Now that the leaves have fallen, I am so excited that crock pot season is here! There is nothing better than pulling out the crock pot, throwing a pile of stuff in it, walking away and viola, supper is done! I think one of the things I love most about a stew is that you really can throw whatever you want in there and by the time it has all cooked and the juices have all melded together you end up with a rich lovely flavour that just warms you to the bone on these chilly fall days. Even better than that, though, is that you can hide whatever food you want in there and quite likely, your child will never know! I can always get my son to eat just about anything if it’s in a stoup and is accompanied by warm crusty bread.
My favourite thing to make in the crock pot is Beef Stoup. I call it stoup because sometimes there is enough liquid that it really could go either way, I mean, you know it’s a stoup if you have to question whether you want to eat it with a spoon or a fork. As an added bonus, the stoup allows ample opportunity for a delicious piece of crusty bread to soak up all that lovely warm soupy bits.
Easy Beef Stoup
1 sm bag of baby carrots
3 roughly chopped parsnips
1 sm bag of mini potatoes, washed and halved
4 celery stocks, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1 C beer or red wine (optional, if not used replace with beef broth)
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 sprig of Thyme (optional)
2 C beef broth
2 lbs stewing beef
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp flour
salt / pepper to taste
Turn on your crock pot. Throw in your carrots, potatoes, celery and sliced onion and bay leaves.
Trim the fat from your stewing beef and heat oil in pan to medium-high heat.
Mix the flour, salt & pepper on a plate and dredge your stewing beef before putting it in the hot pan.
Brown the beef (do not ‘crowd’ your beef or it will get soggy).
Put the meat in your crockpot on top of your vegetables and put in your garlic and other spices.
Put all your liquids in your pan over medium heat and scrap up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the liquids reduce a little.
Once you notice your liquid reducing and thickening up a little, add it to your crockpot. Walk away.
Thanks to Christine McLaughlin from Molly Cakes for this recipe.