- 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I like EVOO.)
- 4 carrots, chopped (The original recipe also suggests parsnips as an alternative -- haven't tried it.)
- 2 medium red potatoes, chopped (I have also used 4 small potatoes)
- 2 small apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (Firm apples like Granny Smith or Gala work best, in my opinion. Also, my apples are usually a bit larger.)
- 1/2 white onion (The original recipe says 2 WHOLE onions -- That is a LOT of onion, which I cannot get away with in this house! Also, I am not sure why you would want that much onion, anyway.)
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
- 1 cup apple cider (or apple juice will work in a pinch!)
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon granules (I have also made it with bouillon cubes.)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper (I don't usually measure this -- just a dash.)
- Heat oil in a large skillet and then brown the stew meat, half at a time. Drain off fat. (I also like to caramelize the onion while I brown the beef because this makes it sweeter.)
- In a 3 1/2 to 5 quart slow cooker, place carrots, potatoes, apples, and celery. Sprinkle tapioca on top. Then add meat (and onions, if you like them caramelized, too).
- In a small bowl, combine the apple cider, water, bouillon granules, dried thyme, and pepper. Pour over the contents of the crock pot.
- Cover and cook on low heat for about 8-10 hours or on high heat for around 4-5 hours. I can usually get away with a little bit shorter cooking time, if needed, too.