Earlier this week, I was craving some beef stew. It complements the cold evenings so well! Plus, I need more iron in my diet. So, the stars aligned.
I gathered my basic recipe foundation from Food Network: Slow Cooker Beef Stew.
But, I had to make some tweaks to the recipe based on what my tastes are and what I had on hand in the kitchen.
- 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces — cut as much fat off as possible
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (that’s all I had in the kitchen) plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup corn starch (what I had available)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound small white potatoes, halved
- 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
- 4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, cut into 1 -inch chunks (addition to recipe)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (I used several dashes of dried thyme as that’s what I had)
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional (didn’t use this bc didn’t have)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped
- Sour cream, for serving (we used greek yogurt)
- Toss the beef with the paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat in 1/3 cup corn starch and shake off any excess.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook undisturbed until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, turning the beef as needed, until mostly browned, about 3 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the beef to the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker
- Add the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and onions and stir to combine.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute.
- Add the 1/3 cup corn starch and wine and whisk until thick (it’s OK if there are some lumps).
- Add the beef broth, thyme, caraway if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking
- Continue simmering and whisking until the gravy is smooth and thick, about 4 minutes.
- Pour the gravy into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. The meat and vegetables should be tender.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.
- Serve the stew in bowls with dollops of sour cream/greek yogurt and a sprinkle of paprika.
I browned the meat the night before and set the crockpot on low overnight. When it was done, I took out the crockpot insert and left in on the stove top to cool. Got home around 5:30pm and was ready to serve for the family. This modified recipe was able to feed 4 servings the first night, and 3 servings for leftovers. Keep in mind, we used large bowls.
This recipe definitely tackled my craving (yep, 24 weeks preggo!) and satisfied my husband and my mother-in-law as well! Bonus, our 9.5 month old really enjoyed eating the tender beef and vegetables as well! Family friendly meal!