Monday, March 12, 2012

Chunky Beef Stew {slow cooker}

Thanks to Blooming, I was inspired to make beef stew. Roasts were on sale last week when I did my grocery shopping. This recipe requires a little prep work, but is really easy. Plus, I love that there are tons of veggies in it. Once it was in the crock pot, I had a lot of free time to play with the kids, and work on my garden

3 tbsp olive oil
2.5-3lb beef roast, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup all purpose flour
2 large onions (I always use sweet onions)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium potatoes, chopped (any kind will work, I used russet, but yukon gold would be yummy)
8 oz package of mushrooms, roughly chopped (I used baby bellas)
3 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch coins
4 cups beef broth (or 4 cups water, plus 4 beef bouillon cubes)
1/2 cup water
1 package onion soup mix (or beefy onion is good too)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 tbsp fresh)
1 tsp rosemary  (or 1 tbsp fresh)
1/2 tsp thyme (or 1/2 tbsp fresh)
1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste

Chop up your beef into 1 inch chunks. 

Then put the beef and 1 cup flour into a ziploc bag and shake it around to coat the beef.

Chop up all of your veggies, and get your spices ready.

Lots of yummy veggies! I especially loved having mushrooms in this dish. I'm thinking of cutting the meat in half and doubling the mushrooms next time.

 Heat up 3 tbsp olive oil in a large pan on medium heat until it's shimmering. Then add the beef (coated in flour) to the pan. Brown the meat, and cook off the flour taste. Don't cook it too long, just get some good color on the meat. Transfer the meat to your crock pot.

Then add the onions to the same pan.

Cook a little, until they soften a bit. Then, add the garlic, and cook some until the onions are transparent, and the garlic is fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

If you are using beef bouillon, I recommend mixing it with hot water in a large measuring cup or bowl. You can add the spices, and onion soup mix to the broth also.

Once the onions and garlic are cooked well, add them to the crock pot on top of the beef.

Then, add the tomato paste and veggies.

Add the beef broth/seasoning mixture.

Don't forget the bay leaves.

Depending on the size of your crock pot, and how much meat you use that might be too much veggies. I filled my crock pot all the way to the brim, and saved the rest of the veggies in a ziploc bag. I'll find something to make with them tomorrow.

Cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 8 hours). You will probably want to give it a good stir around hour 3 (or 6 if you are cooking on low).

The stew was really delicious, and I think it will be even better as leftovers! I probably will freeze some of the stew in a ziploc bag too.

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