I created this slow cooker recipe using convenience products to save time chopping vegetables and browning beef. Apple cider and cinnamon are the unique additions that give a down-home flavor to this oh-so-easy and economical stew. It also makes a rich, flavorful potluck dish for holiday gatherings or on busy school nights. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California
Here's a good old-fashioned stew with rich beef gravy that lets the flavor of the potatoes and carrots come through. This is the perfect hearty dish for a blustery winter day. I make it often this time of year.
— Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
This special stew is the meal our two kids look forward to each fall because we only get to enjoy it when the fresh pumpkins come out of the garden. The stew is cooked and served right in the pumpkin shell. A true taste of autumn, it also makes a pretty presentation at a potluck. —Donna Mosher, Augusta, Montana
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
Savory flavors blend beautifully in this hearty recipe from field editor Ruth Ann Stelfox of Raymond, Alberta. “This stew can also be made in a slow cooker,“ she notes. “In a pinch, I use a ring of garlic bologna cut into chunks in place of the pork shoulder.“
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
"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."
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