February 20, 2010

Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I'm in love with my crockpot.  Most of you already know this from hearing my tales full of excitement of what I've already made and what I'm planning to throw together for next time. I've tried various recipes for beef stew.   Quick recipes, slow cooker, healthy, not so healthy... I found the best one by far in my opinion.  I prepped all the veggies the night before and cut them up and put in the fridge in a sealed container.   The next morning before work I finished prepping the meat and added everything to the slow cooker.  It took about 10-15 minutes to get everything into the crockpot.   I smelled of seared meat all day so next time I'll brown the meat the previous night as well. 

6 medium red potatoes, quartered
4 medium carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces
3 medium onions, quartered
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 c all purpose flour
2-3 lbs beef chuck, fat trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
2 c beef broth
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 c frozen petite peas, defrosted
1 c frozen corn, defrosted

Combine the potatoes, carrots, onions, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in the insert of a 5-7 quart slow cooker and toss the veggies to distribute seasonings.

Add 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and the flour to a large plastic bag and stir to combine.  Add the meat to the flour, toss to coat and shake off any excess flour. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the meat and brown on all sides.  Transfer the browned meat to the slow cooker insert. 

Deglaze the skillet with the broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Tranfer the contents of the skillet to the slow-cooker insert.  Then add the thyme.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until meat is tender. 

Add the peas and corn and cook for an additional hour.  Season with salt and pepper before serving.  We served with sliced french bread and butter.  Serves 8.

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