Crock-pot Beef Stew

Fall is on the horizon, weather is getting cooler, and you are getting busier. Time to pull out that amazing Crock-pot to have dinner ready when you get home. Beef stew is a frequent flyer on my fall and winter dinner menu since it warms the belly on cold nights. You can use pretty much anything that you have in the fridge, and it cooks itself. What’s not to love about that? The recipe that I am sharing today is just one of the many varieties that I have made. Have fun with this recipe and enjoy having dinner ready when you walk in the door.

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Active time: 30 minutes

Inactive time: 6-10 hours

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

4 lbs. beef for stew, cut into bite-sized pieces if necessary

1 onion, chopped

2 Russet potatoes, large diced

1 Serrano pepper, sliced in half

12 button mushrooms, quartered

14.5 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes

1/4 C. oil (I used 2 T. bacon dripping and 2 T. oil oil)  IMG_4705

3 T. Kosher salt

2 T. black pepper

2 T. granulated garlic

1 T. seasoning salt

2 T. Litehouse garlic

2 T. Litehouse parsley

2 T. Litehouse oregano

2 T. Litehouse dill

6 C. beef broth or stock

1 C. red wine (I used Medoc)

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6 C. Minute brown rice

6 C. beef broth

Procedure:

1. Cut the beef for stew into bite size pieces.

2. Chop the onions, potatoes, mushrooms, and slice your Serrano pepper. Place all of the vegetables in the Crock-pot.

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3. Add the canned tomatoes to the Crock-pot as well.

4. Heat 1 T. of oil on medium high.

5. While the pan is heating, season the meat with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and seasoning salt. This can be done in a bowl or in a plastic bag. Mix well to ensure all of the meat in coated with the seasoning.

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6. When the pan is to temperature, add the cubes of meat arranging so there is space between them to brown properly. Brown the meat for 20-30 seconds per side then add it to the Crock-pot and repeat until all of the meat is seared. Add 1 T. of oil at a time as needed.

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7. When all of the meat is seared and in the Crock-pot with your vegetables, add the parsley, garlic, oregano, dill, and stir to combine.

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8. Add the broth and wine then stir to combine. Carefully move the Crock-pot ceramic insert back into the electrical unit and turn the Crock-pot onto low.

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9. The stew can cook for up to 10 hours. If you are going to cook it for a longer period make sure you leave your beef and vegetables a bit larger so they don’t mush in the Crock-pot.

10. After the stew is done cooking it can be eaten over rice. I used Minute brown rice and beef broth. I used a one to one ratio rice to broth. Using the beef broth enhances the flavor of the stew. Now that everything is done enjoy the dinner that almost cooked itself.

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Variations and Notes:

  • The Serrano pepper can be substituted for jalapenos, Anaheim, Scotch Bonnet, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or any other pepper you would like to use. The pepper can be omitted as well.
  • Pork can be substituted for the beef. The meat can also be omitted.
  • Lentils, beans, and/or grains can be added to the stew.
  • Any vegetable can be used in this recipe as well as any herb. Some suggestions are carrots, celery, red potatoes, rosemary, cilantro, cumin, etc.
  • If you don’t have a Crock-pot this can be done in a Dutch oven in placed in the oven on 325 degrees. I wouldn’t suggest leaving the house with the oven on however (safety first).
  • Pasta can be used instead of rice or the stew can be eaten alone.
  • Searing the meat locks in the seasonings, flavor, and juices. It is the longest step but it makes a huge difference in the end product.
  • I used bacon dripping to sear the meat just because I had it on hand. Any oil can be used in this recipe.
  • I usually buy or make a crusty bread to eat with the stew. A fresh sourdough baguette is a good pairing if you can find it.
  • I use any red wine that I have at home that is already opened, one that I am going to drink while making dinner, one that I’m going to drink with dinner, or the combination of all three. I only cook with wines that I enjoy drinking because who wants to eat a wine they don’t even want to drink? Not me.
  • C=cups
  • T=tablespoons
  • t=teaspoons
  • oz=ounces
  • lb=pounds

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