Monday, November 7, 2011

Slow Cooker Hearty Beef Stew

The beef stew was a success!  I promised in my last blog post to list the recipe I used if the recipe was a winner, and oh boy was it ever!

I found this recipe doing a Google search for a lovely beef stew for the umpteenth time.  I found this one on Basil Kitchen's blog and decided to give it a whirl.  Well this recipe was just what I want out of a chunky, belly-warming beef stew.  You can't see it in the picture above, but there was a ton of liquid, and the beef is soft and fall-apart tender, which is how I love my stew.   I served this over a bed of Texmati rice that I made in my Neuro Fuzzy Zojirushi rice cooker (couldn't cook rice without this wonderful gadget- trust me, I've destroyed pots trying).

Slow Cooker Hearty Beef Stew

 3 lbs cubed beef stew meat
 1/2 cup all purpose flour
 2 TBSP vegetable oil
 2 TBSP butter
 2 large russet potatoes, 1 1/2" cubes
 3 celery leaf stalks, 1/2" slices
 3 large stewing carrots, 1" slices
 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise, 1" slices
 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely diced
 2 TBSP minced garlic
 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, fire-roasted
 32 fl oz beef stock, low-sodium, intense flavor
 1 cup red wine
 1/8 cup worcestershire sauce
 3 bay leaves
 3 sprigs thyme
 1 TBSP sugar
 2 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
 2 tsp paprika
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 tobasco sauce
  1. Set slow cooker on high. Set aside beef, flour, oil, butter, tobasco sauce, and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the beef stock. Put all other ingredients into slow cooker. Allow to warm up.
  2. Meanwhile, dredge beef cubes in flour, shaking off excess. Set aside remaining flour. Do not discard.
  3. On the stovetop, heat 1TBSP oil in large pan. Over medium heat, brown dredged beef chunks in two even batches, second batch with the other TBSP of oil. Let sit and brown, about 5 minutes. Flip beef chunks and brown other side another 5 minutes or so.
    (You can speed up cooking time by using two pans simultaneously.)
  4. Add browned beef to slow cooker. Return to the same pan to make roux. Melt butter. Add leftover flour (approx. 1/4 cup) and stir constantly to get make a smooth roux. Add the reserved 1 1/2 cups beef stock to pan slowly while stirring and allow to thicken, scraping all earlier beef drippings. We've essentially made gravy to thicken the beef stew. Add to slow cooker. This also makes use of all that beef flavor from the pan earlier.
  5. Stir to distribute contents. Cook in slow cooker on high for 5 hours -OR- on low for 8+ hours. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired. When done, locate and discard bay leaves and thyme.
  6. Serve beef stew with french bread or over rice. Also surprisingly good with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Serve with tobasco sauce, individually adjusting for heat and tartness desired. Enjoy!

For some more Bucky Balls fun, here is my latest sculpture:

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  1. Your sculpture is adorable. I love a good bowl of beef stew, we are finally having the weather for it. I see this one has red wine, a must in stew, at least my opinion. I see you guys have had snow already, I love seeing it, but kinda glad we don't have it here. Hope you are having a great week.

  2. Hi Gina, thanks for stopping by! I've been having a "ball" with the bucky balls. lol The red wine is definitely a must if you want a rich flavor, I agree! This stew is a two day process for me, cutting the veg a day before I cook the stew, but wow, what flavor this one has! I am picky when it comes to which vegetables are in my stew. This one has the perfect balance of meat, potatoes, and root veg.