Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hearty Beef Stew

For "Foto Friday" I have to share with you that my little one is standing!!! He can take one good step by himself but the second gets iffy. Above is a picture of him standing :) And since the picture isn't blurry, you can tell that he wasn't wavering :)!

I made this last night for dinner and it was INCREDIBLE! So hearty/filling. Everyone knows how much I absolutely LOVE the slow cooker. When I saw this recipe, how in the world could I not give it a try? It does have some steps that you may think are somewhat ridiculous (some I am not even sure why you have to do the tin foil). But just do it :)! It will only take you an extra five minutes. You will not be disappointed with this recipe!

2.5 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 pound carrots, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound red potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Minute tapioca or 1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 cups frozen peas

  1. After the meat has been cut into chunks, pat it dry with a paper towel and season all the pieces with salt and pepper. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat until the oil is rippling and hot. Cook half of the beef until it is well browned on each side, about 4 minutes. No need to cook it all the way through – just get some great brown color all around. Toss the meat in the slow cooker and follow the same process with the second half of the meat (you may need to add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if it looks a little dry). Remove the meat to the slow cooker, trying to keep as much oil in the pan as possible.
  3. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the onions are translucent and golden, about 6 minutes. 
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil and transfer it to the slow cooker, pouring it over the meat.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the carrots, potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. On the counter, lay out a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil (use two sheets of regular foil on top of each other if you don’t have heavy-duty). Place the tossed vegetables on one side of the foil. Fold the foil over the vegetables and crimp the edges really well to form a little foil packet that will fit in the top of your slow cooker.
  6. Stir the tapioca or cornmeal into the slow cooker. Place the foil packet of vegetables on top of the stew, cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 10-11 hours.
  7. When the stew is finished cooking, carefully remove the foil packet from the top of the stew. Discard the bay leaves from the stew. Carefully open the foil packet (be careful of steam that may escape as you open it!). Return the vegetables and any juices to the slow cooker and gently mix them into the stew. 
  8. Stir in the frozen peas and let them rest in the stew for 5-10 minutes, until they are heated through. Serve.

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