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October 2009

Slow Cooker Beef and Vegetable Stew


Slow-Cooker Beef and Vegetable Stew

2 T vegetable oil, divided

3 lb beef chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 medium onions, diced

1/4 t salt

6 oz can tomato paste

2 T soy sauce

1 1/2 c beef broth

1/2 c red wine

1 t dried thyme, divided

2 bay leaves

2 T Minute tapioca

1 T olive oil

2 large Russet potatoes, cubed

3 stalks celery, sliced into 1/4 inch thick moons

2 c diced carrot

2 c frozen peas

Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in medium stockpot until it is shimmering hot. Work in batches and sear beef on several sides, then remove to slow-cooker. After browning and removing all the beef, heat another tablespoon of vegetable oil and then add onions and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to pan. Cook over medium-high heat until onions begin to brown. Add tomato paste and stir constantly for one minute, then add soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, wine and beef broth. Whisk to combine, then pour over beef in slow-cooker. Add tapioca and bay leaf.

In a separate bowl toss carrots potatoes and celery with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. Tear a sheet of aluminum foil that is roughly twice as wide as your slow-cooker. Place vegetables on aluminum foil and then fold over, crimping aluminum foil to seal. Put vegetable pack directly on top of beef in slow-cooker. Replace lid and cook on high for 6-7 hours.

Carefully open aluminum foil packet and stir roasted vegetables along with 2 cups of frozen peas into beef. 

Printable version here

Notes: Sorry for the lack of posts recently; nothing reduces ones desire to cook (or eat for that matter) faster than a sinus infection. For two weeks everything tasted like dust.

I have lots of recipes for stew and I like them all for different reasons. This was particularly nice when I didn't feel well because after an initial rally to get the beef done I didn't have to worry about dinner again all day. The techniques of using the tapioca as a thickener and of putting the vegetables in aluminum foil are both compliments of Cook's Country. Patrick liked this recipe, Caroline and Edward did not. I had lots of leftover stew so I put it into mini loaf pans and covered it with a pie crust and froze it to have as pot pies later. 


Almost Instant Tomato Soup


Almost Instant Tomato Soup

1 T butter

2 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves

2 T flour

3 c chicken broth

28 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1 t sugar

1/4 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/2 t dried basil

In a stockpot, heat butter and oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft, about ten minutes. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir. Add chicken broth, tomatoes plus liquid, sugar, salt, pepper, and basil - bring to a boil and then lower heat and cover. Simmer thirty minutes and then puree using an immersion blender, blender or food processor.

For cheese toast garnish: slice baguette at angle, rub with garlic, sprinkle with grated parmesan and broil until cheese melts.       

Printable version here

Notes: After a week of the flu I wanted something hot, light, soupy and easy. I made this last night and it was so good I am making another batch right now. I think the original recipe was in Fine Cooking but I could not find the issue when I made it so let's call it an inspired version.