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updated: 3/29/2011 2:32 PM

Great-Grandma's Stew Beef

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  • This crockpot version of old-fashioned stew beef doesn't take old-fashioned effort.

    This crockpot version of old-fashioned stew beef doesn't take old-fashioned effort.
    Alicia Ross/Desperation dinners


3 pounds beef cubes for stew, well marbled

4 large onions (for 4 cups slices)

1 envelope (1 ounce) dry onion-soup mix (see note)

3 cups water, plus more for thickening

1 teaspoon black pepper

teaspoon ground sage

cup cornstarch

cup fresh parsley leaves, optional garnish

cup hot cooked rice, per person, for serving (see note)

Place the beef cubes in the bottom of a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Peel the onions, and slice into crescent-shaped strips, about -inch wide. Add to the slow cooker. Add the soup mix, water, black pepper and sage, and stir to mix well.

Cover the slow cooker, and cook on low until the beef is very tender and practically falling apart, about 8-10 hours.

Just before serving, mix the cornstarch with cup of water in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously to mix. Drizzle half of the mixture over the stew, and stir to thicken. Add more as necessary, to reach desired consistency.

If you do not have a slow cooker, use these directions: Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in an extra-deep, 12-inch, nonstick skillet. Brown the beef and one onion. Add the remaining onions, water, onion-soup mix, black pepper and sage. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer the beef for 3 hours or until the beef cubes are so tender that they fall apart. Proceed with thickening as stated in recipe.

Chop the parsley (if using), and stir into the stew. Serve over hot steamed rice.

Serves eight.

Cook's note: We used Lipton Onion Soup and Recipe Mix. Stew Beef is also good served over brown rice, egg noodles, mashed potatoes and polenta.

@Recipe nutrition:Nutrition values per serving: 503 calories (39 from fat), 21.5 g fat (8.5 g saturated), 39 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 36.5 g protein, 105 mg cholesterol, 273 mg sodium.