Tonight we had the best beef stew that I’ve ever made. I’ve made several over the years using various methods: stock pot, slow cooker, packaged seasoning mix, and more homemade seasoning recipes than I can remember. I finally did it though, I worked up my own mixture and it is shockingly simple. 🙂
1 large onion, large chunks
4 medium russet potatoes (or 12 small red potatoes), chunked
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch lengths
1 pound stew meat, cubed
1 tbl. ground cumin
1 tbl. paprika
1 tbl. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1-2 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, minced
5-6 cups of beef broth
1) Melt a tab of butter in a skillet and cook the onions just until there is a little color on them. Just for a few minutes. Dump them into a large slow cooker.
2) Add a bit of oil to the skillet and toss in the meat. Salt and pepper to taste and sear the meat on all sides. Dump it into the slow cooker on top of the onions.
3) Add the potatoes and top with the carrots.
4) Sprinkle the seasonings on top and pour in enough beef broth to almost cover everything (sometimes it takes 5 cups, sometimes 6).
5) Cook on high for 5 hours.
I love this recipe because it doesn’t use any flour or cornstarch to thicken the broth, it stays the consistency of a soup (the packaged seasoning mixes always turn the broth almost to gravy, not what I want) and the meat and veggies are in nice large pieces which definitely makes it eat like a meal. The cumin gives it a really nice well-rounded warmth in the background and the paprika adds a little heat that isn’t at all overwhelming. Of course, if you want more heat, you can always add some cayenne or red pepper flake. I hope you enjoy this recipe for all it’s delicious simplicity.