and V-8 juice, and return to a boil.  Simmer on med. heat 20-45 minutes more, then adjust the soups broth volume ( should be about 1/2 solids and 1/2 broth.)  Adjust seasoning to taste and remove the bay leaf.

Serve with hot rolls or cornbread.

*You can also add mushrooms, bell peppers, or a seasonal squash to this recipe — but this is the basic mix.


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