TGIF! I’m loving this particular Friday because we’ve had rain this week, the leaves are changing, it’s been cooler, and best of all it’s time for comfort food.

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Two weeks ago I made beef stew. I had one bowl and that was it. It disappeared. The poor dog didn’t even get a taste. This is not good because beef stew is SO much better the next day! So, I made it again – and I hid it.

I’ve tried stew many different ways but this basic recipe is simple, straightforward, and it’s always a hit. Did I mention that this recipe is gluten-free? Did I say crockpot? Never made beef stew? Maybe it’s time.

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Your Basic(ly Delicious) Beef Stew

about 1.5 lbs of cubed beef stew meat
gluten-free low-sodium beef broth
s&p
canola oil
bob’s red mill gluten-free all purpose flour
1 lb. carrots (we’re carrot freaks here), cut into 3/4″ pieces
large onion, chopped
pkg. of mushrooms, quartered into larger chunks
minced garlic (I use about 2 tsp)
about 1/2 cup of red wine
rice or potatoes
gallon sized baggie

Trim the fat off the beef stew and cut it into smaller cubes – about 1″. Add about 4-5 tbs. of the flour to the baggie along with some s&p. Toss in the beef, zip closed and shake, shake, shake. Pour about 4 tbs of the oil to a non-stick skillet and heat to medium high. Add the beef until it’s just brown, remove with a slotted spoon and add to your crockpot.

To the original skillet, add the chopped onions, mushrooms and a little s&p. Saute for just a few minutes, then add the minced garlic. Saute for a minute or two more. Just make sure you don’t over brown the garlic. Add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic to the beef.

Add a little more oil to the skillet and sprinkle in the leftover flour (from the baggie)
plus about 2 more tbs. Whisk until it becomes lightly browned. Warning: I’m going to say “whisk” a lot. Slowly (while whisking) add a little of the beef broth. You want to whisk to be sure it isn’t lumpy.

Continue whisking as the mixture becomes thicker. Add the other can of beef broth and about 1/2 of a can of water. Whisk until smooth and pour into the crockpot over your beef and vegetable mixture. Add the wine and stir. Add your chopped carrots to the stew.

We alternate the next part because of family preferences:

If you want beef stew alone, add chopped, peeled potatoes.
If you want to serve it with rice, don’t add the potatoes.
If you’re feeling REALLY starchy, add the potatoes and serve your stew with rice.

If your making this in the morning, you can set the crockpot on low and cook all day. I’m not that organized. I make it at lunch, cook on high for 3-4 hours until the carrots are cooked, then switch to low.

Enjoy this with a delicious red wine and crusty bread.

Do you have a favorite stew recipe?

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