Perfect Excuse

There are days when I just want to stay home and do nothing but knit. Okay, so that's everyday. But to do this, I sometimes need an excuse. Here's where this recipe for what I call "Perfect Excuse Beef Stew" comes in handy. It's by the extremely witty cookbook author Ann Hodgman. You will need:

2 pounds suitable-for-stew beef, cut into 1&1/2-inch cubes
6 carrots, cut into thick slices
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 large baking potato, diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
1 10-to-11 ounce can Campbell's Tomato Bisque Soup (or regular Tomato Soup if you can't find
Tomato Bisque) and food snobs need not sneer...this is really the best base for this soup
1/2 to 3/4 soup can water, depending on wether you prefer thick or thin stew
*I also add a cup of green peas towards the end because we are a pea loving family

Here's what I do:
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees
In a heavy, lidded casserole that holds about 2&1/2 quarts, combine everything and stir until well mixed. Cover the casserole first with a tight layer of foil and then with the lid. And then here comes the "perfect excuse" part.....bake the stew for FIVE hours! Yup, that's 5 whole hours of "Oh, honey, I can't go to Home Depot to buy that plunger you need because I have dinner in the oven." That's 5 whole hours of knitting & playing time with my little boy with the added bonus of a wonderfully tasting stew to show for it!

Warning: do not overuse! They will catch on and decide to boycott.


  1. That looks great! Would it also work in a crockpot?

  2. Dina, it would definately work in a crockpot. I use the oven just so I have an excuse to hang around the house and play with yarn!

  3. Oh yes! THAT's what I'm talking about!! Except today we went to Home Depot for ME.....but I could use that excuse on any other given day!

  4. Sounds so yummy!!!

  5. I made this last night in the crockpot. It was divine, everyone loved it!


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