Crock Pot freezer meals such as Hearty beef Stew are great to have ready to go on those busy days you don't have time to cook. Just grab it out of the freezer, dump it into a crock pot, and let it cook away.
Beef Stew is an all-time comfort food that goes great on those cold fall and winter days.
First, I took a gallon freezer bag and wrote the cooking instructions and what to serve it with directly on the bag with a black Sharpie.
To help me keep the bags upright while I was filling them with the ingredients, I used my handy Baggy Rack. You can find them on Amazon.com or at bricks-and-mortar stores like Menards. If you don't have a Baggy Rack you can use a gallon water pitcher by placing the freezer bag inside it and folding the top of the bag over the edges of the pitcher.
Crock Pot Freezer Meals: Hearty Beef Stew
- 1 lb. stew meat, cubed
- 1 small-medium white onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 30 baby carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 c. frozen peas
- 8 baby red potatoes, cubed
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
Hearty Beef Stew Sauce:
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. garlic and herb seasoning
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1 Tbsp. beef bullion
*Divide all ingredients into 2 large freezer bags
Directions: Chop up the celery stalks and a small white onion. Then, cut the baby carrots into chunks. Finally, cube the baby red potatoes.
Hearty Beef Stew Sauce: First, mince one clove of garlic. Now, take the rest of the sauce ingredients and dump them into a medium bowl. Add the minced garlic and stir together until throughly mixed.
Directions: Take the stew meat and divide it between 2 freezer bags, putting it on the bottom of the bag. Next, add the chopped up celery and onion. Dump in the carrot chunks, along with the cubed potatoes. Add, the frozen peas and can of undrained diced tomatoes.
*Make sure you have divided all of these ingredients between the two freezer bags.
Directions: Finally, add your Hearty Beef Stew Sauce that you mixed up earlier (dividing between the two freezer bags). Zip shut both bags and freeze.
*With this recipe, each meal will feed a family of 4.
*According to Crock-Pot.com you can cook frozen meat in a Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker, but suggested cook time may need to be increased. To ensure meat is cooked through, use a meat thermometer. Meat should be well above 165°F to be tender.
*The USDA and other food safety specialists say to not put frozen meats in your slow cooker. The inside does not defrost fast enough at the low temperature to prevent harmful bacterial growth.
*From my personal experience I have not had any issues with putting the meat into the crock pot frozen, but use your own judgement on this.
*If you want to, the night before making a crock pot freezer meal, just take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge.
*I don't defrost any of these bags prior to putting them into the crock pot. I do however run the bag under hot water until the frozen chunk is loose from the bag and then I put the frozen chunk into the crock pot and let it cook.