Old-Fashioned Beef Stew with Mushrooms
Finally, a reason to break out the slow cooker.
-Courtesy of Slow Cooker Comfort Food (Robert Rose, 2009) by Judith Finlayson
It doesn’t get any better than this family favorite. I serve it with plenty of garlic mashed potatoes to soak up the luscious sauce, imagining I’m 12 years old all over again . . . well, sort of, since my mom never put garlic in the potatoes.
Makes 6 Servings
Medium to large (31⁄2 to 5 quart) slow cooker
2 lbs trimmed stewing beef, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) 1 kg cubes, and patted dry
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour 50 mL
2 tbsp olive oil (approx.), divided 25 mL
2 onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme leaves 5 mL
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt, 5 mL
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns, 5 mL
12 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced, 375 g
1⁄2 cup dry red wine (see Tips, below) 125 mL
2 cups beef stock, 500 mL
Finely chopped parsley
1. On a plate or in a plastic bag, dredge beef in flour until evenly coated. Set excess flour aside. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned on all sides, about 4 minutes per batch, adding more oil if necessary. Transfer to stoneware as completed.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining tbsp (15 mL) of oil to pan. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until carrots are softened, about 7 minutes.
3. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add reserved flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and toss until coated.
4. Add wine, bring to a boil and cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits from pan, for 2 minutes. Stir in stock and bring to a boil.
5. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until beef is very tender. Remove and discard bay leaves. Garnish liberally with parsley.
Tips: If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (2 to 31⁄2 quart) slow cooker. If you prefer, substitute an equal quantity of water or beef stock for the wine. Be aware that these cooking times are general estimates. Not only do cooking times vary substantially among slow cookers, but people have different preferences with regard to how well they like their meat done. If you prefer fork-tender results, start checking after the food has cooked for 6 hours on Low.
Don’t have a slow cooker? Check this one out from Crock Pot.
Find more beef and stew recipes in BettyConfidential’s Recipe File.