I really can’t take any credit here, the crock-pot did it. Or should I say, didn’t do it. Actually, it is my fault I didn’t follow the recipe. In my defense, I rarely if ever follow any recipe.
As everyone knows I bought a crock-pot a few weeks ago and came up with this, Is it a crock, or not? I’m finding more crock than not. I’m okay with it now, it’s become the Zen of failing or not having much control over what I cook, it feels good. Last week April mentioned something about wanting to have a decent beef stew recipe for her crock-pot, but didn’t want to end up browning the meat first, translucentizing the veggies and whatever else took place outside of the pot. Me being the Meat Buffoon that I can be, decided to break the rules and try making a beef stew by putting everything in the crock-pot without doing anything to it. Just to see what I came up with, basically reinventing the wheel. Sure I could have done the typical “research” on the internets, but couldn’t be bothered.
I did something really silly, this time, for this recipe. I knew the flour would need to be a part of the ingredient list for the subtle thickish sauce that we all crave in any good stew. But I wasn’t going to take the time to brown anything and end up cleaning a 35 pound cast iron fry pan in the process. All I wanted to clean was a knife and a cutting board, that was it. Um, so I dredged the meat in flour, then just plopped the meat in along with everything else. I did do one thing I was pretty impressed with, pre-heated the crock-pot. Add liquid and turn the sucker on, brilliant!
Beef Stew Meat – 2 pounds (make bite sized or not, don’t matter. Looks like you get 50%+ shrinkage anyway).
A.P. Flour – 1/2 cup (makes a nice mess on your fingers and in your kitchen)
Onion – 1 Yellow er White – (I like the white ones)
Carrots – 4 – Peel & Slice
Celery – 3 – Peel a little of the ribbing and slice
Fresh Garlic – All you want (I did 5 big cloves)
Bay Leaves – 1 or 2 (I didn’t have any, so didn’t use them)
Salt – Kosher (add it)
Fresh ground black pepper – Grind it (add it)
Worchestershire Sauce – 1 tsp?
Chicken broth – 3/4 cup
Good hearty red wine – 1/4 cup
Note: Mess with whatever you want, but I suggest keeping the liquid amounts there.
Huh, lookie there. Sounds like a great beef soup recipe, don’t it?
After it was done, put a colander over a large pot and separated the bits from the juice. Used a fat separator thingy on the juice, put to stove and jacked the heat a bit. I reduced it until it tasted … flippen fantastic ! Woot. Reinstalled everything together and let cool, install to fridge for the next day.
Keeripes, that was most excellent. Both Z and I tore in to it like to rabid 3-legged weevils. So, I made beef soup. Duh. The flavors and textures were a lot more complex than one might think after so many hours and so little care, thought, effort. The small amount of wine added quite a bit of action to the final product, don’t leave that out.