Saturday, October 27, 2012

Slow Cooker Red Wine Beef Stew

It blessedly dropped into the 60s for two days last week (before jumping back to the 80s), so on Sunday I decided to take advantage of the cooler weather and make this hearty slow cooked red wine beef stew. It was super simple to make, very comforting, and very wine-y!

I browned the stewing meat, then added it to the crock pot
I added in oyster mushrooms, potatoes, and red carrots.
In the meantime, I poured off most of the fat from the pan that I browned the beef in, and sauteed two chopped red onions. When they were a little soft, I added 4 TBSP of tomato paste and cooked until the onions were coated. Then I poured in a bottle of Merlot, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. I added this mixture, along with fresh rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper, a shake or two of Worcestershire sauce, and 2 small cans of beef broth into the slow cooker.
The red wine beef stew cooked on low heat for 8 hours. I removed the cover, raised the slow cooker to high heat, and added a beurre manie (butter and flour kneaded into a dough). I cooked the stew for about 30 minutes, until the sauce was thickened.

Slow Cooker Red Wine Beef Stew

1.5 lbs stew beef, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
1 pint mushrooms, chopped into large pieces
1 small bunch of carrots or 3 large carrots, chopped
4-5 red skinned potatoes, chopped
2 chopped red onions
4 TBSP tomato paste
1 bottle red wine
2 cans beef broth
1 tsp fresh rosemary
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 T butter
2 T flour
Olive Oil
salt and pepper

1. In a large pot, heat some olive oil over high heat. Add beef (in two batches) and quickly brown on all sides. Add beef to crock pot.
2. Discard all but 1 TBSP fat from the pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add the red onion and saute until soft.
3. Add the tomato paste and cook until the onions are coated in tomato.
4. Pour in the bottle of wine, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. 
5. Add the carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes to the slow cooker. 
6. Add the wine mixture to the slow cooker.
7. Pour the beef broth into the slow cooker.
8. Sprinkle rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper into the slow cooker. Shake in about 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce.
9. Turn the slow cooker on low heat, and cook the stew for 8 hours, or until carrots and potatoes are tender.
10. Knead together the butter and flour until a soft dough forms (the fat molecules from the butter coat the flour, which prevents lumping). Add the beurre manie to the slow cooker. 
11. Raise the heat to high and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until thickened.

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