Beef Stew on a chilly Sunday. Does it get much better?
In our neck of the woods we’re finally having our first true fall weekend – the air is crisp and fresh, the breeze is much more of a nuisance than a welcomed relief, and mother nature is showing off a bit with how well she can werk those brilliant colors.
If you can’t tell, I’m a bit of a fall fangirl (even if I am a summer girl at heart) and at least 80% of that has to do with the fact that it’s finally stew season (Souper Sundays, FTW!). Stew just has this way of warming the body and soul at the same time.
To say the very least: it’s magical.
Speaking of magical, you know what’s really magical about this beef stew? It’s made IN THE SLOW COOKER, which means that not only can you have the most soul satisfying meal for dinner, but you can have it with only 15 minutes (or less!) of prep in the morning. And no other fingers lifted! Hands-off cooking? I’m allllll about that.
Yup, the slow cooker MIGHT be the best invention ever. Sure, there was the wheel, the light bulb, the telephone, the automobile, but can any of those make you the most incredible beef stew ever? Nope, didn’t think so.
Slow cooker, FTW.
Growing up, beef stew was one of my absolute favorite meals. I remember reallllly looking forward to beef stew night, and hoping against all hopes that I would get a bowl with just a few extra carrots thrown in. (And let me tell you, that is saying something, considering I might have been THE pickiest eater on planet earth when I was a youngster.)
While I LOVED my mom’s beef stew (which is really my Aunt Ginger’s stew) there was one problem: gluten. The original recipe called for a can of tomato soup, and, as you may know, Campbell’s tomato soup is not gluten-free (and the only pre-prepared tomato soup worth eating). Womp, womp. So, last year I set out to develop a recipe that was as close to Aunt Ginger’s as possible, without using canned tomato soup. And you guys? I think I came pretty darn close.
The secret ingredient? Basil. Aunt Ginger’s recipe said to never, ever leave it out, and boy was she right. I don’t think I have ever seen another beef stew recipe with basil in it, and if I have one recommendation for this recipe it’s this: listen to Aunt Ginger.
With all this BEEF stew talk, I feel that I need to let all of you in on a little something: I’m NOT a red meat girl. I know. I KNOW. Growing up I always hated steak (?) and then thanks to years of doctors screwing up my digestive tract (I won’t bore you with those details) I couldn’t digest it well, so I’ve pretty much avoided it like the plague. BUT I’m trying really hard to come back around, and want to know what made me want to try? ONE BITE OF THIS BEEF STEW.
I made this for Anthony last year, and just couldn’t resist taking a big old bite of the tender beef. Thanks to the low and slow cooking, the beef is wonderfully moist and tender, and is much easier on the ol’ tummy. YASSSS.
While I promise you that I won’t be frequenting Ruth’s Chris any time soon, I WILL promise you that I’ll be eating copious amounts of this beef stew this fall and winter.
Grab your sweater, a good book, and cuddle up with a big bowl of this beef stew. This is exactly how fall Sundays were intended to be enjoyed.
- 2 lbs Beef Cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2-3 large carrots
- 1 large onion
- 4-5 small potatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups gluten-free beef broth (32oz container)
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 sprig rosemary
- ¼ cup gluten-free flour blend
- ¼ cup water
- Season beef cubes with salt and pepper.
- Cut potatoes, carrots and onions into 1-2 inch cubes and place in the slow cooker.
- Add the garlic, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and basil to the slower cooker, stirring well.
- Add the beef cubes, and make sure all cubes of beef are mostly submerged in the liquid.
- Add the sprig of rosemary to the top.
- Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, and then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for another 5-6 hours *
- In a small bowl, combine the gluten-free flour with the water, and stir to make a slurry. Remove the rosemary sprig, and then add the slurry to the slow cooker, stirring well.
- Replace the lid, and cook on low for another 30 minutes.
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