This recipe takes stew meat, and slowly cooks its until it’s fork tender. There’s a bit of cooking up front, before dropping all the ingredients into the slow cooker, but the time spent is well worth it.
1Place the flour salt paprika, cumin, and both peppers into a large bowl, or gallon-size plastic bag. Add the beef cubes, and thoroughly coat the beef with the flour mixture.
2Remove from the flour and spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet, or large plate and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
3After the 20 minutes, return the beef to the flour and coat once more. Knock off any excess, and return to the baking sheet or plate.
4Chef's Note: Choosing the right stew meat.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but this is where the tougher cuts of beef really shine.
You know you want tender bites of beef in your stew, so it seems natural to gravitate toward the tender cuts of meat.
What you want is the tough, lean cuts. These don't have as much fat, but they do have collagen, or connective tissue. This breaks down over long cooking, rendering the meat fork tender with wonderful flavor
Here's a listing of most of the cuts you'll want for a beef stew:
Bottom Round Roast
Bottom Eye Roast
Rump RoastEye Round Roast
Round Tip Roast
Did I manage to cover them all?
5Add two tablespoons of the oil to a heavy-bottomed pan, over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add half the beef cubes, and sear on all sides until nicely browned, about 5 to 6 minutes.
6Remove beef from pan, add the additional oil, and repeat with the second batch of beef, and then remove the beef, and save with the first batch.
7Add the onions, to the pan, and sauté with until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
8Add the minced garlic, and finely chopped celery, and sauté for an additional minute.
9Add the beef broth, and the Worcestershire, and then use a wooden spoon to scrape up any of the flavor bits (fonds) that may have accumulated on the bottom of the pan.
10Add the beef to the slow cooker, and then pour the broth liquid on top.
11Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.
12Add the carrots, and the potatoes in the last three hours, if you’re using the low setting, or in the last two hours, if you’re using the high setting.
13Chef's Note: The additional step of searing the beef cubes in the flour mixture will, over the course of the slow cooking create a really flavorful, thick sauce.
14Chef's Note: Many of today's slow cookers, allow you to cook, sear, and all kinds of things (mine does). So, if you have that kind of slow cooker, you can do all this in the same pot.
15When finished, remove the stew from the slow cooker, discard the bay leaves (good luck finding those things), and place into a large serving dish with a ladle. How about adding a nice loaf of crusty French bread and a slab of farm butter… I think I’m about to get hungry.
16Chef’s Note: I’ve mentioned this before; however, I’m not typically a fan of adding potatoes to a pot roast, or stew because of the way they absorb some of the delicate flavors from this slow cooking process. On the other hand, other chefs would not do a roast or stew any other way.
I choose to cook the potatoes separately, and serve them as a side; however, if I add them to a slow cook dish (like this one), I like to add just a bit more salt, to help offset the effects of the potatoes.