When Janine and I planned out the themes for this challenge, we thought that stew would be a perfect meal to make in February in Minnesota. It’s usually cold and snowy, but apparently it’s supposed to be like 50 degrees on Saturday. I’m not complaining though!
Earlier this week I started looking at recipes for stew. I kept finding ones that I thought would be perfect, but there was always a problem…You had to let it cook for at least 2 hours! And that’s without all of the prep and active cooking time. It’s a perfect weekend meal, but I’ll be out of town most of this weekend, so I started looking at slow cooker recipes. This is the recipe I used from a blog called Family Fresh Meals.
Despite the weather, this was the perfect week for making beef stew because this “beef for stew” meat was on sale at Cub! $4.99/lb. The recipe tells you to use “beef stew meat” and I just grabbed this at the store. I did some googling for all of us in the future: for beef stew meat, you want to use large cuts of meat from either the front shoulder or the rear end, so look for packages that say “chuck” or “bottom”.
So before going to work in the morning, I threw the meat, veggies, herbs, and spices in the slow cooker, along with the beef broth.
This is what I came home to:
It was a little full…so I didn’t add any extra frozen peas/corn/green beans as the recipe suggests. Who puts extra veggies in stew anyway?
Verdict: It was good! Especially since it was in the slow cooker. Next time, though, I’ll definitely try to make this the traditional way that takes a few hours.
- You should only use Chuck. Let’s hope that is what was in my package labeled “Beef for Stew”…
- Sear the beef first. This step was in those first recipes I was reading, but not in the recipes for the slow cooker. This step could easily be done before throwing the meat into the slow cooker.
- Don’t make it too thick. I didn’t think this stew was too thick at all.
- Add the vegetables at the end. Whoops…
- Skim the top to remove fat. I didn’t think there was much to skim, so I didn’t do anything.
- Cook for 2-3 hours. This obviously doesn’t apply for slow cookers.
- Serve with bread. No problem. I love bread.
Next week Janine will be posting about appetizers!