Thanksgiving is over, whewww. If you are like me you are probably stuffed & exhausted.. not to mention sick of poultry. Enter.. slow cooker beef stew!
Not only is this stew easy to throw together, but since you make it in the crock pot you get to literally throw it all in there and forget about it until it is time to eat, now that is perfection. This recipe is a very classic version of beef stew, however you could change it up a bit by adding other veggies you love like mushrooms or peas (for peas throw them in during the last hour), you could even deglaze you pan with a nice red wine or add some different spices.. but for me, I like the classic version, it reminds me of how my Momma made it and I just think that is the best way. So, before you start gearing up for the rest of the holiday season, relax and let your crock pot do all the work!
Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew (Print Me)
3-4 lbs stew meat (bottom round, chuck roast etc.), cut into bite sized pieces
Oil (coconut, olive, etc.)
4 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs potatoes (~5 cups), washed and cut into bite sized pieces
10 oz (~2 cups) carrots, chopped
7 oz (~2 cups) celery, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried), chopped
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Corn starch to thicken (optional)
Start by browning your stew meat; to do so in a large pan over medium high heat melt just enough oil to coat the bottom of your pan, lightly salt & pepper meat before adding to hot pan, making sure not to overcrowd. Cook until deeply browned on all sides (you will likely have to do this in batches, add oil between batches only if needed). *Note, you could skip this step, however it helps to keep your meat tender.
Place meat in crock pot, when all batches are done deglaze pan with about a cup of the beef broth, scraping up brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove pan from heat and stir in tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce just to incorporate, then add to crock pot. Add remaining broth and all other ingredients and cover, cooking on low for 6-8 hours until veggies are fork tender and beef starts to fall apart. Remove bay leaves.
When stew is done, add cornstarch to thicken if desired; to do so mix ~2 Tbsp corn starch with equal amounts of water, stirring to combine before adding to stew; stir to incorporate and allow to cook a little longer until thickened to your preference (note: if it gets too thick just add more beef broth or water).
Source: See Brooke Cook Original (thanks, Mom!)