Over New Year's, we had roast beef and mashed potatoes with Mark's mother. Two days ago, I flattened a round steak, stuffed it and rolled it up, then baked it. When I mentioned that we would have roast beef for dinner, usually a very popular announcement, Mark said, "Again?"

Clearly, it is time for fried chicken or pasta, but there is a defrosted roast to eat before it goes bad. Luckily, we ordered about $40 in vegetables from this week and are well prepared for beef stew.

In fact, this is a meal that my busy bachelor friends will love because it takes about 10 minutes to prepare and is an impressive accomplishment if you have invited a girlfriend over for dinner. The only special tool needed is a crock pot - something every bachelor should have, and Jamin' Philip Gray agrees.

Beef Stew Instead Of Roast Beef

  • One Defrosted Roast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Two medium sized onions, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 celery stocks
  • 2 large carrots, sliced or cubed
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, sliced or cubed
  • 2 handfuls of spinach, diced
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 dry red pepper*

*While in Santa Fe in December, we had hoped to buy green peppers, but the season was past. Instead of fresh green peppers, dried red ones were available in large quantities. These Ristras are a beautiful addition to the kitchen and a great source for spice in day to day meals:

1) In a crock pot, place all ingredients.
2) Add 2-3 cups of water, depending on how much room is available in the crock.
3) Cook on high until the soup simmers, add water as needed to keep it moist.
4) Reduce to low and simmer until it is time to serve.
5) Remove the red pepper and bay leaf, then add salt and pepper to taste just before serving.

This meal is exceptionally easy to prepare because the only cooking time needed is the dicing of ingredients. I often use the crock pot for meals during the Legislative Session, when work demands much of my attention. Meals can be prepared in the crock pot, which I keep in the fridge until it is time to cook them. Because the crock slow cooks, I can turn the machine on at noon and have a nice meal at 7 with no pre-dinner cooking hassle.

Serve this meal with a nice loaf of artisan bread and butter and add a salad if you are feeling fancy.