Slow Cooker Stew

October 9, 2014 - Dinnertime
Slow Cooker Stew

Last Christmas I got a new Crock Pot that also browns meat too.  I am so busy, I couldn’t be bothered with reading the instructions!  I know, lame.  But it did get me thinking, if I browned the meat before putting it into the old Crock Pot that I am comfortable with, and reduce some wine to deglaze the pan, and then dump it into my sturdy old pot with the veggies – I could make it more flavorful.  And it worked!  Now if only I could get my twins to appreciate stew…in any form,.  Now that would be really fabulous!


2 Russet potatoes peeled

4 carrots peeled

4 celery stalks

3 large shallots (or a medium yellow onion)

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 – 2 pounds stew cubes (chuck is a bit more flavorful but round will do too)

Salt and pepper

Half cup flour

1 cup of red wine

1 tbs tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 cups beef stock (or enough to cover the meat and vegetables

1/2 cup flour

Stew vegetables

Stew vegetables

Chop all of your vegetables into large pieces and set aside in a bowl while you prepare the meat.

Rinse the cubes of stew meat, cut off any excess fat and cut the large cubes down in half.  Put the flour in a shallow bowl.  Season the meat with salt and pepper then dredge in the flour.  Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet.  Once hot, add the beef cubes (probably need to cook in 2 batches).  After the cubes are browned on a couple of sides put them on a plate, do not cook them through.  Pour the red wine in the pan and scrape up all the brown bits, reduce the wine by half (only takes 2 or 3 minutes).  Or…if you have no time at all, skip this and throw the raw cubes and wine in the crock pot!

Add all the vegetables, the tomato paste, bay leaf, paprika, thyme, stock, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and broth into the pot and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.  If the liquid does not cover the vegetables and meat, add a bit of water.   Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 10 hours, or a combination which makes more sense somedays (like first 3 hours on high than finish it for another 4 on low).  Stir occasionally, if you’re around – it’s not even necessary, the beauty of slow cookers are they don’t need a lot of attention.

Tip:  If you are using a high sodium stock, that should be enough salt, but if you are using unsalted or low sodium stock, you may need a bit more salt than the 1 tsp.  Taste and adjust seasoning after it is cooked, you can always add more salt but you can’t take it away, so I go slow. 

Best served with Rye bread, lightly toasted and buttered to mop up the sauce

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