Sunday, March 23, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef & Vegetable Stew

So... I've been making this recipe a ton lately.

It's the perfect comfort food, yet still plenty healthy. I buy organic or pasture-raised stew beef whenever I can find it. In fact, I just bought some at my local farmers market today.

I love a few things about this recipe. For starters, it's a slow cooker recipe, so I throw it in early and then smell it simmering away all day, and by the time dinner rolls around I feel like somebody has cooked for me (even though it was little ole me all along). I also love that it's foolproof. That's the great thing about slow cookers. You just can't mess it up.

Though the recipe specifies certain vegetables, you can play around with it and add or subtract what you want.

Sometimes, when I'm feeling extra fancy, I make cornbread, such as this:

Gluten Free Blackberry Cornbread

Slow Cooker Beef & Vegetable Stew
Serves 4 to 6 people
Cooking time
Gluten-free; dairy-free

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
6 ounce can tomato paste
32 ounces beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups baby carrots
4-5 small red potatoes, cut into cubes (about 3 cups)
2 cups green beans, chopped
3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
1 cup frozen peas
2-4 tablespoons gluten free flour
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Combine beef, celery, carrots, onion, potatoes, green beans, garlic, parsley, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and tomato paste in the slow cooker. Stir to combine the ingredients and mix in the tomato paste. Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8-10 hours. 

2. About 30 minutes before serving, mix the flour into the slow cooker to achieve desired thickness. Mix until well combined. This will add a nice thickness to the stew. Continue cooking covered for 30 minutes.

3. Before serving, pick out the rosemary sprigs and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!

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