Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Elf Cooks Again: A Beef Stew Recipe

I've spent hours today catching up on finances and reports. Not exactly my favorite way to spend a day, but a necessary part of life.

Thankfully I had the foresight to put something in the crockpot this morning.

The smell of a tasty beef stew has filled the house and encouraged me all day as I've sat working at the computer. I love it when "The Elf" cooks (that's my name for this gal!).

I've been experimenting for a while on perfecting a recipe for this. Based on many different sources, I'm happy to say I think I've arrived at what, to me, is the perfect beef stew.

While you know I'm not generally apt to post recipes (see Claire's blog for that!), I'm writing out this one mostly for myself (so I don't forget what I did!) and for any who might be in the mood to try it on a fall day at your house. Enjoy!

Connie's Beef Stew in A Crockpot


Oil for searing (I used Grapeseed)

2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 TB butter

2 medium red onions, cut into slices

5 cloves garlic, pressed

2 TB tomato paste

1/4 cup gluten free flour (you can substitute regular if you use it)

10 cups beef broth (I made mine with 4 Maggi bouillon cubes)

1 tsp each parsley and thyme

2 bay leaves

6 red potatoes, cubed

3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces

1 can crushed tomatoes

3 TB red wine

1 TB red wine vinegar


Heat a heavy pan on the stovetop with enough oil to brown the beef (generally about 1/8-1/4 inch deep). Season beef generously before browning with salt and pepper, add to pan. Saute the meat uncovered, stirring occasionally until partially browned (you'll still see some pink), about 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to crockpot. Discard oil and wipe the pan.

Return pan to stove and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the tomato paste and flour, stirring 1 more minute.

Transfer contents of pan to crockpot. Add broth, wine, wine vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, spices and additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 6 hours.

If stew needs to be thickened, make a slurry of cornstarch and water: 1 TB cornstarch to 2 TB cold water per each cup of liquid you want to thicken. Slowly add to stew and stir, letting it thicken.

Hope yours turns out as tasty as mine smells at our house right now! Off to enjoy some for dinner.


  1. I have not gotten into cooking in the crock pot simply because I hate the step of still having to brown the meat ahead of time. For sure, I'd much rather have the nice smell in my home that you are enjoying vs the smell of the popcorn I recently burned. Oops!

  2. P.S. I love that you put the recipe on your blog so you can find it again. Just a few minutes ago, I pulled up my blog to get a recipe of mine!