September 24, 2012

Crock Pot Edition: Beef Stew

Until this past Sunday, I was a Crock Pot virgin.  I have an irrational fear of things catching on fire so the idea of leaving anything on in my apartment while I'm not there makes me break out in a cold sweat.  In an exercise of 'exposure therapy,' I decided to cave and buy one, proving that my love for hearty meals conquers all.

After Googling 'Crock Pot Recipes' for inspiration, I mainly wanted to gag after meals like Cheeseburger Soup, Cream Cheese Chicken and something called 'Texas Goulash' popped up.  Last I checked, I'm not on an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo* and I'm not making 'sketti' so my crock pot will be used only for good...not evil. 

On that note, my first crock pot meal was a beef stew.  Normally I wouldn't immediately blog a recipe without trying it out a few times first, but this was an adaptation from Martha Stewart...and Martha Stewart can really do no wrong.  Plus, Ryan loved it so my focus group of one says it's ready to be shared.  Bon appetit!

3 lbs. beef chuck
1 large white onion
1 bag white pearl onions
1 lb. carrots
2 lbs. red & Yukon gold potatoes
4 cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tbs. coarse pepper

1/3 c. tomato paste
1/4 c. red wine
1/4 c. beef broth
2 tbs. balsamic vineager
1 tbs. corn starch or flour

Below is a photo of all the main ingredients.  This was literally all I could fit in the photo so you'll have to use your imagination to paint a picture of salt, pepper, corn starch and the other boring but essential items.

  • Cube the beef in to 1" squares, trimming off excess fat. 
  • Wash and scrub your potatoes, then dice in to smaller pieces.
  • Peel and slice carrots and white onion. 
  • Peel garlic and press or mince in to fine pieces. 
  • Broil pearl white onions in oven on high for about 10 minutes.  Once they're cooked a bit, you can easily pop their skin off, leaving just the little onion.
  • Add ingredients above to your crock pot. 
  • In a small bowl, combine beef broth, tomato paste, red wine, balsamic vinegar, corn starch, salt and pepper.  Use a whisk or fork to gently blend together. 
  • Pour liquid in to your crock pot and top with several bay leaves. 
  • Cook on low heat for 7-8 hours (basting occasionally) and enjoy.

*In all seriousness, I love this show and the Thompson family is hilarious...their eating habits are just as nasty as the game Guess Whose Breath.