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Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

My mom used to make hamburger stew in the slow cooker all the time, but back then, they didn’t have you cook the ground beef first. I learned this when my mother tried to make it for me when I was pregnant without browning the meat first. I was horrified, and made her cook the meat beforehand. Was she trying to poison my unborn child and me, I wondered aloud? “Well, that’s what the Crock Pot recipe book said to do, and that’s what I always have done. You lived,” said Mom. She says, “Well, you lived” about a lot of things. I guess somehow we did live without browning ground beef, wearing helmets, or sitting in car seats. Did we have mulch underneath our monkey bars? No. We had hard, hot asphalt. Nice. I digress. My recipe calls for browning the ground beef, which you should always do. I amended this recipe to taste more like my mom’s, minus the potential E. coli.

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew


  • 3/4 cup sliced onion (chop it so your kids won’t know it’s there)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 3 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cups canned kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 water
  • 1 can drained peas

Brown beef and onion. Drain. Layer ingredients in crock pot in order given. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or until potatoes and rice are done. Fifteen minutes before done, stir in peas and cook until heated through.

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