Name a more iconic winter crockpot staple other than beef stew...
I think this was the most flavorful pot of beef stew I've ever thrown together! I also think the secret to a solid beef stew is the length of time in which it cooks. The longer, the better, and the stew tastes even richer the next day. Once again, my crockpot saves the dinner time woes. I've been utilizing my favorite kitchen appliance quite frequently lately thanks to Texas' changes in weather. Anyway, back to the stew. Like always, if you can chop and drop, you can create a beautiful dish that has "comfort" written all over its metaphorical forehead.
Let's chat about the financial breakdown. My beef stew cost me roughly $27.00 and the entire pot yields 6-7 servings. Your most expensive ingredient will be the stew meat, but pricing will vary depending on your grocery store or butcher. Regardless, one bowl of soup will cost you $3.85 and that's hard to beat! The leftovers are amazing and yes, you can freeze them if needed.
Here's what you'll need:
2lbs beef stew meat
1 bag baby carrots
3 celery stalks chopped
1/2 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
Small potatoes of your choice - I used little yellow potatoes but red potatoes are good too! Or, try sweet potatoes. Yum.
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1 15oz can corn drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 heaping tablespoon Beef Better Than Bouillon
A few dashes Worcestershire Sauce
2 pinches of All Purpose Flour + salt/pepper or House Seasoning
4 cups beef stock
Splash of red wine (optional)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Salt + pepper
Corn starch (optional)
1) Begin by chopping your vegetables and tossing them into the bottom of the crockpot. You won't have to cut the baby carrots; aren't they cute?
2) Then, add your canned ingredients. Remember to drain the corn before dumping the kernels into the crockpot. You do not need to drain the tomatoes.
3) Squeeze or spoon in your tomato paste. This really adds such an unmistakable layer of flavor.
4) Next, your bouillon. Seriously, invest in a few jars of this stuff. It's amazing!
5) A few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce. Yum.
6) Now it's time for the meat. Dust your stew meat in a little All Purpose Flour and season with salt and pepper OR for better results, House Seasoning with no MSG. Once prepared, add to your crockpot.
7) Time for the stock. Add 4 cups or an entire container if you're using the same brand as above.
8) The wine is optional but if you have an opened bottle of Cabernet, add a few splashes into the stew. You'll thank me later!
10) Season with salt, pepper, and your dried thyme.
Stir all the goodness together and set your crockpot to the low setting. Cook for 8-10 hours.
11) Around 4:30PM, I came back into my kitchen and whipped out my corn starch. I put two tablespoons into a separate measuring up, added a few spoon fulls of the broth from the stew into the cup and whisked till it created somewhat of a paste. When all the starch is absorbed - no lumps - pour it back into the stew and allow it to keep cooking for another hour or so. This is your thickening agent.
That's a good lookin' pot of yum. And there ya have it, folks. My beef stew recipe of which I frequent several times throughout the winter. You can serve the stew alongside cheesy muffins, cast iron skillet cornbread, OR for the leftovers - I spooned a helping of stew over thick, rich grits and boy was my life changed forever.
Happy stew cooking!