Monday, January 24, 2011

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Chuck thinks this stew tastes like cheeseburger (there's no cheese in it). He even refers to it as cheeseburger beef stew (personally I don't see it).  No matter, the important thing is we both like it. I especially like being done making dinner before I've even had my breakfast. That's the beauty of the slow cooker. Then after a hard day's work, voilà! Like magic, dinner is served.
Yield: 8 servings

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 lb. beef stew meat, cubed in 1-2 inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced (or about 25 baby carrots, cut in half)
3 large potatoes, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
12 oz. beer (not dark)
1/2 cup ketchup
1 (16 oz.) can whole-berry cranberry sauce

1.     Combine flour, salt and pepper in a gallon-size ziploc bag.  Shake beef in bag to coat.
2.     In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over high heat.  Sear beef until browned.  Transfer meat to the slow cooker.  Put the lid on to keep the meat warm, but don’t turn the cooker on just yet.
3.     Add sliced onion to the pan and sauté until soft and brown, stirring and scraping bottom of pot frequently, about 8 minutes.
4.      Add carrots, potatoes and celery to the onions; cook for 5 more minutes.
5.      Add beer, ketchup and cranberry sauce to the vegetables. Stir well and bring to a boil.
6.      Pour the vegetable mixture into the slow cooker and stir with beef to combine. 
7.     Cook on high for 1 hour, then reduce to low and cook for another 7 hours (or until the vegetables are tender and the meat is fully cooked).  If you're going out right away, just set it on low for 8 1/2-9 hours.

adapted from Jan Okun, Encino, CA

Beef stew is not the most photogenic dish, so here's my slow cooker.
I don't know much about slow cookers (this is the only one I've ever had).
It's very simple, but gets the job done. They do make ones with more bells and
whistles if you want one you can program to take slow cooking to the next level.


Anonymous said...

Hah! Did you include the "(not dark)" notation because of me?! Love the idea of "cheeseburger stew"!

Susan said...

I did indeed (I thought it was best to be specific after what happened with the brisket)!

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