Crock-Pot Beef Stew

Okay, so maybe I was wrong. It is getting cooler. Kinda. Sorta.

I mean, it was in the 70s over the weekend. Which, after a summer of 100+, feels downright cold.

So on Sunday afternoon, with the cooler weather and a long-overdue Longhorn win, I was in the mood to make beef stew. Only problem? Sunday evening is our date night. Meaning, I couldn’t be hovering around the oven when the dish would be done.

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So I decided to make my usual recipe with a few changes: (1) put it in the crock pot instead of the oven, (2) reduce the red wine to deepen the flavor, and (3) swap the fresh thyme with rosemary (it was all I had).

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OMG, I couldn’t believe it . . . the result was even easier and delicious-er than before!!!

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The rosemary added a wonderful herbal, almost sweet, flavor to the dish. And the crock pot was, as always, a dream.

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As far as serving, we love it over over buttery egg noodles with a sprinkle of parmesan and freshly cracked pepper. If you prefer something more low-carb, try it alongside gluten-free and paleo-friendly spaghetti squash or pureed cauliflower. Then just add a glass of red wine, and you’re all set to tuck into little slice of heaven.

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Crock-Pot Beef Stew

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs. lean beef stew meat, cut into chunks
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons sugar
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 whole bay leaves
1 whole sprig fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef broth (or up to 1 quart if you prefer a soupier stew)
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add the beef. Brown the beef in the hot oil. (Be sure to brown the beef in small batches, about 1/2 lb. at a time. If you add much more, the beef will steam and lose flavor.) Transfer browned beef to crock pot.
  • Add red wine to the Dutch Oven. Using a spatula, scrape up any brown bits left from the beef. Reduce the red wine by half, stirring occasionally. Add butter and sugar, and swirl to combine.
  • Pour the red wine and butter mixture over the beef. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth and mushrooms to the crock pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook stew on low for 8 hours. Taste; adjust seasonings as desired. Serve finished stew as is, or over buttered noodles, or alongside spaghetti squash or pureed cauliflower.

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