When Will came home from school today, my house smelled incredible. 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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.