Friday, July 18, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I love this recipe. It may take a little more time than the average 'throw everything in a slow cooker' recipe, but the taste is definitely worth it....and I definitely suggest buying and cubing your own stew meat as opposed to purchasing the packets of mystery meat (and gristle) that they sell for stew at the store. It does take time to cut up the meat, but you get a better quality of flavor and reduce the amount of fat in the stew. If you can't find chuck eye roast look for something similar.


3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium onions, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons minute tapioca
2 bay leaves
1 (5-pound) boneless beef chuck eye roast - trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
Ground Black pepper
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound parsnips (optional), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups frozen peas

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet. Add onions, tomato paste, garlic , thyme and a pinch of salt. Cook stirring often until the onions are softened and lightly browned 10 - 12 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, scraping up any brown bits.

Put the onion mixture into the slow cooker. Stir in beef broth, soy sauce, tapioca, and bay leaves. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the cooker.

Toss the potatoes, carrots (parsnips if using) with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper.

Using two sheets of foil wrap the vegetables in a large sealed foil packet and and set it on top of the stew in the cooker then put the lid on the top...chances are it is a tight fit, mine usually is, but carefully wrestling with the shape of the foil packet helps. If the foil rips, just add another layer :)

Cover and cook on low for 9 to 11 hours or on high for 5 to 7 hours.

When cooked transfer the vegetable packet to a plate. Turn off the cooker and let the stew rest for 5 minutes and then tilt and scoop off as much fat as you can (this shouldn't be much if you trimmed the meat well).

Remove the bay leaves from the stew then stir in the vegetables and any juice from the packet.

Stir in the peas and let the stew sit for 5 minutes for them to cook through. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Enjoy the taste (and the aroma)

How to do the Prep work the night before

Chop the carrots, parsnips (if using) and the onions.

Cook the onion mixture as listed above (up to the point you put it in the slow cooker) and instead store it in an air tight container in the fridge. Store the chopped veggies in another container. Store the cubed meat (unseasoned!) in a third covered container.

The next morning put the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Season and then add the meat. Chop up the potatoes (it takes just a moment to do). Then continue from 'Using two sheets of foil.....'

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