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Sour beef stew over egg noodlesSour Beef Stew

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Sour Beef Stew made from inexpensive (relatively) cuts of beef is still a great value, about $6/lb, tastes great and is easy to make. Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's and your local grocery store all have stew meat, bottom round, chuck beef roasts from October into the late winter.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 4 to 4.5 hours

Total time: about 5 hours
Yield: 10 - 16servings


  • 3 lbs to 6 lbs of Beef stew cubes - You can get already cubed beef, Beef Chuck roast or Bottom Round or Top Round. Chuck is more tender. Use 3 to 6 lbs of beef. 5 or 6 lbs makes enough for 4 meals for 4 people, or 3 meals for 5 people
  • Olive oil a few tablespoons for browning the beef
  • Salt and pepper  - salt is really optional. I don't add any.
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 8 to 10 Bay leaves
  • Onions 3 to 5 large sweet onions
  •  Chicken or Beef broth -  1.5 to 3 cups
  • 1.5 to 3 lemons - sliced into 1/8th inch strips. remove seeds
  • Peeled baby carrots - 1.5 to 2 lbs
  • Vinegar - 3/4 to 1 cup, I use apple cider vinegar
  • Flour, about 1 cup, to coat the beef cubes before browning them.
  • 6 to 12 ginger snaps. Since this is a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, the preferred ones are Irwin's "Spiced Wafers"


Served over:

  • Cooked Wide Egg Noodles. If you want to lower the fat and cholesterol, you can used the Yolk-less egg noodles.



Step 1 - Clean the crockpot / slo-cooker

Just wash out the ceramic bowl. Yes, you could cook this in a pot on the stove over very low heat and checking it to be sure it does not burn.


Step 2 - Flour the beef cubesBeef cubes, flouredBeef cubesBeef cubes

Put the beef cubes in a large bowl with the flour and mix thoroughly to coat all the cubes evenly.


Then put a sieve or colander in the kitchen sink and dump the beef cubes into it.


Then jostle the colander until the loose flour is removed.




Step 3 - Brown the beef cubesBeef cubesPot with oil

Heat the olive oil in a large pot (the tall sides work better than a fry pan to over splattering hot oil) .

Put enough beef cubes in to cover the bottom 1 layer deep.

Brown, stir and flip them until they are evenly browned,

about 10 minutes over medium to medium-high heat.


Step 4 - Peel and chop the carrots and onionsDiced onionscarrots, sliced

When the beef is browning, chop the onions. anything under 1/2 inch will do. Cut the ends off 3 lemons and then slice them thinly (1/8 inch). I also pick out and discard any seeds I see.

Slice the lemons, removing the sees.


Step 5 - Sauté the onion

Remove the browned beef cubes, but retain the oil and liquid.

Then lightly brown the onions in the pot.


Step 6 - Fill the crockpot

I put the liquids in first. Next onions and lemon slices in the bottom, sour beef stew at start

then the beef and seasonings (bay leaves, pepper and if desired, salt)

After that the ginger snaps. .


Step 7 - Cook for 2 hours

At first on high. After the first hour or 2, turn to medium or low.

Every crockpot is different,

You want to see it simmering

but not boiling so hard that you risk burning the bottom.


Step 8 - Add the carrots and cook for 2 more hourssour beef stew in crockpot

Add the carrots and cook for another 2 hours, for a total of 4 to 4.5 hours in total.crockpot


Step 9 - Cook the egg noodlesEgg noodles cooking

The egg noodles are simply boiling in a pot of water for about 10 - 12 minutes. Drain the noodles.


Step 10 - Serve

Serve the sour beef stew on the noodles!Sour beef stew over egg noodles