Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Smoky Beef Stew

English: Beef stewImage via Wikipedia
  My crew loves beef stew. Dinty Moore could easily be a staple at my house. I've tried various recipes over the years, but the best way I've found to make beef stew, is to brown the meat first and then make your own gravy. I let the slow cooker do the rest. I like to put anything I can in the crockpot, so when you're using cheap meat, this is perfect.
  My son that worked in the meat department at our local grocery store always warned me not to buy packaged stew meat. It's over-priced leftover tidbits. I've found that a round steak, especially one tenderized, is a much better cut of meat for the price difference.
  This is an easy way to cook ahead and have a tasty, hearty dinner. The one tip to remember is to cut the meat and veggies all about the same size for equal cooking time. Test your potatoes, they are the slowest cooking. When they are soft and tender, all is done.

Smoky Beef Stew
1 T. oil
1/4 cup flour
2-3 lb. beef round steak, tenderized and cubed
1/2 onion, diced
4 potatoes, cubed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, sliced thin
2 beef bouillon cubes dissolved in 1-1/2 cups water
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. dry rub (see my other postings under spices)
1/2 cup water
2-3 shakes of Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper

  Heat oil over medium heat. Add meat, sprinkle with salt and pepper; cook stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic to meat; cook until lightly browned. Remove meat, onions and garlic to slow cooker with slotted spoon. 
  Turn heat to low. Let cool slightly and then slowly stir in flour, a little at a time, making a brown roux. When flour is incorporated, gradually add beef bouillon, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened.
Combine all remaining ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours, high 4-5 hours until potatoes are tender. Serves 4-5.
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