Beef Stew

Beef Stew

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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Classic Beef Stew -(serves 4 to 6) You won't miss the addition of fresh herbs or red wine in this stew.  Of course you can add them if you'd like but as I said before, I try not to spend a lot of money on our weeknight dinners and things like fresh herbs and wine can quadruple the price of the meal. Don't add salt to the stew until after it has finished cooking and you have tasted it. The sodium content can vary  quite a lot depending on the kind of stock that you use . Plus, the soup mix adds a lot of salt by itself. I served the stew with some Rosemary Focaccia Bread and a salad.

2 lbs beef stew meat that has been cubed
flour for dredging
4 tablespoons veg oil divided
2 cups chopped carrots (about 5 large carrots)
2 cups chopped potatoes (about 4 medium)
stew meat just beginning to brown
3 celery ribs chopped
2 medium onions chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
4 cups beef broth/stock (preferably low sodium)
1 package onion soup mix
2 bay leaves  
2 tsp dried Italian herbs or dried rosemary
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

stew meat after it has been browned resting on paper towel
Generously salt and pepper the beef then place in a bag with a cup of flour and shake to coat the stew meat.  Remove from the flour shaking off any excess off of the beef. Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches if necessary, brown the meat flipping the pieces over after the first side is brown. This should take about 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining pieces.

With the skillet still hot, add the beef broth and scrape up any brown bits off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. In your slow-cooker, add the meat, veggies, soup mix, herbs, bay leaves and vinegar and top with the hot broth.  Cook on low heat for 4 hours or high heat for 2 hours. Add some freshly cracked pepper and remove bay leaves before serving.
all ready to cook
out of the crock pot with some rosemary foccacia

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