Monday, April 28, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

It has been a flash back to winter this weekend.  We had grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner last week because it was cold and rainy and we thought "this might be our last time for a while". Then it proceeded to rain and be freezing cold the rest of the week and into the weekend.

My husband and I sat around Saturday morning watching it pour down rain outside waiting to hear if soccer games would be canceled or not and trying to play our day of grocery shopping, clothes shopping, sporting events and general mayhem. My husband suggested beef stew for dinner. It immediately sounded wonderful. But truth is, I am not a great beef stew maker, the meat tends to be chewy and the vegetables get over done and are flavorless.

I looked up a few recipes online to get the general feel for what was going to be required and to make a grocery list since we were heading to the store. The list of ingredients was very simple and also inexpensive. This is always a matter of concern when feeding 7 kids. How can I get all their bellies full without spending 50$.  (And sometimes they have very very empty bellies that need a lot of filling - teenager boys can eat a lot)

We got back from the grocery store with the rain still coming down strong and all the ingredients to make our stew.  Together, I prepped the meat and my husband chopped the veggies. We were done in less than 5 minutes and had the whole thing in the slow cooker by 1pm. I turned it up onto high, because we didn't have the 10-12 hours that the recipe called for and hoped that the 4-5 that it was going to get would be enough to give us tender and juicy meat instead of chewy cheap meat.

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups beef broth
3 potatoes, diced  ( I used more potatoes so the recipe would go a little bit further as cheaply as possible)
4 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped

1. Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
2. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.

It turned out amazing and everyone loved it. Even my one child who professed to not like beef stew enjoyed it.  We have enough leftover for a small lunch today and that is just going to be perfect.

I would recommend this recipe to any and all of you, even those of us that have not had great success with beef stew in the past. It was simple, flavorful and packed with the type of comfort food goodness that you want to provide for your family.  Enjoy! - hopefully soon the weather is going to be warming up to springtime any day now.