Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cold Day Beef Stew

So I'd been itching to use my crockpot again. I wanted to make something satisfying and yummy for this cold, endless winter we've been having. Thankfully, I may have hit the spot with this one.

I'm calling this Cold Day Beef Stew because we had a high of nine degrees today. It's a nice, thick stew that's really satisfying.

I stole and modified the recipe from my crockpot cookbook. The thing I love about appliances like this is that they come with recipes you know will work in the appliance. The thing I don't like about the ready-made cookbook is that the recipes are 'safe'. There wasn't a lot that was special about this recipe until I shook it up. As always, the true recipe is first, followed by my notes/thoughts at the bottom.

"Wild Mushroom Beef Stew"
1 1/2 to 2lbs beef stew meat, cut into one-inch cubes.
1/8 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. paprika
4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped

Put the beef in the crockpot. Mix together the flour, salt, and pepper and pour over the meat, stirring to coat each piece of meat with flour. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Cover and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours. Stir thoroughly before serving.

  • I followed this recipe almost exactly, except for the mushrooms.
  • Next time, I'm going to increase the tsps. of salt and pepper to 1 tsp. each. It just didn't have enough flavor for our tastes.
  • I'll most likely omit the flour as well. It gave the beef a funny taste and it didn't seem as tender as it could have been. If I want the broth to thicken up into the stew, I'll use cornstarch or instant mashed potatoes.
  • I used one cup of beef stock (small box), and I had a 1/4 cup sitting in the fridge. I used those and then added a 1/3 cup of water. I prefer a soupier stew. This one absorbed all the moisture, so next time I might add 2 cups of beef broth.
Graham seemed to enjoy it. It wasn't as tender as I wanted it to be, and that may have been due to the flour. I might try a meat tenderizer next time, just to be sure. However, it was satisfying. Neither of us are hungry, and we had multiple portions. This easily feeds a family of four or five. It's nice and thick and the vegetables turn it into a nice meal.

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