Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 43: Kizzy's Crockpot Beef Stew

The Recipe
300g stew meat
2-3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
Olive oil
1 medium onion cut into chunks
2 fist-sized potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
5-6 baby carrots (or normal carrots, cut into pieces)
1/2 cup beef broth
splash of hearty red wine
1/4 tsp. bottled prepared horseradish (optional)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
splash of barbecue sauce (optional)
a couple of dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
sprig of fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. cornstarch
enough liquid from stew to make a slurry

Heat a glug of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. While it's heating, toss together the flour and seasoning in a Ziploc bag and add the meat. Close bag and toss so all every piece of meat is coated. When the oil shimmers, add meat in one even layer. Let it sizzle for a 1-2 minutes, then flip each piece over so they all become nicely browned. When the all the meat is browned, add it to the crockpot.

Add vegetables.

In a bowl combine the broth, wine, horseradish, mustard, optional barbecue sauce, and Worcestershire. Pour it over the meat and veggies. Add enough water so the liquid comes 3/4ths of the way up the pot, but not enough to cover everything completely. Add bay leaf and thyme.

Cover, set crockpot to low, and let it cook happily for 6-8 hours.

About 15 minutes before serving fish out the bay leaf and thyme. In a small bowl mix cornstarch with enough of the gravy-in-the-making to make a slurry (a little runny but not liquid.) Uncover crockpot, add slurry, mix, and leave uncovered so everything can reduce and thicken.

Serve by itself in bowls with some warm crusty bread and perhaps a nice green salad. Or over hot noodles with plenty of pepper.

The Verdict
I'd signed up for Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon, and needed something that could take care of itself, so I didn't have to worry about stopping to cook dinner half-way through - perfect timing for a new crock-pot recipe! I didn't have any horseradish, but served it with wasabi peanuts on the side (I dumped mine in, DH didn't touch them at all), which actually worked quite nicely. I found that it needed a lot more salt than what I had already added, but other than that, it tasted great!

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