I bought a slow cooker right around Christmas with every intention of using it, a lot. But having never had one before, I can't really say I could think of a lot of recipes I wanted to try, and nothing I saw online really excited me. My husband mentioned he wanted something stew-like this weekend, and I thought, "Stew! Yes! That gets made in a crockpot!" Thusly, I have broken in the crockpot.
I bought a Rival 6-Quart Crock Pot, and I was really happy I did. This recipe required 30 minutes on high, and 6 hours on low. We were running out the door right as I put it in, and I was able to program it to make the switch from high to low after 30 minutes. Pretty sweet!
This recipe require a little bit more work that a normal crockpot recipe. I think. You have to brown the meat first, then cook the onions, and then deglaze the pan. It's a little extra effort, but the end taste is worth it. The only changes I made below were you should at least double the carrots and red wine. A few of the reviewers suggested using beef broth and au jus mix instead of water and dry onion mix, which I think would make it even more tasty. I also skipped the last step of adding in the water and flour to thicken the mixture. I found in the last hour, the liquid was really evaporating, so I added about half a cup of beef broth. I also used sirloin and it was SO tender! This will definitely be a regular in our house.
3 pounds cubed beef stew meat 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup baby carrots (I doubled this) 4 large potatoes, cubed 1 tablespoon dried parsley 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 cups boiling water (or beef broth) 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix (or au jus/roast seasoning mix) 3 tablespoons butter 3 onions, sliced 1/4 cup red wine (I doubled this) 1/4 cup warm water 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Place meat in a large plastic bag. Combine 1/4 cup flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt; pour into the bag with the meat, and shake to coat.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add stew meat, and cook until evenly browned on the outside. Transfer to a slow cooker along with the carrots, potatoes, parsley, and pepper. In a small bowl, stir together 2 cups of boiling water and dry soup mix; pour into the slow cooker.
3. In the same skillet, melt butter and saute onions until softened; remove to the slow cooker. Pour red wine into the skillet, and stir to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom. Remove from heat, and pour into the slow cooker.
4. Cover, and cook on High for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to Low, and cook for 6 hours, or until meat is fork tender. In a small bowl or cup, mix together 2 tablespoons flour with 1/4 cup warm water. Stir into stew, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until thickened.
By lazy I mean BUSY. I work long hours so cooking during the week is not an option. Luckily, my husband is completely cool with this and sustains himself on yogurt, protein shakes, and peanut butter sandwiches during the week. I love to cook on weekends. Most dishes are simple, but I LOVE trying new recipes!