Winter weather calls for hearty, comfort foods like this delicious stew. What is even better on a cold winter’s night is to come in from the rain (or snow) to the smell of your dinner ready and waiting for you. What better way to warm up and relax after a long, hard day than to be able to sit down to a steamy bowl of stew without having to do any cooking.
One thing that is nice about this stew is that it can be prepped in a fairly short amount of time (other slow cooker recipes have so many preparation steps that they hardly feel like time savers at all). Brown the meat, chop the veggies, throw it all in the pot and go. You can do this the night before and keep everything in your fridge over night if you are crunched for time in the morning.
Everyone in our house loved this stew. It’s a total classic and will definitely feature prominently in our winter slow cooker rotation. It goes great with crusty sourdough rolls for dipping.
The meat gets so tender from the slow cooking process that it is perfect toddler food as long as all the pieces are cut into reasonable sized chunks. It’s a little messy as finger food, but it is possible for your little one to feed this to himself…just make sure bath time is just around the corner. Otherwise use a spoon.
Leftovers of this stew reheat and/or freeze well.
If you want to try it yourself…
Beef and Root Vegetable Stew (source: Canadian Living Slow Cooker Collection)
2 lbs. stew beef cubes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 each onions, carrots and parsnips, peeled and cubed
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup peeled rutabaga
3 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried marjoram or thyme
3/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 cups frozen chopped green beans or peas
- Trim beef and cut into 1-inch cubes, if necessary. In large bowl, toss beef with 1/4 cup of the flour. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown beef. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Add 1/2 cup water to skillet; bring to boil, scraping brown bits from bottom of skillet. Scrape into slow cooker along with onions, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and rutabaga. Stir in broth, bay leaves, marjoram, salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook on low until beef and vegetables are tender, about 7 to 8 hours. Skim off any fat. Move meat and vegetables to 1 side of slow cooker.
- Whisk remaining flour with 1/3 cup water; whisk into liquid in slow cooker. Stir in beans or peas.
- Cover; cook on high until thickened and steaming hot, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
Makes 8-10 servings. Requires a 5-6 L slow cooker.
Note: When a stew contains sweet vegetables like carrots and parsnips, it may need a splash of lemon juice, cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar to balance the flavours. Taste before you serve and decide.
Per serving: 256 calories; 23 g protein; 8 g total fat (3 g saturated fat); 22 g carbs; 3 g fibre; 44 mg cholesterol; 480 mg sodium