I always thought of beef stew as a hearty dish with lots of veggies, tender beef, and most of all a super thick gravy. When I moved out, this is what I always strived for when making beef stew. It took me a few years, some experiments, but I finally came up with a great beef stew that simmers away in the crockpot filling the house with enticing smells and the comfort of coziness.
I will forewarn you that while this does cook in a crockpot it does take some effort to get it there. You have to be willing to work and love it a bit before allowing it to go off on it’s own and do it’s thing.
If you do that, then you’ll get a great bowl of stew at the end of the day!
Andrea’s Beef Stew
- 2lbs Beef Stew Meat, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 Large Onion, chopped
- 4 Large Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2C Frozen Peas
- 2C Frozen Corn
- 1/2C Green Lentils, uncooked
- 2C Frozen Green Beans
- 5-6 Potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 2TBSP Unbleached All-Purpose Flour plus 4TBSP, Heaping
- 1 Quart of Beef Stock
- 1C Dry Red Wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3tsp Garlic Powder, plus additional
- 1tsp Ground Sage, plus additional
- 2TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
- Olive Oil for cooking
Set your crockpot to low and add in the potatoes, peas, corn, lentils, and green beans. Once the stew meat is cut into bite sized pieces, place in a storage bag (or glass bowl) and sprinkle with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Not much, just a touch. Then add in 2TBSP of flour. Shake until all the pieces are coated. In a medium sized sautee pan, heat olive oil, about 1TBSP over medium heat. Add in a few pieces of stew meat, do not crowd the pan. This may take two or three batches to get all the stew meat seared. Sear meat on each side for about a minute then remove from pan and place in a bowl. Repeat until all stew meat is seared. You aren’t cooking the meat here but just giving it a nice little crust on the outside. Add the stew meat to the crockpot.
Add in the onions and carrot to the hot sautee pan. If you need to add in more oil, do so but not too much. Sautee and add in the seasonings, including the Worcestershire sauce. Cook just until you can smell the onions and they just start to soften. Add in the 4 TBSP of flour, stirring until the veggies are coated. Cook for another minute or two. Add in the red wine and half of the beef stock. Cook until the mixture thickens and starts to simmer. Remove from heat and pour mixture into the crockpot.
Stir all ingredients together, place lid on the crockpot and cook for at least 6 hours.
Stir, taste to see if more seasoning needs added, then spoon into bowls and serve hot.
So while it does take some prep work, I promise you that by the end of the day when you’re tired and dinner is ready, you’ll be thankful you took that time. Everything is tender and the red wine adds some depth to the dish that you won’t get just from using stock.
You might think sage is an odd herb to use but I really love it paired with earthy dishes. Beef is deep in flavor and full of earthy tones. Sage goes great with that and the red wine makes everything stand out.
You’ll want to use a red wine that you would drink and you want it to be a spicy dark one, like a merlot or cab.
Of course if you don’t drink wine, or don’t have any on hand just use more stock. If you can though, I highly encourage you to use the wine.
Make sure to have some bread on hand for dipping and helping to get the last bits out of the bowl!
Winter comfort food at it’s best!
Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!