"I created this chunky soup when looking for something inexpensive and easy to make," recalls Sandra Castillo of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The thick and hearty mixture is chock-full of ground beef, potatoes and baby carrots.
Romping in the national forest amid tall ponderosa pines around our home gives my husband and our two little boys big appetites. They like this savory stew. Because I'm a busy firefighter, I often make it ahead and serve it when I need a meal in a hurry.
-Linda Russell, Forest Lakes, Arizona
"My husband, Don, and I loved this savory dish when we first sampled it at a party," notes Nancy Nielsen of Orange, Connecticut. "Of course, I had to have the recipe, which I have downsized to serve just the two of us. This hearty entree featuring tender beef is one of our favorites."
It's especially nice to use this recipe in fall, when the weather gets crisp and Nebraska's apple orchards start selling fresh apple cider. This entree's subtle sweetness is a welcome change from other savory stews. We enjoy it with biscuits and slices of apple and cheddar cheese.
-Joyce Glaesemann, Lincoln, Nebraska
Kids of all ages will be delighted with the seasonal twist on this hearty beef stew, which also features mushrooms and parsnips. Rich mashed potato "ghosts" are piped onto each bowlful. The cook will love the convenient slow cooker preparation. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
This stew is perfect for warming up on a wintry day. It is a good dish to make when you're busy, since it's quick to prepare and doesn't need attention while cooking. Instead of noodles, I often serve it with rice.
When I was a new bride 25 years ago, this recipe was inside a serving dish I received as a gift. It's great on winter evenings served with a loaf of fresh bread. The cider and vinegar help tenderize the meat and provide wonderful flavor to this hearty stew.
-Carol Hendrickson, Laguna Beach, California