Waist-Friendly Slow Cooker Beef Stew

| January 6, 2011 | 7 Comments

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When Will came home from school today, my house smelled incredible. The the lingering scent of slow-cooking beef mixed with red wine, garlic and more was mouthwatering and hit me as soon as we stepped through the door. I couldn’t wait until dinnertime.

The stew, which the kids both ate a lot of, was hearty and well cooked. After hours of cooking, the potatoes with silky soft and the meat was fork tender — just as it should be. When I asked Shawn what he thought, he said, “Very good.” That’s a sentiment that I haven’t heard about a stew in a long, long, long time.

I’ve really fallen for this slow cooking lately. The whole idea of tossing ingredients in a pot and letting it take care of itself is so incredibly helpful at the conclusion of a busy day when the last thing I want to do is create a fabulous meal. Are you a slow cooking fan? What’s your favorite slow cooker recipe? Share! I am dying to try more!

Waist-Friendly Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 12 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb beef stew meat
  • 4 cups beef broth or stock
  • 1 cup red wine (something you'd be happy to drink!)
  • 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 lb Idaho potatoes, rinsed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, rinsed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except the salt and pepper, in a slow cooker and stir well. Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 5-6 hours or on low and cook for 10-12 hours. The stew is done when the vegetables are tender and the meat is falling apart. Remove the sprigs of thyme (for easier removal, tie them together with kitchen string before cooking). Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Now, you can serve it just like this, or you can thicken it as you desire ... your choice. I use a little cornstarch mixed with a little of the broth to thicken it ever so slightly.
  3. Enjoy.
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Category: Beef, Recipes, Slow-Cooker, soup

About the Author ()

Sarah W. Caron is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in countless online and print publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Connecticut with her two kids, two beagles and husband.

Comments (7)

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  1. Chris says:

    Yum….this is comfort food at its finest! I love slow roasting/cooking. Made lamb by slow cooking for an article and wow! :) This has been bookmarked! :)

  2. Beverly says:

    I love my slow cooker! In fact, tonight we had “20 clover chicken.” There are a number of variations, but the staple is that you put 20+ cloves of garlic in the bottom of the pot and top with chicken. I combined two recipes, one from http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ and another from a cookbook and ended up with this:

    Ingredients:
    2 heads garlic
    1 onion
    4 stalks celery
    1 5-lb chicken
    1/4 c dry white wine
    2 T parsley
    1 T red pepper flakes
    1 tsp oregano
    zest and juice of one lemon

    Mix wine, parsley, red pepper flakes and oregano together. Peel garlic and toss with wine mixture. Put garlic into a 6-quart cooker. Coarsely chop onion and celery and put them on top of garlic. Coat chicken in remaining marinade and put it on top of veggies. Pour remaining marinade over top. Squirt lemon juice and sprinkle the zest over the chicken. Cook on low until juices run clear (6-8 hours).

  3. Faith Kramer says:

    Very good timing. I was just thinking I needed a recipe like that since I’m back on weight watchers and my husband wants beef stew!

    • Sarah Caron says:

      Faith, ha! My husband knew that I was going to be focusing on eating healthy and the first thing he asked was “But couldn’t we make room for beef stew? Please.” So I did. Hope you enjoy it!

      Beverly, thank you so much for the recipe! I am going to try that next week. I’ve made something similar in the oven, but can’t wait to try your version in the slow cooker. Mmmm.

      Chris, definitely comfort food, and considering that it’s New England winter now (it’s 13 degrees out right now. brrr), this is the perfect time for it.

  4. Kate says:

    I think I lived out of my crockpot when I was in law school. Now I use it les often, but anytime I do I’m re-reminded of how fabulous a tool it is.

  5. Joanne says:

    I am a HUGE slow cooker fan. There is nothing better than coming home from a long day of classes and finding that dinner is already cooked!

    I love making pulled pork in the slow cooker. I use pork tenderloin so it’s super lean and it still comes out moist and delicious every time!

  6. Ella says:

    Finally! A beef stew recipe that is easy and meant for the slow cooker. Nothing more irritating than a recipe with a long list of ingredients and then you have to partially cook on stove top before moving it to the slow cooker. Yours is easy and simple – and delish!

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