Modern life doesn’t give us a lot of time for putting together elaborate meals so I have developed a love affair with my slow cooker over the past decade. I have used this lovely appliance to create and cook delicious tasting meals with minimal hands on time and effort.
My go to staple is beef stew. After years of experimenting with different recipes/ingredients, I am proud to share what I think is a hearty, decadent, extremely satisfying stew for the colder months.
Brielle’s Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker (serves: 4-6)
4 oz Thick-cut bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons Flour (I use wheat flour)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 lbs Boneless beef chuck trimmed of excess fat and cut into chunks (I prefer 100% grass-fed beef from Whole Foods)
1/2 lb Baby carrots
1 Stalk of celery, chopped
3 cloves Minced garlic
1 lb Medium potatoes, cut into cubes
1 cup (8 fl oz) Red wine (I use a Malbec)
1 cup (8 fl oz) Beef broth (*If you live in NY, go to Brodo http://www.brodobroth.co and get the Hearth bone broth. The flavor is unreal. If you want to be healthier, use unsalted beef broth)
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce (I use Prego No Salt added sauce)
1 tablespoon Rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Bay leaf
- Cook the bacon: in a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally until crisp – about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off the drippings into a small heatproof bowl leaving about 1 tablespoon drippings in the pan. Set the pan, reserve drippings and bacon aside.
- Brown the beef: In a resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the beef chunks and shake to coat evenly with the flour mix. Return the frying pan to medium-high heat. When the droppings are hot, add half the beef chunks and cook, turning once, until well browned – about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining beef counts adding the reserve drippings if needed. Scatter the carrots, celery, garlic and potatoes on top. Add the bacon.
- Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the wine, broth, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce. Mix well, bring to a boil and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Pour the contents over into the slow cooker. Add the bay leaf.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours (high) or 8-9 (low). The beef should be VERY tender. Stir in the rosemary. Cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes to thicken the sauce.
- Optional: Beef Stew always tastes delicious over pasta. Keith and I usually enjoy it over egg noodles or bucatini (because the inside is so hollow it sucks up all the juices).