Monday, February 21, 2011

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew, originally uploaded by essgee51.

With a Christmas Amazon gift card from John's aunt and uncle, we finally bought a slow cooker!

Our first project, based on this recipe, was a success - the meat was tender, and the sauce was rich, silky and savory in a way that only slow-cooked food can be. Next time, we may experiment with more/different herbs -- and definitely add more mushrooms. Tweaks below.
  • 2 tbsp. oil (used peanut this time)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves,chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme (orig. 1/2 tsp. dried, but in an unusual reversal, I didn't have any)
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 c. low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb. frozen peas
  • fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Put the oil in a large pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the celery, carrots, onion and thyme. Cook till the carrots begin to soften, about 7-10 minutes.

Add tomato paste and stir to coat. Cook another 3-5 minutes or so, till the tomato paste starts tasting a bit roasted. Add wine and mustard, then stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook till wine's reduced by about half, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cut the roast into 1-1/2 in. cubes. Put the meat and mushrooms in the flour mixture and toss to coat.

Put the meat, mushrooms and any excess flour into the slow cooker. Add the wine and vegetable mixture, and a bay leaf. Turn the slow cooker to high and cook till meat is pierced easily by a fork, 5-6 hours.

Add peas and cook till heated through. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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