Slow Cooked Beef and Vegetable stew – Slow Cooker/Crock-Pot Recipe
We got a slow cooker as a gift for our wedding and I was a bit overwhelmed as I did not know what to do with it. I tried a few recipes and enjoyed the simplicity of it quite a lot. Now I throw anything together and know I have stew for lunch for work for a day or two at least – it has simplified that part of life which is great.
I am sure if you are reading this post you would have heard about the argument between a slow cooker vs a pressure cooker. To tell you the truth I have no idea as I do not have a pressure cooker. I do believe a pressure cooker might be something I would like to invest in once we start having children! What I do get irritated about is the fact that people with pressure cookers always say slow cooker food looks dull and is tasteless. I have found that untrue.
As I have mentioned there are many recipes out there that you can follow. I usually use whatever I have to make a stew. Meaning I have my meat and whatever veggies I have gets added. Remember to spice your food well.
-500g stewing beef meat (I actually enjoy lamb more)
-vegetables – I used a large sweet potato, two potatoes, 3 carrots, 1 large onion, 1 baby cabbage, a handful of small button mushrooms and half a green pepper
-sauces – I used a can of chopped tomatoes (you can add tomato paste or pureé and red wine)
-spices – I used thyme, salt, pepper and garlic
1. Chop (and peel if necessary) vegetables and place thicker veggies like potatoes and carrots in a bottom layer.
2. Add pieces of meat.
3. Spice, add thyme, salt and pepper, garlic.
4. Add sauce, chopped tomatoes. Half a cup of water with beef stock and some oxtail soup to thicken the liquids.
5. Add more fragile ingredients/veggies, like the cabbage and mushrooms. Broccoli to go on top if used as well. Spice again.
6. Put the slow cooker on low heat for 9 hours.
7. If you used fatty meat and there is an oily layer drifting on top, scoop it off and throw away. If your food is to watery add some maizena or brown onion soup, otherwise just scoop your food out into a new bowl and discard of watery sauce.
You might think it is insane to have to wait 9 hours for a meal, but I found it so easy to fit it into my lifestyle that it actually has been a big help. I would chop everything up late at night and put the food in the slow cooker, it will be ready in the morning when I wake up and I can fill our lunch boxes with the stew and place the rest in the fridge. Or I chop all before work and put it in the slow cooker to be ready for supper.
I will admit a stew on the stove top stays my absolute favourite, but this is delicious and extremely easy.
I hope this was of some help to you, do give it a try and enjoy the simplicity!