October 13, 2010

Beef Stew aka A Hug in a Bowl

I look forward to cooler/colder months, so I can make comfort food.  I love comfort food!  It is so yummy and gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.  This recipe does both of those things.  This is the second time I've made this recipe.  Both times it has been a wonderful success.  I come back to this (ok, sometimes, I dream about it) because the meat gets so tender, it almost melts in your mouth!

The stew is made in the slow cooker, with some prep work before dumping everything in.  The meat has to be browned.  It can be a little messy, but definitely worth it!  Once the stew starts cooking in the slow cooker, the smell is so tempting.  It is hard to wait 7 1/2 hours to eat.  If you can't wait 7 1/2 hours, you can cook it on high for 4 hours.  :)

Slow-Cooker Classic Beef Stew

4 pounds bottom round, well trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup olive oil (plus more if needed)
2 large onions, diced (2 cups)
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 pound potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1/2 pound baby carrots (about 2 cups)
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Coat the beef in the flour.  Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown the meat, a few pieces at a time, adding more oil as necessary.  Transfer to a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker.

Add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste and coat the onions; transfer to the cooker.

Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits; add to the cooker.  Stir in the potatoes, carrots, broth, salt, thyme, and bay leaf.

Cover and cook on low heat for 7 1/2 hours, or on high for 4 hours.  Add the peas and heat through.

Serves 8 to 10

Hat Tip - Real Simple

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