Friday, January 4, 2013

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Tonight's dinner is Slow Cooker Beef Stew.  The photo below is how it looks once I put it all in the crock pot and turned it on.  So it's a "before cooking" photo.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
2 lbs. stew meat
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped into large pieces
4 carrots, chopped
9 medium sized potatoes, cut into medium sized chunks
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3 c. beef broth, divided
2 bay leaves
1 c. frozen peas
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. flour

In a skillet, brown the stew meat, a little at a time, in the canola oil.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Put the tomatoes in the slow cooker.  Add the onion, carrots and potatoes.  Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the vegetables.  Add the beef and any juices, etc. in the pan with it.  Pour 2 1/2 c. of broth over the beef and vegetables.  Stir.  Add the bay leaves.

Cover and cook for 8 to 10 hours on low.

About 20 minutes before serving, add the frozen peas, salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and remaining 1/2 c. of broth, until smooth.  Stir into the stew.  Replace crock pot cover and cook about 15 to 20 minutes longer until thickened.  Remove bay leaves before serving.

***NOTE:  I made my own Italian Seasoning mix and put it in a container so I'll have it when I need it.
Make Your Own Dry Italian Seasoning Packet
Dry Italian Dressing Substitute

1-½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ground basil
¼ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. dried celery leaves

1/ Measure out all ingredients and combine in bowl. Use in place of Zesty Dry Italian Dressing packet.
2/ To make dressing: Mix 2 tbsp. of mix with ¼ cup vinegar, 2 tbsp. water and ½ to ⅔ cup olive oil.
Servings: 1 packet

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