Monday, March 18, 2013

Slow Cooker Beef Stew (Or Not, You Choose!)

I know this picture looks like a big pile of mash, but it actually was really delicious beef stew.  I made it two weeks in a row.  The first time, I made it in the slow cooker.  The meat was very tender, but the potatoes kind of turned in to mush.  The second time, I didn't remember to do the slow cooker and made it on the stove.  I cooked it for about an hour, and the potatoes weren't at all mush.  However, the meat was not as tender as it had been in the slow cooker.  So I guess it is a toss up which is the best way to cook it.  Either way, it is a hearty, easy to prepare stew for a cold winter day.

Beef Stew
adapted from:

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into one inch chunks
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. chopped bay leaves (or one bay leaf)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 c. beef broth
3 potatoes, diced
4 carrots, sliced

For the slow cooker:
Place the meat in the slow cooker.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper and pour it over the meat.  Stir until all the meat is coated.  Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth.  Add the onion, carrots and potatoes.  Cook on low for 10-12 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours.

For the stove top:
In a large Ziploc bag, pour the flour, salt and pepper and shake to stir.  Add the stew meat and shake it until it is all coated with the flour mixture.  Brown the beef in 1-2 tablespoons of oil.  In a large pot, add the beef, garlic, bay leaves, Worcestershire, onion, potatoes, carrots and beef broth.  Bring to a boil and then turn it down to low and simmer for as long as you need to, stirring occasionally.  I did mine an hour.  You could add more water if needed.

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