Don’t let the name fool you—Poor Man’s Stew could also be called Grandma’s Sunday Stew.  Everything Grandma makes is delicious, right?  Grandmas have some kind of magical powers, kind of like the story of King Midas.  Everything King Midas touched turned to gold, but everything Grandma touches turns to YUM!!  With an easy, worry-free recipe like this, you too can be like Grandma!

The best part of this recipe?  It’s one of those that’s just as good, if not better, the next day.  There’s enough to feed a small crowd the first go-round, but if your crew is a little on the smaller side, and you have leftovers, it’s perfect for warming your belly for lunch the next day.

So where does the name “Poor Man’s Stew” come from?  It’s made with ingredients you probably already have on hand, so there’s no need to run to the store to pick something up.  Traditional stew sometimes uses cuts of steak or roast, but ground beef is something you’re likely to have in your freezer.  Grandmas are wise like that, aren’t they?

One of the advantages of cooking with a crock pot is that it’s great for preparing busy weeknight meals.  If you can brown the hamburger the night before, that eliminates a step from your already hectic morning.

And usually, crock pot meals mean—drumroll please—fewer dishes to wash!  I don’t know about you, but cleanup is my least favorite part of cooking.  Some people enjoy cleaning, but I am not one of those people.

The first step in this stew is to brown a pound of ground beef.  Now I don’t always plug products in my recipes, but I’m making an exception this time.  If you’ve never used a Mix ‘N Chop, made by Pampered Chef, you are seriously missing out!!  Stop right now and order one!!

How many times have you opened your package of ground beef to find that it isn’t completely thawed, or finished cooking your beef to still have large chunks that are tough to break up?  This handy tool eliminates both of those problems.

The ergonomic handle makes it easy use, even for tender or arthritic hands.  The design makes it easy to break up the meat, and because it’s made of nylon, it’s safe to use on all types of cookware.  Let’s not forget that it’s dishwasher safe!  Okay, I’m done with my sales pitch.  Just get one.

That’s the only cooking-related prep you have to do.  A little slicing and dicing is all that’s left, then toss it all into the crockpot, give it a stir, and you…are…done.  Don’t you wish you had known Grandma’s secret a long time ago?


1 lb ground beef, browned and drained

1.5 lbs potatoes, diced large

3 carrots, sliced

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 (6oz) can tomato paste

2 cups water

1 t salt

¼ t pepper

1 t onion powder

1 t dried oregano


Combine all ingredients in a 5 qt or larger slow cooker.  Give it a quick stir, cover, and cook on low 6-7 hours.

**Health management tip: 

When I look for ways to improve my diet, I try to eat foods that are produced or grown naturally, as opposed to eating things that come from a package or a box.

This stew is filled with lots of wholesome goodness, so there isn’t much to worry about.  If you want to try to reduce your carb intake, you could always omit the potatoes and toss in some extra carrots and onions.

You could also replace them with some cabbage, green beans, or maybe even some asparagus.  The possibilities are endless!

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