Sunday, December 23, 2007

The perfect time of year for Crockpot Beef Stew

What could be better than to come inside from the cold to a warm house, filled with the enticing aroma of a beef stew bubbling away in your crockpot?

Here’s a crockpot beef stew recipe I found that has roots in Europe and a flavorful twist.


3 T.(45 ml) olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 oz (115g) of lean salt pork or thick-cut bacon, diced
2 lb. (900g) stewing steak, cut into 1.5” (4 cm) pieces
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (use Romas perhaps?)
2 carrots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. (10ml) tomato paste or puree
1 cup (250ml) of a red wine with some fruit to it
2/3 cup (150ml) beef stock
1 bouquet garni (or savory herb mix)
1 small onion, studded with 2 cloves
grated zest and juice of 1/2 orange (wash it first)
1 T. freshly chopped parsley
salt and pepper


1) Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy frying pan, then add the salt pork or bacon and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently until the fat is rendered. Do not clean out the frying pan.

2) Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork/bacon to the ceramic cooker pot and switch cooker to high.

3) Working in batches, add the beef cubes to the frying pan in a single layer. Leave room between the pieces or the beef will steam instead of browning. Cook for 6-8 minutes until all of the meat is brown on all sides, adding more oil if needed. Don’t clean the frying pan yet!

4) Transfer beef to the ceramic cooker pot and pour the wine and stock over the beef, then add the bouquet garni(herbs) and the onion that has the cloves in it.

5) Add the chopped onion and a bit more oil to the frying pan and cook for 5 mins or so until the onion is softened and starts to brown. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and garlic. Then transfer it all to the ceramic cooker pot.

6) Cover the crockpot with its lid and switch heat to low. Cook 5-7 hours or until the beef and the vegetables are very tender. Uncover, skim off any accumulated fat. Discard the bouquet garni and the clove-studded onion.

7) Stir in the orange juice, orange zest, and parsley. Serve immediately with a good french bread!

Crockpot Beef Stew

Food prices being what they are, there’s no point in taking a chance on ruining your meal with inferior equipment. Here’s a couple top-rated items to help you make a great crockpot beef stew. Plus, I’ve included some unusual recipes below. Enjoy!

Cuisinart 6.5-qt. Oval Slow Cooker

Cuisinart 6.5-qt. Oval Slow Cooker

Over 94% of purchasers of this slow cooker by Cuisinart recommend it. It holds 6.5 quarts and shifts to AutoWarm with the cooking time is done. No more scorching!

Le Creuset 11.75-in. Enameled Skillet, Cobalt Blue

Le Creuset 11.75-in. Enameled Skillet, Cobalt Blue

Here’s a beautiful, sturdy iron skillet by Le Creuset. Comes in gorgeous colors and is very highly rated by its users. Who says practical has to equal boring?