Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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.

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From Food Network: Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Level: Easy
Total: 8 hr 40 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 8 hr 20 min
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and onions and stir to combine.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the 1/3 cup corn starch and wine and whisk until thick (it’s OK if there are some lumps).
  6. Add the beef broth, thyme, caraway if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking
  7. Continue simmering and whisking until the gravy is smooth and thick, about 4 minutes.
  8. Pour the gravy into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. The meat and vegetables should be tender.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.
  10. 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!

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