Crock-Pot Italian Beef Stew
December 17, 2013
It's chilly and snowing outside, and I've got John Mayer singing “Who says I can't be free. From all of the things that I used to be? Rewrite my history. Who says I can't be free?”
I’m glad I'm inside in the warmth and coziness of my apt, and for some reasons it feels like the perfect time to cook something hearty and good.
IMO nothing beats a warm bowl of beef stew on a day like this.
And why make a regular beef stew when you can make the Italian version of it that tastes a hundred times better.
Loads of fresh veggies, lots of herbs, Italian red wine, amazing flavors.
This may be my new favorite stew. I even prefer it to Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon my mom’s makes, and it’s so much easier to make.
When there’s a slow cooked involved it's usually pretty simple...
This recipe may seem like it has a hundred ingredients, it’s mostly veggies and herbs you likely already have in your pantry.
So probably all you need to buy is (grass-fed) beef and a good bottle of Italian red wine — and promise not to drink it all before you get started with the cooking. Can you do it?
You decide whether to add mushrooms or not. If you don’t like them, feel free to leave them out, there will still be plenty of other veggies. But if you do leave them out. Can I ask why? Aren’t mushrooms one of the best things ever?
This stew is a wonderful winter-warmer, awesomely delicious, amazingly filling and a healthy one-dish meal sure to satisfy.
And then there’s the beef. Melt-in-your-mouth chunks of meat bursting with flavor.
Your whole family will love it but it is also perfect for holiday dinners.
It’s true what they say, sometimes nothing beats the classics!
Print this recipe!
If you don’t own a Crock-Pot, this recipe can also be made just as easily simmering in a thick-bottomed pan on very low heat for 3 to 4 hours.
*1/06/2014 update: my cousin Cristina (aka TIY's official recipe tester) suggests, to get a thicker sauce, to take - at the end of the cooking process - half of the carrots and potatoes and place them in a blender with the juice and pureeing everything.
Furthermore if you're not into herbs/spices and - just like her - you consider yourself a bit of a purist, you might want to cut down the quantity of herbs used. I like it as it is, but I am into strong flavors.
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 lbs / 900 gr lean top round, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
⅓ cup / 1.8 oz / 50 gr almond meal/flour
4 medium carrots, chopped into ½-inch thick pieces (about 2 cups)
3 stalks celery, chopped into ½-inch thick pieces (about 1 ½ cups)
2 large onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups / 500 ml Italian red wine
2 cups / 500 ml low-sodium beef broth
1 (15 oz / 425 gr) can diced tomatoes
1 ½ lbs / 700 gr potatoes (Russet or Red Bliss), peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
1 lb / 453 gr crimini mushrooms (optional)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
Fine grain sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
Place beef in a large resealable bag, add almond meal/flour and season lightly with salt and pepper. Seal bag and toss well to evenly coat beef in flour. Shake off the excess flour and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and sauté until lightly golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer.
Transfer veggie mixture to a bowl and set aside.
Return the pot to medium-high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add beef and cook stirring occasionally until the beef has browned. Transfer beef to a bowl and set aside.
Deglaze the pot with the red wine, stirring well and bringing to a full boil to loosen and dissolve all pot drippings. Turn the heat off and set aside.
Place beef, red wine, beef broth, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms (if using), veggie mixture, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram and bay leaves to the Crock-Pot and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low heat for about 8 to 10 hours until beef is very tender and the sauce is uh-mazign!
Serve warm with something delicious on the side such as a creamy polenta.
One serving yields 406, 16 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbs and 33 grams of protein.