Sunday, February 10, 2013

Savory Beef and Vegetable Stew: slow cooker tested, toddler approved!

Back in December, when I shared my recipe for a kale and chicken meatball soup, I made the bold statement that I'd be making a lot of hearty and healthy winter stews this season.

Well, I'm ashamed to say that although I have been making stew after soup (still don't know the difference!), I haven't posted too many of them here because, frankly, they don't photograph well!  I've been really trying to take advantage of my slow cooker, and honestly although food that's been stewed together for hours tastes DIVINE...
meat that melts in your mouth, vegetables that sing and a savory, saucy broth that marries everything together... it doesn't show up so well, in my opinion, under a camera lens.

But, I think I managed to catch the mouth-watering taste of this stew pretty well in this latest photo, so I hope that it will entice you to bring out your slow cooker and stew up some veges and beef!

Slow cookers are great friends for small space dwellers.  As one pot meals, they (by definition) take up less space when cooking.  Now, technically, for this dish you should brown the meat in a separate pan first, but I've done it without that first step and it turns out well too, if a little less juicy.

Two extra bonuses about this recipe, which you'll find in most of my recipes: (1) it's GERD friendly in so far as I don't use pepper, hot sauce, paprika etc anywhere, and (2) it's toddler friendly!  Yes, that's right, the Little One who is a super picky eater ate quite a hefty portion of the meat today for lunch.  Hooray!  Success!

And now, the recipe.  Happy slow cooking!

Savory Slow Cooker Beef and Vegetable Stew
This slow cooker recipe requires a good sized slow cooker-- about 4 quarts or more.  Mine holds only 3 quarts, so I ended up baking off most of the potatoes and carrots separately.  But if you have the space, cook those root veges straight in the stew, they taste a lot better that way!  

Ingredients & Directions:

Place in the bottom of a medium-large slow cooker:
4 medium potatoes, chopped
1 cup baby carrots

Mix together in a gallon sized Ziploc bag: 
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Add to the bag:
2 pounds beef stew meat (~1.5"-2" chunks), patted dry

Shake well and rub flour mix into meat.  Heat olive or vegetable oil (about a tablespoon) in a large skillet.  Brown meat on all sides, in batches, transferring to slow cooker once browned.

Add to the slow cooker, and toss gently with the meat:
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
6 medium sized mushrooms, cut in half

Mix separately, in a large measuring cup if you have it, then add to the slow cooker:
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water or broth
4-5 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste (like this one)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Cook in the slow cooker on high for 5 hours.  In the last 15 minutes add:
1 cup peas (frozen and thawed, or fresh)


  1. Yum! I'll have to get a slow cooker and try this. We should plan a slow cooker potluck. xo.


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