There are two versions of this recipe. One for canned meat that I make in the Crock Pot, and one using fresh meat that you bake in the oven. My mother sent me the oven version when I was a poor, starving college student. I later adapted it to the Crock Pot version when I needed a good recipe to use with canned food for a canning class I was teaching. A great thing about using canned ingredients is that the cooking time is much shorter than other stews that are made with all fresh ingredients. So, when you are shorter on time, this is a good go to recipe.
1 quart jar of stew meat, beef, pork or chicken
1 pint jar of carrots, drained
1 quart jar of potatoes
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 can string beans or whole kernel corn, not drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can water
Spray theCrock Pot with cooking spray and set it on the low temp. setting. Put the meat in the bottom of the crock and sprinkle the onion mix over it. Add the carrots, potatoes and green beans with liquid. Top that with the condensed soup. Kind of spread the soup over the top of the beans. Pour the water over everything. Do not stir, leave it in layers and set on low to cook for about 2 hours. If you want it to go faster, set it on high.
When the stew is nice and bubbly hot, stir it all together and serve it with a slice of crusty bread.
You can layer it the same way in a dutch oven or casserole dish, except instead of canned meat you can use 1 lb. of fresh, uncooked stew meat, 3 to 4 fresh carrots, sliced and 3 to 4 potatoes, cut in cubes. Cover with the lid or with foil and put in a 275 degree oven for 4 hours, or a 350 degree oven for 3 hours. Take it out and stir all together as described above.
You can use raw meat in the Crock Pot version as well, but you will need to cook it longer, probably about 6 to 7 hours if using fresh ingredients.
Many people ask why I don't just can the stew already made.
There are a couple of reasons.
First, each of the ingredients needs to be processed under pressure for different lengths of time. Meat in a quart jar needs to be processed for 90 minutes. That means the other ingredients, which have a shorter processing time, would become too mushy.
Second, I like to have the individual ingredients available for many different recipes. By canning them separately, I can have more versatility with my ingredients.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!