I finally got a chance to use the slow cooker that Andrew and I got as a wedding present. This beef stew simmered in the crockpot for several hours yesterday, and made a nice winter dinner. I hope to use the slow cooker a lot more in the upcoming cold months - I know it's a great way to cook meat, but I'm also interested in using it for vegetarian meals. Let me know if you have any suggestions!
This is a good, basic beef stew recipe, and you can modify it to your liking. Andrew suggested using red wine in place of some of the broth, which I think would add some great flavor - I'll try it next time I make the stew and will update this page when I do. Mushrooms might be another good addition, and I'm sure that there are other herb combinations that would work well here too.
Slow cooker beef stew
Adapted from this recipe
1 1/4 pounds cubed beef stew meat (I cut up a Delmonico and a sirloin steak)
1 tbs olive oil
4 cups beef broth
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 large carrots (mine were 1 1/4 lb total)
4 stalks celery (I omitted this because I didn't have celery around, but I would definitely add it next time)
4 medium potatoes (mine were 1 lb 5 oz total)
1 large onion
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp cold water
Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Special equipment: slow cooker
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy saucepan. Add beef and cook until meat is browned, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer beef and any accumulated juices to crockpot. Add broth, rosemary, dried parsley, and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.
Peel carrots and cut carrots and celery into 1-inch pieces. Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes, and chop onion. After meat has cooked for 2 1/2 hours, add vegetables to crockpot. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tsp cold water, and stir mixture into stew. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours more.
Add salt to taste, and garnish stew with chopped fresh parsley.