Wait for a nasty October day — raining, about 45 degrees all day, and be sure to wake up at 5:30 a.m. with the window open, a puddle on the floor, and the covers kicked off.
If you can meet these or similar conditions, you are ready to make beef stew.
Get up, shower, shave carefully, and dress properly because you have to go interview people while the stew is, er, stewing.
Obtain a couple of pounds of stew meat, a bag of carrots, a big onion, a 32 ounce thing of vegetable stock, and six red potatoes.
Back at the ranch, take your jacket off, roll up your sleeves, light a cigar (optional), and get a skillet hot.
Put some oil in the s., and some chopped up onion, and let it rip for a moment. Meanwhile you can peel and chop the carrots and don’t peel and chop the spuds.
Stick the meat in and brown it. That means cook it a little but not too much. Dump it in the crock pot, along with the chopped up stuff. Put in all the drippings. Add the stock, some garlic, and whatever spices you want.
Now here is the crucial thing: put the crock pot on the lowest cooking setting. Not the highest. Not the “keep warm” setting either, if your gizmo has one.
You are not going to touch the thing until you get home, several hours later.
This method is foolproof.