Meatball Stew

CrockPot Gourmet for the Frantic Chef: recipe by Veronica Bartles

You will need:


1 1/2 lb. baby carrots

1 lb. frozen (fully-cooked) meatballs

1 lb. frozen french fries (the thicker-cut, the better)

1 large onion**

2 bunches celery**

1 green bell pepper**

6-8 tsp. granulated bouillon

3 Tbsp. corn starch

approximately 8 c. cold water

*I used a 7-quart CrockPot, but this is a very easy "recipe" to cut down to whatever size you have! Your dish should be about 2/3 to just over 3/4 full when you're finished adding ingredients, for optimum cooking efficiency, without boiling over.) If you're using a 5-quart Crock Pot, for instance, you'll probably want to cut all of the ingredient quantities by about 1/3, so you won't overfill your dish and end up with spillover. For a 3-quart Crock Pot, cut the ingredient quantities in half.

**Or, you can use 2 onions, 2 peppers, and only 1 bunch of celery... or no onions, 3 peppers, 1 1/2 bunches of celery... You get the point, I hope. This recipe is totally flexible. You can adjust it to fit your personal tastes! (It goes without saying, but maybe I should point out that the carrots and potatoes can also be substituted or omitted. Feel free to use sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips or any other veggies you like in your stew! I usually use whatever veggies are on sale in any given week.)

First, pour carrots and a frozen (fully-cooked) meatballs into the bottom of the pot. (Any variety of meatballs works. I usually use gluten-free turkey meatballs, because those are my daughter's favorite.)


Add frozen french fries (or cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks to use instead... but french fries mean you'll do less chopping and cutting which means less total prep time).


Cut onions, celery, and bell pepper into large chunks (1 1/2 inches)


Add 6-8 bouillon cubes and sprinkle in 3 Tbsp corn starch.


Add 8 cups of cold water and stir everything together. (If you pour hot water over the corn starch, it might gelatinize before it's fully-incorporated and give you lumpy stew)


Cook on the "Low" setting for 5 hours (or longer - this is one recipe that can simmer all day long without hurting it - the flavors get richer the longer it simmers, and the long, slow cooking time is why you want the veggies cut into rather large chunks, so they don't fall apart).


Serve with warm rolls or tortillas... or just enjoy it by itself!



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