Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I adapted this Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe from Martha Stewart's Beef Stew recipe.  I was unsure about adding balsamic vinegar to a beef stew since I have never tried that before.  However, it turned out great.  I actually love balsamic vinegar but never thought to add it to beef stew.  I also added mushroom broth since it was something I wanted to use up from the fridge.  You could also make this on the stove top or oven, but I prefer using a slow cooker.  The meat always comes out tender and melts in your mouth!  I usually like to serve beef stew over wide egg noodles, but its also great as is or even over rice.  Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/3 cup tomato paste
½ cup and ¼ cup mushroom broth (You may use beef broth)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons flour
1 onion, diced
1 russet potato, diced
½ pound baby carrots
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil


Toss meat with flour to lightly coat.

In a pan over medium-high heat, add oil.  Next, add in meat in batches to lightly brown.  There is no need to cook the meat all the way through since it will cook in the slow cooker.

In a small bowl, mix together tomato paste, ½ cup mushroom broth, balsamic vinegar, and minced garlic.

Once meat is done browning, add ¼ cup mushroom broth to pan to deglaze. Scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.  Next, pour in tomato-balsamic sauce and stir to mix with deglazed bits.

In slow cooker, add in carrots, onion, and potato.  Top with meat.  Pour sauce over top and add in bay leaves.

Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours.

You can also freeze in freezer bag(s) prior to cooking for a make-ahead meal.