Monday, November 15, 2010

Crock Pot Beef Stew

Last year, after seeing the Julie/Julia movie, I came home and immediately had to cook with butter. I couldn't get enough of Julia Child and even went so far as to make Boeuf Bourguignon for my dinner club. And it was good. Really good. A little time consuming, however. So, last Sunday, I decided to compromise a tad and make my stew in a crock pot. You know what? It was good, too.

I started out by looking through a few recipes here and there to get an idea of how I wanted to proceed. It turns out that I used many of the same procedures that were utilized during the making of the Julia Child version. Basic stuff, really.

First, fry up a little bacon...about 4 of 5 slices. Use the bacon in a sandwich. We're just looking for the fat for now.

Take about 2 pounds of stew meat, cut into bite size pieces, and dry it off.

Put the meat into a freezer bag with some seasoned flour (about 1/2 cup). I seasoned mine with some Old Bay's Seasoning and pepper. Use whatever floats your boat.

Shake it all up.

Saute the meat until browned...don't it in batches.

Probably this would be better if I didn't use a non-stick pan....we want the brown stuff on the bottom to deglaze.

Gather the ingredients: some good red wine, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste (about a tablespoon), garlic.....add it to the pan drippings and heat through.

Put the browned meat in the crock pot, add some red potatoes, baby carrots, pearl onions (I used frozen), and two bay leaves. Pour in the wine/beef broth combo.

I love me some potatoes....

Turn the crock-pot on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. If the stew is a little thin, combine a two tablespoons of cornstarch with a little water, stir until smooth, and mix into the stew.

The only thing I was disappointed about was the look of my brown. I asked for suggestions. Tomatoes, I was told. Put a can of tomatoes in. So the next time, I added the tomatoes and some frozen veggies.

You tell me--does it look better?



  1. That looks sooooo good. It was snowing today, and now I need to drag down the crockpot and get some stew going.

  2. Hey, the color looks fab to me - wishing I had a bowl

  3. I prefer the "BROWN"! It looks "BEEFY"! :O)

  4. I don't use my crock pot nearly enough. Counter space is limited for us, but it is dishes like this that make me want to pull it out and start cooking some stew!!

  5. Looks really good. My daughter is a big fan of the cook's illustrated beef stew (although i have to skip the peas and the parsley). Like the crockpot method-I'll have to try it!

  6. Cathy, I like BOTH of them! I never thought about adding bacon drippings to beef stew, but I can see where it would add to the flavor. The crockpot and I are inseparable even though I'm home all day. Nothing better than meals you can throw together ahead of time and eat later on. Now you have me inspired to make beef stew your way!

  7. Your food always looks great, but the extra veggies add needed color. I always use parsnips, peas, carrots, onion, potatoes, and celery in stew. A few dumplings on top never hurt, either. Happy cooking- Maureen, Milwaukee

  8. hoi, de nederlandse bakkers dochter? waarom dan alles in het engels? ziet er wel lekker uit!
    groetjes martijn

  9. Thanks, everyone!

    Maureen, I agree--I always like the extra color, and dumplings on top sound divine! :)

    Martijn, thank you for the nice compliment. Unfortunately, while I was able to read and understand your Dutch, I can't speak or write in Dutch. My parents spoke Dutch to me when I was a child--but I always answered them in English. I'm very proud of my Dutch heritage, though!

  10. Beef stew...who cares what color it is! It's all good! YUM!!!