just put it in the crock pot and forget about it. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love my crock pot. Best little invention in the kitchen ever!! I made an awesome stew yesterday for last night's supper. It was so yummy and the hubster loved it. I'm posting the link for the recipe but I will tell you I left out the step of the bacon. I saw no need for that...now mind you, I love bacon but I didn't think it was necessary so I left it out. Shhhhh...don't tell the hubby there should've been bacon in that stew he loved so much. One more thing I did different, I drained and added a can of petite cut tomatoes instead of the fresh tomatoes called for. Just easier and I figured the tomatoes this time of the year wouldn't be that great anyway.
Another tidbit...my crock pot wouldn't hold the last step of adding the cabbage so I transferred the stew at this point to a large pot on the stove for the final 30 min. or so. I supposed if you don't like cabbage in your stew you could leave that out too. We, however, love cooked cabbage so that step I wouldn't avoid.
I hope you'll give this a try. We give it a definite 5 stars!!