Tuesday, January 8, 2019

All the Stew-y Feels

I think I was a weird kid - I asked for beef stew for dinner. It was not something my mom usually made - so often if I asked for it - she'd get the ingredients and I would make the meal. Back then I'd use the packet mix and simmer it away all afternoon.
Adulting sometimes means finding better ways to do things. Who has time to simmer something away all afternoon when you have a crockpot that can do that for you. This beef stew recipe has all the stewy feels. The beef, the carrots, the potatoes, and the onions. It also has bay leaves. We had soup a few days ago and I forgot to take the bay leaves out - horrors of horrors! Same happened with the beef stew but we turned it into a special surprise prize - OH!! I got a bay leave how exciting! Yes we are weird sometimes, you know this, yes?
The kids liked this one - it had all normal food they like and eat and we paired it with homemade bread so that is always a winner.
This recipe has you pre-brown the meat, but that's not too hard. Just toss it in a pan and brown each side. I still put it all in the crock at night into the fridge, then put it in the heating element in the morning and plugged it in. I do love those kinds of meals where I can do all the prep the night before and then just enjoy the next day.
Also... Yes that picture is out of the plastic container we stored it in. I totally forgot to take photos When we ate - I guess I was just WAY too excited for Beef Stew... or just plain forgot. Details.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound baby red potatoes, quartered
4 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Season beef with salt and pepper, to taste. Add beef to the skillet and cook until evenly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
Place beef, potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire, thyme, rosemary, paprika, caraway seeds and bay leaves until well combined; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 1/2 cup stew broth. Stir in flour mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until thickened.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

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