In case you haven’t noticed, it’s really cold on the east coast of the United States these days. We have this thing called the polar vortex which somehow brings a bunch of frozen air down from the arctic and drops it on those of us unlucky enough to be in its path.
One of my favorite ways to help kick the extreme cold is slow cooker beef stew. Not only does it warm you up, but the slow-cooking makes your house smell great all day while its cooking. Plus, if done right, beef stew is actually pretty healthy, and you can eat leftovers all week.
The original recipe comes from Cooking Light, and can be viewed here. I’ve made a few subtle changes throughout to this beef stew, mainly regarding the cooking of the beef. Many beef stews tend to overcook the meat, making it chewy and tough. We’re going to try and avoid that here.
Beef Daube Provencal recipe (modified)
Olive oil spray
1 bulb garlic – peeled and diced
2 lb beef cut into 1.5 inch cubes
1/2 lb veal (can use more beef if preferred)
1.25 cups red wine
1 lb baby carrots – diced
2-3 medium onions – diced
1/2 cup low-sodium (6-9%) beef broth
1.5 tbsp tomato paste
Handful of chopped fresh herbs (mixed thyme/sage/rosemary)
Sprinkle Ground cloves
1 lb fresh tomatoes on the vine – chopped
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste (onion or garlic salt, preferred)
Beef bone (optional)
1. Get out a large soup pot. Spray the entire thing with olive oil spray, then put about 1-1.5 tablespoons of olive oil on the bottom. Put the pot on the stove under medium low heat, letting the oil heat up. Swirl to coat the bottom.
2. Saute the garlic in the oil until it starts to brown (but not longer) – about five minutes. Remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Put all of the meat into the pot and shake some salt and pepper onto it. Lightly brown the meat (don’t cook it through), then remove from the pot.
4. Add a little more oil, then the onions. Saute the onions for five minutes in the oil, then remove as well.
5. Put the wine into the pot, and bring it to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pot as you do. Add back in the garlic and onions, then add in all of the ingredients above save the meat and the noodles. Salt and pepper is to taste – if you aren’t sure, add just a little. You can always add more later, but you can’t take it out.
6. If you have a beef bone, lightly brown it and then add it to the pot. Optional, but will give you broth a thicker and fuller flavor. Bone or no bone, at this point bring the mixture to a boil.
7. Remove from heat and add the meat back in, coating the meat with the liquid.
8. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with the olive oil spray. Dump the entire pot into the slow cooker.
9. Cook the stew on high for four hours, or low for eight hours. Either way, you can leave the stew in the slow cooker on warm until you’re ready to eat it.
10. Cook the noodles like you would pasta. Generally, you’re looking for about 3/4 cup of egg noodles per serving of stew, but of course that’s personal preference.
Make sure you have a piece of bread on hand to wipe the bowl with; that’s one of the best parts about of french beef stew is soaking french bread with the leftovers at the bottom of the bowl.
I don’t have a pic for this one, but you can see it in the original recipe here.