Monday, November 4, 2013

Must Try ::: My Hearty Beef Stew

Recipe and all photos by and for use exclusively by {accordingtoame}
If you wish to reproduce these images or this recipe, please contact me.

Now that Fall has finally arrived in the Midwest, and it's November(!!), my husband has requested that stew be made for dinner again.  I am one of those people who believes that chili and stew and most soups just are not year-round foods, so I reserve them for fall and winter and early spring.  With the temperatures going down, and a few mornings being quite frosty already, it's finally time to break out the crock pot and brew up some stew.  

See what I did there....yea I know, I rolled my eyes too.

My recipe was originally based on one I found in the Weight Watchers "Momentum" cookbook, however, my husband didn't love the original, so I started to do my usual "doctoring" and evolved into one of my own.  He's been pretty happy with the current version, so I stick with it.   I have been using meat from Costco of late, because the cuts are very nice and the meats are better quality than any of my local butchers or grocers have been providing. 


-2.5-3 lbs of high quality stew meat or well trimmed steak, cut down into small bite sized pieces and well-trimmed of any weird tendons or fat

-4 15oz cans of Beef Broth (I usually use Sweet Sue brand)--if you prefer it less soupy, use only 3 cans

-1lb carrots, cleaned, peeled, sliced (I buy full-sized "normal" carrots)

-3 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, cleaned, peeled and chopped into small bite sized pieces (they cook better this way, and go farther)

-3 large yellow onions, cleaned, peeled, cut into quarters and sliced thinly.

-1 tbsp chopped garlic in oil (jarred)

-1 tbsp garlic powder (separated in half)

-1 tsp black pepper (separated into 1/2 tsp each)

-1 tsp salt (separated into 1/2 tsp each)

-1/2 tsp tarragon (separated in half)

-1/4 tsp thyme

-flour (varied amount, up to about 1/2 cup as needed to thicken broth)

Cooking Instructions:::

Brown beef with onions and garlic until onions are soft and translucent, and beef is mostly cooked (it's ok if it's medium rareish).  



While the beef is cooking, pour one can of the broth into the crockpot crock. Add thyme (all), and half of each of the other seasonings and stir to mix. Then "line" the bottom of crock pot with carrots and potatoes (usually I put the potatoes on the bottom so they cook better, this time I did the carrots first and just dumped the seasonings on top. I know, helpful!). 

When the meat mix is done, put it right on top of the carrots and potatoes. 

If you will be turning the crock pot on right away, add the other three cans of broth.  If you will be doing so in the morning, which is normally what I do, just put the lid on and put the whole thing in the fridge and put the rest of the broth in the container in the morning before you turn it on.   

Put the crock in the crockpot, and cook on low all day (for me this is about 9-10 hours.) 

 When you get home/for the last hour, turn it to high and using a smooth glass measuring cup, scoop out about 1/2-1 cup of the liquid. 

Add flour to the cup and whisk into a thickened rue (not a paste), and pour into the crock pot. 

Stir. Add remaining half of seasonings that you set aside earlier and "doctor" to taste with more or less as needed. Stir well to mix.  Repeat after 15 minutes if liquid has not thickened to your taste.  

Let cook on high for another 30, until thickened enough for your tastes.

Serve with hot biscuits and butter.  Usually one bowl with two biscuits is perfect in terms of serving size, and is just perfectly filling.  Our bowls are probably about a cup and a half worth. 

I did NOT work up nutritionals because the type of meat, the amount of carrots and the weight in ounces of the potatoes is too hard to gauge per batch. The original recipe from Weight Watchers provided the following nutritionals, and I generally go by these: Per 1 3/4 cup serving, 403 Calories, 9g Fat, 41g Carb, 40g Protein.  I assume since my batch is larger, my protein count and possibly other counts might be a little higher. So what I guess I am saying is these are worthless and I should probably actually figure it up... so just enjoy the yummy stew.

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