I realize that I’ve been posting a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes of late. I will probably continue to do so, because I’m about 90 percent vegetarian. But I have nothing at all against carnivores and I don’t want to neglect the meat-eaters in the audience, so I’m going to share with you one of my all-time favorite recipes: Slow-cooker Beef Stew.
If you’ve never used a slow cooker before, you’re missing out on one of the great secrets of easy and tasty food. I realize that the concept of cooking with a special appliance that has whole cookbooks devoted to it can be a little bit intimidating, but the truth is that the slow cooker is like a magical little kitchen-fairy that does all the work for you. This beef stew recipe, for instance, is about as complex as “dump everything in the pot, turn it on, and go do other stuff while your meal cooks itself.”
You should keep the long cooking time in mind. If you want stew for dinner, start up the slow cooker around noon. This is a lovely meal to serve guests, because slow-cooker meals make your house smell like heaven itself. You’ll also have time to race around and do last-minute tidying before they arrive. Not that I know anything about that. My house is always spotless (ever notice how hard it is to type with your fingers crossed behind your back?)
Beef stew is an ideal way to eat red meat. You’re eating enough of it to get the advantages of protein and iron that it gives you, but you’re also taking in a healthy dose of vegetables to help your body process that iron. Add some whole wheat rolls and a light salad on the side, and you have a satisfying, healthy meal.
Note: If you have hunters in your family, try making this recipe with elk meat instead of beef. The results are amazing.
2 pounds stewing beef with excess fat trimmed off
¾ cup white flour
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion
3 large carrots
3-4 large potatoes
2 cups frozen peas
1 can beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Make sure to stash any leftovers in the fridge; this recipe is even better the next day!