If you are anything like me, you are starting to yearn for the lighter foods that we associate with spring and summer. I am getting eager for all the fresh produce to start popping up in the grocery store and to start grilling our dinners. As much as I want the warmer weather and all the fun that comes with it, I can’t help but squeeze in some of the comforting winter foods that I love so much. This includes soups, stews, and casseroles. In NJ, the beginning of March is notorious for having unpredictable weather. Last week we had Spring like temperatures one day and the next they were calling for snow. On these days, I just want something warm and filling.
I have used the same crockpot beef stew recipe for a few years, but when Elly posted her recipe, it sounded so good I just had to try it. Unfortunately, I didn’t read through it and didn’t realize that I needed to marinate the meat in red wine for a few hours or overnight. I had intentions to purchase my groceries and make this stew on the same night so marinating wasn’t in the cards, but I can see how it would enhance the flavors. So I turned to Martha in order to save the day. I ended up combining both Elly and Martha’s recipes to yield a beef stew that hit the spot. I definitely plan to try the soaking in the wine trick soon, though. So if you are trying to squeeze in one more comfort meal before the push for bathing suit season, then this is the one!
Crockpot Beef Stew
1 pound medium onions (about 2), cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound small white or red new potatoes (about 6), cut in quarters
1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths2 bay leaves
1/2- 3/4 cup flour
2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
1 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2-2 cups beef broth
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
What you’ll do:
Add potatoes and carrots to your crockpot. Season with salt and pepper, add in the bay leaves covering them with the veggies.
In a large resealable bag, combine flour, 1 tsp. salt, and a 1/2 tsp. pepper. In batches, add meat and shake well to coat. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add stew meat, and cook until browned on the outside on both sides. Place the browned meat on top of the vegetables in the slowcooker.
In the same skillet you used for the meat, melt the butter and saute onions until softened. Add the tomato paste and garlic, stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds-1 minute. Pour the balsamic vinegar and beef broth into the skillet, deglazing the pan and scraping up any brown bits. Add in the parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Reduce slightly before pouring the mixture into the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours.