This recipe can be made in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker.
Beef stew is a slow-cooker classic. In this version, the wine helps tenderize the beef and adds an extra layer of rich, intense flavor. For best results, use a good-quality red wine, such as a cabernet sauvignon, that can stand up to the long cooking. (If you want less wine flavor, reduce the wine amount by 1 cup and add a cup of broth.)
Serve over buttered noodles with a crisp green salad on the side.
Make Ahead: The stew picks up flavor after a day's refrigeration, so it's nice to make this a day in advance. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 3 strips bacon, cut into small pieces, or 4 ounces cubed pancetta
- 3 pounds cubed stew meat (or ask the butcher to cut a 3-pound beef rump into stew-size chunks)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into large chunks (may substitute 8 peeled baby carrots)
- 1 medium onion, cut into thin slices
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices (may substitute 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/4 cups low-sodium beef broth (may use one 10-ounce can)
- 2 cups red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
- 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels.
Cook the bacon or pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to drain on the paper towel-lined plate; remove all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet and discard the excess or save for another use.
Add the beef cubes to the skillet and cook, turning them to brown on all sides; this will take about 12 minutes. The meat will not be cooked through. Transfer the browned cubes to a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker.
Add the carrots, onion and garlic to the skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onions have softened and become fragrant. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine; cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with the salt, pepper and thyme.
Add the flour and stir to coat. Add the cooked bacon or pancetta, broth, wine, tomato paste and bay leaf, stirring to combine. Increase the heat to high and stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dislodge any browned bits. Transfer this mixture to the slow-cooker.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 hours or on LOW for 8 hours. Stir once or twice during cooking.
Discard the bay leaf before serving.
From food writer Candy Sagon.
Tested by Candy Sagon.
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