Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Eight hours to be exact. But worth every minute which gives you 480 minutes to take in the aroma of sautéed beef chuck roast in a brew of paprika, red wine, beef broth, fresh thyme, onions, white potatoes, carrots and cremini mushrooms. Are your glasses steamed up from placing your nose over your slow cooker and breathing in the aromas like mine?
But you’re probably thinking eight hours are you freaking crazy, for a weeknight dinner, who has that kind of time. Crazy I might be yes, but actual prep time for this fanciful feast is about 25 minutes. The slooooowww cooker does the rest. You could prep in the morning and throw in the cooker while you’re at work. Or prep at night and cook it over night while you’re sleeping. If you have a slow cooker, you should give it a try it’s quite delicious, quick (initial prep), and good for you, it’s EJlicious!
- 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound small white potatoes, halved
- 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
- 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped
Toss the beef with the paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat in flour and shake off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook undisturbed until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, turning the beef as needed, until mostly browned, about 3 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the beef to the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker; add the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onions and stir to combine.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and wine and whisk until thick (it’s OK if there are some lumps). Add the beef broth, thyme, caraway if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking; continue simmering and whisking until the gravy is smooth and thick, about 4 minutes.
Pour the gravy into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. The meat and vegetables should be tender.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.