Monday, February 27, 2012

Crock Pot Beef Stew

Crock Pot Beef Stew is comfort food at it's best. It really is amazing to walk into the house at the end of the day and smell dinner, or walk back into the house after getting the mail, if you're me.  I've become a bit of a recluse in my post-having-a-baby world.  I'm more than ready for warm Spring weather so going outside doesn't involve bundling up in one of Jon's jackets over both me and the baby. 

This takes slightly more prep work than some of my other crock pot meals because it involves searing the beef.  This step is totally worth it, even if you pour wine into your screaming hot skillet and it spatters all over the stove.  Maybe don't do that last part if you can avoid it.

You can, of course, add in different vegetables here.  Sliced mushrooms would be good, and a couple handfuls of frozen peas tossed in near the end.  

Crock Pot Beef Stew

2+ pounds beef (I used pre-cut stew meat because I couldn't deal with meat slicing, but any steak will do)
1/4 cup flour, for dredging
salt and pepper
Canola oil
1 cup red wine
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup tomato paste

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
Toss beef in a mixture of flour, salt and pepper to coat.
Working in batches, add beef to skillet and brown on all sides.
After cooked, put beef back in the bowl you used to dredge with flour.
Pour wine into the skillet to deglaze, using a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan.  Stand back if your skillet is still very hot, it could spatter.  I'd recommend removing the pan from the heat and giving it a minute to cool down.
Pour wine over beef and set aside while you prepare vegetables.
Into the crock pot add remaining ingredients.
Add in beef and wine and stir.
Cover and cook on high for 6+ hours.  I like my beef stew completely shredded and falling apart, so I cooked on high for 6 hours and then low for 2.  
Serve with bread to mop up the broth.


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