This is one of my favorite comfort foods to make for those long cold winter evenings. What I like even better, is throwing it all in the slow cooker and let it do all the cooking…not to mention the delicious smell wafting from the kitchen for most of the day. There is a bit of prepping involved, but it is so worth it. The meat in this stew comes out so tender and flavorful from the herbs and spices, while the potatoes and tender carrots turn this into a hearty meal. It’s even better served with some crusty bread to help soak up all of that rich stew.
Here’s what you need:
*3 TBS or more of olive oil
*2 lb. stew meat or a chuck roast cut into bite size pieces.
* 3 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices or more if you prefer more carrots
*2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks; I prefer using russet potatoes because it has more starch which helps thicken the broth, but you can use any other potato if you prefer.
*1 small onion chopped
*1/4 cup flour
*2 tsp. dried Thyme
*2 tsp. paprika
*1/2 tsp. celery seed
*2 tsp. dried rosemary
*2 tsp. garlic powder
*2 tsp. onion powder
*1 tsp. salt or more to taste
*cracked black pepper to taste
*1 large bay leaf
*2 cups water
*2 tsp. or more to taste Better Than Bullion Beef Base or 2 beef bullion cubes
*3 TBS. tomato paste
*2tsp. Worcestershire sauce
*cornstarch and water if needed
In a large bowl, add beef, Thyme, paprika, celery seed, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. I find it easier to just use my hands, it’s messy but what can I say, I like playing in my food. Add the flour and toss to coat all of the beef pieces.
In a large skillet, add olive oil and heat to medium high heat; add some of the beef to the pan. Do not over crowd the pan or the meat will not brown properly. You will need to do this in small batches.
Cook about 2 minutes then turn the beef over and cook another 2 minutes. If needed, add more oil to the pan.
I will be honest and say that at times, this is my least favorite part. I did leave this step out once and the flavor was just not the same. So with love, patience and tongs in hand, I will brown the beef.
When the beef is seared on all sides, add them to the slow cooker. Next, add in the carrots, onions and potatoes.
Stir everything together.
In a large bowl, add the water, beef bullion base, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce; mix to combine. Pour over the beef and vegetables.
Add in the bay leaf, cover and cook for 6 to 7 hours on low.
Remove the bay leaf and stir. If the broth is not thick enough stir together 1 1/2 Tbs. of cornstarch to 1 1/2 TBS. of water and stir into the stew. Cook on high for 10 to 15 minutes or until broth thickens.