Sunday, January 16, 2011

Slow Cooker Sunday: Azorean Spiced Beef Stew

Beef stew is a pretty regular recipe that I throw in the slow cooker.  When I saw this recipe for a spiced beef stew I was excited to add a little zip to an old classic.  I got the recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking, which by the way is a great resource if you are looking to use the slow cooker a little more.  I made the recipe on Wednesday morning, and when I came home at 5 PM, I immediately wanted to eat because it smelled unbelievably good.  A few hours later--it tasted as good as it smelled.  I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, but I did not have green onions, so I threw a yellow onion in.  I also used venison since I did not have beef stew meat on hand.  Some changes I am going to put in the recipe--more crushed red pepper and less salt.  The recipe called for 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, and 2 teaspoons would have been much better.  Remember, people can always add more salt on their own, but it is really hard to take it away and involves diluting the stew with water, which takes away from other flavors.

1 lb beef stew meat (I used venison and it was great)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 green onions chopped (I used yellow and added them with all of the other veggies)
3 cups of beef stock
1 cup of grape tomatoes, quartered (if you need to you can use a can of diced tomatoes)
1 cup sliced carrots
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 Tbs of crushed red pepper
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cumin
2 cinnamon sticks
1 bay leaf

This one could really not be an easier.  Add all of the above ingredients except for the green onion to the slow cooker.  Give it a good stir, set your crock pot to low and cook for 6-10 hours.  The longer this recipe cooks, the more tender the meat gets and the more flavorful the stew will be.  If you are short on time, you can easily do 3-4 hours on high.  


Slow cooker fun fact:  You can almost always throw in frozen meat.  You will just have to cook it a bit longer than normal.

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