Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Recipe Tuesday: Beef Stew!

Hearty Beef Stew

Caleb hates soups, and this is a favourite of his, as it's packed full of veggies and pretty much everything but broth. 

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon pre-minced)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 cube beef boullion
5 medium potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes
3 carrots, sliced or 1/2 lbs mini carrots chopped in half 
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 can finely diced tomatoes - Optional

I found when I first started looking that many recipes told me to brown the meat before I cooked this in my slow cooker or on my stove. I found this makes the meat tough and hard to process for Sam's little teeth. Instead, I leave the beef as is, dump this all in my slow cooker or in a couple big pots, stir it around some, then cook. Note: You may need more broth, use enough to at least cover your veggies. You can always add more or thicken it later. :)

In a slow cooker, low for 8 hours, or high for about 3. 
On a stove, low for 6, high for 3.

Stir often.

To thicken the gravy after the veggies have cooked, make a slurry using 1 part flour, 2 parts water, and slowly stir into your stew, until it's a consistency you like. 

Please note: Cook times totally depend on your slow cooker and stove. BUT this recipe never suffers from a little longer on the stove on low or a quick microwave, so it's always better to start earlier. I learned this the hard way. 

This is a family favourite, and with such a big batch we always have leftovers for a good long time. This works great for freezing as well, just remember not to thicken your broth until after you freeze and defrost it.

- Natasha

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