When it’s cold outside, I want nothing more than to cozy up with a warm bowl of stew. To me, it’s a comfort food, a dish that nourishes and elicits so many great food memories. My mom is the queen of stew-making. In fact, she’s so great at it, I had to consult her before I made this recipe. Of course she had some great advice and I am happy to report this stew recipe is a winner. It may not be as good as her’s, but it comes pretty close.
This recipe involves a few steps, but the result is a delicious beef stew that’s brimming with hearty flavor. Tossing the beef with flour and then browning it in a pan before placing into the slow cooker, helps build a full-bodied pan sauce for simmering. The tomato paste adds richness and the red wine deglazes (a fancy word for lifting up the browned bits found on the bottom of the pan) the pan and boosts flavor. Adding sturdy vegetables like carrots, onions, celery and potatoes balances out the dish, making it a true one-pot wonder. Slow cooking allows flavors to build and permeate throughout the food. Start the slow cooker and a mere eight hours later, you’ll have a delicious beef stew that really satisfies.
Food Safety Tip: Keep the lid on! Resist the temptation of “peeking” at the stew because doing so will release heat, making it difficult for your slow cooker to do its job. Opening and closing the lid lowers the temperature in the cooker and this creates an environment where harmful bacteria can start to grow.
[Read More: 10 Food Safety Tips for the Slow Cooker]
Slow Cooker Beef with Red Wine
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, washed, chopped
- 6 medium carrots, washed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (~14 oz)
- 4 medium celery stalks, washed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, washed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- In a large resealable plastic bag, add the flour, salt, pepper and beef. Seal the bag and shake until beef is lightly coated with flour mixture.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy pan. Once hot, add 1/3 of the beef. Cook until browned on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning. Add the browned beef to the bottom of a slow cooker. Repeat this process with the remaining beef.
- After all the beef is cooked, add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomato paste, garlic and ground mustard, stir and cook 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and stir, scraping up any of the browned bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan. Add the broth and cook an additional minute.
- Carefully pour mixture over beef in the crockpot. Add the potatoes, bay leaf and thyme. Stir, then cover with the lid. Cook on low heat setting for at least 8 hours and up to 10 hours.
- Remove bay leaf and thyme sprig before serving. Stir in red wine vinegar.