Slow Cooker Beef Stew
I found this comforting winter meal on movitabeaucoup.com. To make it even easier I got the precut, pre washed carrots, celery and potatoes at my local Wegmans market. I also went with the precut beef stew meat from the butcher section. As a vegetarian alternative you could use fava beans or red kidney beans instead of the beef.
2 lbs of stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium sized onions, chopped into medium pieces
2 – 3 ribs celery, chopped
4 – 6 carrots, chopped
4 cups chunked potatoes (I used Dutch yellow and did not peel)
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes (I use plum tomatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3 cups sodium reduced beef broth, divided
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Croutons: 1 loaf of cheese bread (recipe not included as I got mine at good ol’ Wegmans)
Slice in one inch slices and toast under broiler or in toaster oven. Cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch squares. Super easy.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then lightly brown the meat in batches. Transfer browned beef to a plate and set aside.
Dump the tomatoes into the slow cooker (juice and all). Crush them with a potato masher or spoon. Add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the vegetables and then add the beef and any accumulated drippings. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the beef broth over the beef and vegetables. Give the mixture a quick stir. Add the bay leaves.
Cover and cook on low for about 6 – 8 hours.
About 20 minutes before serving, add the frozen peas and salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together the flour and remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth, creating a smooth paste. Stir into the stew. Continue cooking until thickened (about 15-20 minutes).
Remove the bay leaves and serve. I served mine with cheese bread croutons. You can not ask for a heartier stew after a long winter day. Thanks again to movitabeaucoup.com for this one!