White Out Beef Stew
As promised, a white out last night, but miraculously roads clear enough to head to our lake walk. Well, almost clear enough - got dicey in the park (There's only one Jeep.). So the boys are now tuckered, and the stew is on.
SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW (adapted from one of three America's Test Kitchen recipes)
4 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces Salt and pepper 2 T vegetable oil 2 onions, cut in large chunks (see pic)
3 smashed garlic cloves ⅓ cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup tomato paste 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
2 cups beef broth ½ cup dry red wine 1 ½ pounds red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 pound carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced 1 inch thick 2 bay leaves 2 cups frozen peas, thawed 2 T minced fresh parsley
~ Followed the directions for cutting the chuck roast. I refuse to buy pre cut stew meat - too small and too many unknowns. I did cut the cubes rather large since they shrink so much when cooking. Salt and pepper all the meat.
~ The slow cooker I used had a sauté function built in, so 2 T of oil into the cooking vessel and browned just half the meat per America's Test Kitchen instructions. Since the meat will stew, it's really only necessary to brown to get the flavor bits in the mix.
~ Remove beef and add onions. Sauté for 10 minutes till soft and caramelizing. Add salt and pepper at this stage too. (Oh, I may or may not have added a tsp of brown sugar at this point.)
~ Add flour, tomato paste and thyme to onions and cook for a couple minutes to eliminate flour taste.
~ Add 1/2 cup of red wine (I used Merlot) and meld with roux.
~Add beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and meat.
~ Cover and set for six hours on high. (This slow cooker only has a high setting.)
~ After the five hours and 55 minutes, add frozen peas and let heat through for five minutes.
~ Sprinkle with minced parsley.
~ Would be good with just a crusty loaf of bread. . . but I'm making with buttered egg noodles. After our snowy Alpine hikes today, we deserve it.
PRO TIP: When prepping lots of veggies in someone else's kitchen when and where you A) Don't want to make a mess and 2) Are unsure of the strength of your friend's garbage disposal, put a paper bag in the sink when you start.
Peel, shred, dice, smother, chunk, scatter. . . When you're finished, just roll the bag up and throw the whole thing away.