The weather has cooled down, and I've currently got a stew going while I'm at work. In the past I've always used plenty of liquid and ended up with a soupy meal. This time I've only used 1 small can of broth, because my understanding is that basically all the ingredients (beef, potatoes, onions, celery) are going to add their own liquid to the dish while cooking.
My safety concern is that the broth wasn't enough to cover the ingredients, and that the slow cooking method uses that liquid to quickly transfer heat, limiting the amount of time bacteria can breed. My question is even if some of the food stays in the USDA danger zone of ~140° for an extended period, spending the next 8+ hours at 165°+ should still kill off the bacteria and make it safe, right? Not a microbiologist so there may plenty of bad info here.