Anyway, this was a good stew. Rich, hearty, and filling without being stodgy. The meat was meltingly tender, but the vegetables weren't mushy at all and had kept their own flavors, rather than becoming muddled and tasting generically stewy. You know how sometimes you make a slow cooker dish and after eight hours, all the ingredients in the pot have kind of muddled together and don't really taste like themselves anymore? "Is that squishy orange blob a carrot? Don't know. Just tastes like stew." That didn't happen here.
I served the stew in bowls I'd made from leftover Pillsbury Grands! (Why the exclamation mark? Is it not enough to simply be grand?) biscuits. I followed the instructions provided in the "Grands!® Biscuit Bowls with Chili" recipe. As a technique, it works pretty well, but I'm not sure it is superior to simply hollowing out a bakery-bought sourdough boule. Certainly, I don't think I'd go out and buy a biscuit tube just to make them ... but I had two raw biscuits leftover from the waffled grilled cheese and biscuit bowls sounded like a fun experiment.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- 1 lb stew beef, cut into small cubes
- 12 oz chopped white potatoes (peel or don't ... the power is yours)
- 3 oz chopped carrot (ditto about peeling)
- 3 oz chopped celery
- 3 oz chopped yellow onion
- 4 oz sliced white mushrooms
- 14½ oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 Tbsp Penzeys beef soup base
- 1½ tsp Worcestershire
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ cup white whole wheat flour
- Layer potatoes, carrot, celery, onion, and mushrooms at bottom of slow cooker insert. Add beef. Top with fire-roasted tomatoes and garlic.
- Whisk together hot water, soup base, Worcestershire, pepper, and flour. Pour over tomatoes.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hrs. Stir well before serving.
I know one cup of stock doesn't seem like enough liquid but trust me -- the vegetables and meat will release a lot of liquid as they cook. Anyway, we want a thick stew and not a brothy soup, right?