I have been craving a hearty stew, so I thought I would make one Sunday night. It worked out well as we had visitors for dinner.
I adapted this recipe from the Australian Women's Weekly Slow Cooking cook book. I made it totally gluten free as well.
1.2kg chuck steak or gravy beef (I like to buy the already cubed steak. It tends to have a bit more fat through it)
2 brown onions, peeled and cut into wedges
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 swede, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup tomato paste
400g tin diced tomatoes
250ml beef stock (I used a cube dissolved in hot water, as it was gluten free, but you can use liquid stock as well)
2 bay leaves
10 or so sprigs of fresh Thyme
Now, if you are using a slow cooker, you don't need to brown the beef. Almost all recipes will tell you too, but I am telling you now, I NEVER do. I never coat it in flour either. If I can take a short cut, and still end up with a delicious meal, I will. And this is one short cut you can take.
So - if you didn't buy diced beef, cut your beef into nice sized chunks. Peel and chop all your veggies, and coat them in some olive oil.
Add beef and veggies to your slow cooker. Mix tomato paste, tomatoes, stock and garlic in a bowl, then add to slow cooker. Mix through 2 bay leaves. Pop your Thyme sprigs on top, clamp on the lid, and cook on low for about 8 hours.
I like to give mine a stir about half way through.
Serve with nice crusty bread (or not for gluten free!)
You can use pretty much any vegetables you like, potatoes or turnips. This makes enough for about 6 hearty portions.
I love using my slow cooker. It's so terribly easy to make delicious hearty meals.