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I remember Sharon bringing dinner to our family on several occasions when I was a kid–once  when we were moving, another time when my little brother was born.  Much more recently, she brought a container of home made soup after my dad died.  She and her family have been good neighbors and friends for many, many years.  Conveniently, their wedding gift to us was a slow cooker that I have used for nearly 20 years now, to make many different “comfort foods,” but most often to make Sharon’s “Sunday Stew.”  Here’s how I put it together.

Place a 3 or 4 lb. boneless beef roast of your choice in the slow cooker, then add the remaining ingredients in order.

  • 4 to 6 potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 or 3 large carrots peeled and cut (or a couple of handfuls of baby carrots)
  • one packet of dry onion soup mix
  • fresh or dehydrated onions as desired
  • a stalk or two of celery, chopped (optional)
  • one can each of Campbell’s concentrated tomato soup and mushroom soup (do not dilute)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • peppercorns to taste (optional)

You may need to help the ingredients settle a bit, in order to fit the lid, but there’s no need to stir.  Leave on high setting for a minimum of 3 hours, or low if you’ll be away longer.  (I set this first thing in the morning and it’s usually ready when we get home from church.)  When the beef can be shredded with a fork, it’s done–which could take up to 5 or 6 hours, depending on your setting and the size of your roast.  A few minutes before serving, add a 1 lb. package of frozen peas, corn, or a combination, or canned green beans, and allow to heat throughout.  Serve with homemade rolls and butter.  Leftovers are at least as delicious as the first day, if it lasts that long.