It’s going to be a topsy turvy weather week…from today’s warmer weather to this week’s projected snowfall! With the cold coming – at least for a couple more days – I made some crock-pot stew. So, though this blog is called “Cook Me Quick”, I did a lot of chopping
and sauteing to get a load of stew going…and that does take time.
The good thing is that once everything is in the pot, you’ve got hours to relax…unless you started cooking a couple of carrot cakes which is what I ended up doing. The best thing about the stew is that by starting with fresh ingredients, I can freeze any leftovers in containers and have really quick dinners or lunches over the next couple of weeks.
Today’s stew was inspired by beef, tomatoes and white kidney beans. While I love to use the red kidney beans in my chili recipe, I prefer the white ones in soups and stews. We had the stew with some crusty bread from our favorite bread stop, COBS. By the way, COBS has black olive bread only on the weekends and it makes amazing sandwiches….anyhow, back to the stew…
You need two main things to even begin this stew: a large crock pot, and time! Stewing beef takes longer to cook because it needs the slow warmth to become incredibly tender. Read through this whole recipe first before starting!
- About 0.9 kg (2 lbs) of stewing beef, cut into smaller pieces (like the size
of large grapes)
- 6 tbsp. white flour
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- About 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 2 cups diced white onions
- 4 cups diced celery including the leaves
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 2 (19 oz.) cans of white kidney beans (drain juice and rinse)
- 2 (28 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes and the juice from the can
- 3 cups beef broth
Peel onions, dice and set aside. Clean and dice celery – including the leafy tops as they add flavour. Clean, peel and dice carrots. Rinse kidney beans and set aside.
If the stewing beef you purchased is in large chunks, cut them to a smaller size eg. large grapes. This gives a better chance of everyone getting some beef – especially if you have meat-eating boys in your family!
Mix the flour coating items together in a bowl or in a large ziplock bag. Toss the beef chunks in the flour mixture and brown them in a preheated frying pan containing the oil and butter. Brown the beef in two to three batches depending on the size of your pan. It just makes sure each piece can be easily browned and turned.
Once all the beef has been browned, add it to your crock pot together with the veggies, beans and broth. Give the lot a good stir and cover. If you are leaving for the day, set your crock pot to low and enjoy this about 7 hours later. If you were starting cooking this stew at about 3pm, you can fast-track it by setting your crock pot to high for the first two hours and then setting it on low for the next two.
I stir the stew occasionally because with the flour coating the beef, once it hits the broth and heat it does start to thicken, making a lovely thin tomato/beef gravy.
Once you’ve tried your first stew, I’m sure it will become a favorite on weekends when you might have time to prep, and then want to kick back for the rest of the day.