Friday, June 28, 2013

crock pot beef stew

I love the crock pot. It's so good and amazing and simple and perfect. It's so convenient to come home to a cooked meal. The only downside? Actually having to clean the crock pot out later.
Liberally season the chunks with salt and pepper to start. Always key.
The only real cooking that you need to do in this recipe is when you cook the beef. Well, you don't really cook the beef, but you want to get a sear on a few sides of the tips to give the stew some extra depth of flavor. The flour helps to thicken the sauce later, too.
Crustification. After I've cooked all the beef chunks, I then pour the beef stock into the stock pot so that I can get all those little bits from off the bottom of the pot into the crock.
Beef stew is great because it's easy to alter. These are my favorite- onion, potatoes, celery, carrots and green beans. But, you can use turnips, peas, etc.
The beef is on the bottom.
Add your seasonings and stir it up! Add your broth and then prepare to slow cook.
6-8 hours later, this is what you'll have. Savory, yummy... ah! Here's an addition step that I find very necessary. Spoon out about 1/2 cup of the broth and transfer to a small bowl.
Mix the broth with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to make a thick slurry. Pour this back into the crock pot, stir, and cook for another 30 minutes.
This just makes the broth more thick and rich and smooth and yummy :)
Crock Pot Beef Stew
2 lb stewing beef, in cubes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup flour
2 medium onions, cut into chunks
4 carrots, chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Handful of green bean, cut into chunks
3 ribs celery, cut into chunks
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, including juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 cups beef stock
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

In a large stock pot or pan, heat olive oil. Liberally season beef chunks with salt and pepper and dredge through flour. Sear floured beef chunks in olive oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to crock pot. Pour beef stock into the pan to dredge up the bits left over from cooking the beef chunks. Add chopped onion, carrots, green beans, potatoes and celery to the crock pot along with the diced tomatoes, garlic, bay, Italian seasonings, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and beef stock. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. After 6-8 hour, remove about a 1/2 cup broth from the crock pot and transfer to  a small bowl. Combine transferred broth with cornstarch to make a slurry. Transfer back into the crock pot, stir to combine and cook for an additional 30 minutes to thicken broth. Remove bay leaves and serve hot. Enjoy!