Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Being raised in a farm type of environment, many times meals are cooked based on what was grown in the garden, or raised in the pasture. Perhaps this is one of the reason I enjoy a simple beef stew recipe so much. The ingredients are all common garden grown produce, and the beef stew chunks can be obtained from slaughtering a call.
Unfortunately, while my husband and I now have sheep of our own, they are being raised on my parents property, and needless to say, a cow is not an easy addition. Not only that, but no longer do I have the property or equipment to truly grow a large garden, at least until my husband and I can acquire the land we are currently looking at. Should this be accomplished, then it is our full intentions to begin our own hydroponic and aquaponic farm, and also acquire some cattle and increase the number of sheep we own.
That being said, this has not changed my love and enjoyment of a fresh made stew beef. Funny thing is, the first time I prepared this recipe, my father proceeded to inform me that while he thoroughly enjoyed it, instead of beef stew, it reminded him of Brunswick stew his grandmother would make when he was a child. While I am unsure about this description as far as taste and flavor, I still consider this a high compliment since I have heard tell of my great-grandmother's cooking and how wonderful it always was.
Unfortunately since I cannot walk outside and pick the vegetables off the vine, I can still purchase them with organic options, which is better than having to worry about the hormones and chemicals. That being said, while I do provide the fresh garden option measurements, I attempt to provide it an oz. measurement so that what was utilized in my recipe is replicated, this is the one reason that instead of 2 cans of diced tomatoes, instead reads 32 oz. or if you prefer can use 2-3 med. to large tomatoes for an even fresher option!
Also, unfortunately since it does have tomatoes in it, this becomes a two main dish night menu in my home because of my husband tomato allergies. Nonetheless, it is still an enjoyable and warming meal, sure to bring back great childhood memories!
- 2 lbs. beef stew chunks
- 1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and either diced or cubed
- 6 large carrots, diced, sliced or left in larger pieces
- 1 large red or yellow onion, finely diced
- 3-4 celery stalks, diced
- 23 oz. diced tomatoes
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, I actually use glutton-free, non-bleached flour in all my recipes
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 c. beef broth
- Line the slow cooker with a liner to make clean-up a snap. Lightly coat the liner with cooking spray.
- Place the potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery in the slow cooker.
- Place flour in a large resealable plastic bag. Add stew meat; seal and toss to coat evenly.
- Use the vegetable oil in a pan to lightly brown the beef stew before placing in the slow cooker.
- In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over beef.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, on low for 11-12 hours, or a combination of both low and high. NOTE: I prefer to place on high for 2-3 hours, and then reduce to low, and cook for an addition 4 hours.
As with most stews, this too is a meal in itself. I prefer to serve it on top of white rice, and have a simple bread, such as artisian bread, freach loaf, or biscuits. Each with a dab of butter compliment this meal.
Stew is something that is individual to each region throughout the world, due to the ingredients which individuals have access to. Being raised in a cooler climate, this recipe demonstrates my preference for a thicker, heavier stew.
The nature of creating beef stews date back to beginning of the Old Covenant: "Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” "Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”" (Genesis 25:28-31). Thus, Esau would sell his birth right for some stew.
Throughout history, various regions have all created popular stews, and normally these stews will include beef, lamb, or even fish. Each preference is also encouraged by the geographical location, and demonstrates of reflection of the area where individuals live. In colder climates, there is a preference for the thicker style stews; whereas in the warmer climates, there will be a preference for spicier. Nevertheless, one of the most important points to recognize when preparing your own beef stew is that the longer it has to simmer, the more flavorful it becomes!
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