RECIPE: “About” stew

I grew up in a household of 3 generations, Nan, Mum and her 3 brothers then Me, my 2 brothers and sister. Mum had to work to keep us. Nan did almost all the cooking and we were all expected to help out. Every Sunday it was my job to make a cake for tea which my uncle Arthur usually helped me with.

Over the years my Uncles all got married and left home so Nan, Mum, me and my siblings were left. Nan never used recipes,  everything she made came from her head and what she learned when she was a housekeeper for a posh family.

Everything she made was delicious and when asked how much of something to add to a pot she would always say “about” for the amounts.

So that’s pretty much how I cook too.  Today Hubby fancied stew, Nan would have cooked it in a big stew pot on the range and put lots of winter vegetables in with the meat and stock. I used to chuck it all in casserole dish and put in the oven for a couple of hours but now I chuck it all into my slow cooker.
I have made it my own over the years, I don’t put Swede or Parsnips in and because you put in “about” quantities it tastes different everytime. The only constant is the tin of tomato soup – it just isn’t the same using tomatoes or puree.

“About” Stew


ABOUT = what ever quantities you want – think of how many you are feeding and go from there!

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Meat – Lamb or Beef
  • Stock – Vegetable, Chicken or Beef
  • Worcester Sauce
  • tin of cream of tomato soup – I ALWAYS use Heinz!
  • Salt and pepper


  • Brown the meat and toss into the pot.
  • Peel and chop vegetables – leave nice and chunky and toss into the pot – no place for Mirepoix here!!
  • Pour over hot stock, soup and worcester sauce.
  • Season with pepper – add salt at the end of cooking…
  • Cook for a couple of hours in a medium oven
  • OR
  • Cook for 5 to 6 hours in a slow cooker
  • Adjust seasoning at end of cooking time.

Serve with boiled potatoes and crusty bread.

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  1. bakedbyiris

    Amazing!! Going to make this very soon, perfect for this cold wet weather. love that you add tomato soup in.

  2. Elaine Livingstone

    lol Im the same even with cakes biscuits as well. If I have the kids here I measure but not on my own. about is the best way


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