September 24, 2019
Stewing beef is more useful than its name implies; yes, it’s best prepared with a low, slow cooking time, but there are so many ways to stew or braise it. It can be done in a slow oven (around 300˚F) for a few hours, or in the slow cooker… stock, beer or wine are classic stewing and braising liquids, but you could also use tomatoes for a hearty ragu, or chilies for tender, flavourful beef to use in tacos or burritos. Try simmering chunks of stewing beef in a curry, or play around with coconut milk and Thai-inspired herbs and spices.
If you’re looking for a fast-slow meal, the slow cooker can help you get dinner on the table with minimal effort. A package of pre-cut vegetables will also make life easier, and provide an assortment of stew-worthy veggies with zero peeling and chopping. Feel free to play around with herbs, spices and flavourings, but let the meat braise first before adding your veggies, so that they hold their shape while the meat transforms into pieces tender enough to cut with your fork.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
canola or olive oil, for cooking
salt and pepper, to taste
2 lb stewing beef
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 cup red wine or beer (optional)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 pkg Calgary Co-op fresh stew or root vegetable mix
In a skillet set over medium-high heat, heat a drizzle of oil and brown the beef in batches, sprinkling with salt and pepper. As the meat browns, transfer it to the bowl of a slow cooker. (If you want to skip this step, toss the meat directly into the slow cooker.) Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat.
Add the stock, wine or beer until the liquid almost covers the meat. Add the balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and toss in a sprig of rosemary or thyme from the stew mix package. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, then stir in the stew mix and cook for another hour, or until the vegetables are just tender.
- Julie Van Rosendaal
Spring is finally upon us, with summer just around the corner. And that means only one thing: grilling season is here.
Sometimes you just don’t want to deal with all the steps necessary to make a full, healthy dinner.
Although it’s pretty tasty on its own, most meat definitely benefits from some extra flavour, but it’s all about getting the balance right.