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Usually, when we call something a shipwreck, it means that that thing is a disaster, an utter and total failure. But not this time! This Shipwreck Stew is the opposite of a disaster – it’s a cozy and comforting success that’s incredibly easy to make and has plenty of slow-simmered flavor. “Shipwreck” must be in reference to its humble appearance because there’s nothing to complain about here when it comes to taste, that’s for sure.

This is a nostalgic recipe – it’s the kind of penny-pinching recipe your grandmother might have relied on when she also wanted something hearty and crowd-pleasing. Featuring ground beef, potatoes, and a few cans of veggies, it’s not a long ingredient list and there’s nothing fancy about it, but it all comes together oh so well.

It’s not your traditional stew where you start by sauteeing one ingredient, then browning another, then stirring new additions in. Here, it pretty much all goes in together and it goes in in layers. You brown the beef first, and then you layer that with russet otatoes, sliced onions, celery, canned kidney beans and green beans (and their juices), and tomato sauce. (Oh, a bit of chili powder too.)

You cover it up and let it comes to a simmer just like that. Once the ingredients start to release their juices and trickle down, you can go ahead and start stirring things from time to time. After the better part of an hour on the stove, the flavors meld into a hearty beef and veggie stew that’s wholly better than the sum of its parts. Simple, homey, comfort in a bowl.

Serves 8

5m prep time

45m cook time

Rated 4.3 out of 5
Rated by 24 reviewers
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 6 russet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, cubed
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 (10 oz each) cans kidney beans, undrained
  • 2 (10 oz each) cans cut green beans, undrained
  • 2 (10 oz each) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink. Drain, if needed.
  2. Layer ingredients in the following order:
  3. Potatoes, onions, celery, kidney beans, green beans, tomato sauce. Sprinkle with chili powder and salt and pepper.
  4. Cook on medium-high until the liquid starts to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Let simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Can add more water if needed.

Recipe adapted from Love Bakes Good Cakes.

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