I’ll tell you more about the party I made this large amount of Beef Stew for, but I can’t tell you right now, because I am still recovering from the fun and therefore just going to do a workmanlike job on this post…can’t manage much more…
(…let me tell you that getting the little man to soccer at 9 a.m. this morning was a testament to a mother’s love. Actually two mothers’ and one dad’s love, as right there beside me this morning were two of last night’s guests cheering on their kid in the freezing cold! We came home and ate this for leftovers!)
But for now, all you need to know about the party is that the theme was Anglo-Irish (Think St. Patty’s Day meets Oscar Wilde), the good cheer was flowing, and this beef stew – tender, rich, deep, complex, and hearty – provided much-needed ballast for a full sail kind of night! Do it, do it, do it!
Slow Cooker Beef Stew (feeds a crowd)
1-2 Tbs olive oil
2.5 – 3 lbs stewing beef, cubed
1-2 Tbs olive oil
2 Cups Vidalia onion, minced
1 Cup carrots, peeled and chopped to 1/4 “ chunks
½ Cup celery
1 Tbs or more of minced garlic
2 Cups potatoes, peeled and chunked
¼-1/2 Cup dry red wine
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
Pinch hot red pepper flakes
2 generous Tbs tomato paste
2 Cups low-sodium or homemade beef broth
1 bay leaf
¼ Cup white flour
½ tsp salt
Heat 1 Tbs of oil in a skillet to fairly high and brown the meat quickly in batches and turning often. The idea is to create some complexity, not to cook the meat, so work quickly and don’t be too much of a perfectionist. Add oil as needed, and put meat in slow cooker.
In the same skillet, brown onions, cooking for a minute on high then lowering heat to medium. Add carrots, celery and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and golden. Add potatoes and cook another minute. Add to slow cooker.
In the same skillet, add a splash of red wine, Worcestershire sauce, pepper flakes and tomato paste. Stir to loosen browned bits in the skillet, then pour over ingredients in crockpot. Add broth and bay leaf, sprinkle with flour and salt, turn to combine everything. Cover and cook on low for 12 hours (or 4-6 hours on high). You’ll want plenty of bread for mopping up the gorgeous sauce.