Here’s an old-fashioned stew that is delicious
Classic Beef Stew
- Medium to large (31⁄2 to 5 quart) slow cooker
- 1 tbsp oil 15 mL
- 2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes and patted dry 1 kg
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme 5 mL
- 1 tsp salt 5 mL
- 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour 60 mL
- 2 cups beef broth 500 mL
- 1⁄2 cup dry red wine or water 125 mL
- 1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches, and brown, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
- 2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, salt, peppercorns and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth and wine and cook, stirring, until thickened.
- 3. Transfer to stoneware and stir well. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until beef is very tender. Discard bay leaves. Just before serving, garnish liberally with parsley.
- Classic Beef Stew with Madeira Mushrooms: In a skillet, melt 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter over medium-high heat. Add 12 oz (375 g) sliced button mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms release their liquid, about 7 minutes. Season to taste, then sprinkle with 1 tbsp (15 mL) allpurpose flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) Madeira or port wine and stir until thickened. Just before serving, stir into stew, then garnish with parsley.
- Beef Stew with Roasted Garlic: Mash 6 cloves roasted garlic and stir into stew before garnishing with parsley.
- If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (2 to 3 quart) slow cooker.
- An easy way to roast this quantity of garlic is to peel the cloves, remove the pith (the center part that often sprouts) then place the cloves on a piece of foil. Drizzle about 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) olive oil over the garlic, then fold up the foil to make a tight packet. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 20 minutes.
Judith Finlayson http://judithfinlayson.com/