But although we didn't have the snow some of our neighboring counties did, I was prepared! I got up Sunday morning and got the slow cooker going with some warming comfort food - Beef Stew! Here's how I made it:
First I peeled potatoes, carrots and onions and chopped them into large chunks. I had about 8-9 cups of veggies total.
Then I got the beef ready. Take about 1 1/2 pounds of lean stew beef, 1/2 to 2/3 cup of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder and Italian herb blend, and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. All of this depending on your tastebuds!
Mix the flour and seasonings together in a large bowl, then add the beef and coat it well with the flour. In the meantime, add about 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I used canola, but you can use whatever you like best) and heat it for a minute or so on medium high. Add the beef to the pan in a single layer, if possible, and allow to brown on that side, then turn and allow to brown on all sides.
While the beef is browning, add your veggies to the slow cooker and season them with the same seasonings you put in the flour mixture - salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, Italian seasonings and red pepper flakes.
When the beef is browned, layer it on top of the veggies. Return the pan to the stove. See all those goodies in the bottom of that pan? That's called flavor, and you want to get that flavor out of the pan and into the slow cooker! Add a can of beef broth and one pouch of Beefy Onion soup mix to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to get all those delicious juices and bits of flour out of the pan. Pour that around the beef into the slow cooker. DO NOT pour it over the beef as it will disolve the goodness (seasoned flour) off of the beef. Just pour it around the beef and you'll be fine!
Also, resist the temptation to stir this at this time. Just put on the lid, put the dial on high, and walk away. For about two hours. Then come back, check to see how it's doing, turn the heat down to low, and walk away again.
Once you start to smell the goodness wafting throughout the house, go check on it again, and feel free to stir this time. Before long you'll have a luscious brown gravy coating all the veggies and beefy goodness. Continue cooking until it's done, or the smell is driving you so crazy you can't stand it any more. This time the stew cooked inthe slow cooker for about five hours - two on high, three on low. And this is what I ended up with >>>>
And this >>>
See what you can do with a messy, rainy, snowy, sleeting, cold, stay at home Sunday???
If you try this, please let me know - I'd love to hear about how it came out, if you changed up anything that made it better, etc. Have a great weekend everyone!!!