by Jordan Caldwell, Training by Tara Brunet –
This is a very concise recipe with simple knife skills involved. Feel free to prep the ingredients the evening before, and throw into the crockpot in the morning before heading to work. You’ll come home to the aroma of hearty beef, rosemary and red wine.
Step 1: Starting with the carrots, I personally don’t peel them and just give them a good scrub, especially when working with a stew. You are going to “tip + tail” the carrots, slicing the top and bottom off, then cut in half lengthwise and chop by roughly approximately one-inch cuts.
Step 2: Medium dice all of your vegetables so they are all the same size (see top left pic for guidance), and cook evenly. Use the size of the carrot pieces for comparison.
Step 3: Some may find squash intimidating to dice, but with the right techniques it can be manageable. Start with peeling, then use a medium-sized knife and “tip + tail” as you did with the carrots. You are going to cut in angles and slice off the rind. Don’t try to carve the whole thing in one go, or you will end up very annoyed. Then turn upside down to repeat on the other side. Trim if necessary. Cut the squash in half and hollow out the seeds with a spoon. From here you can medium dice to roughly the same size as your other vegetables.
Step 4: Now that all your vegetables are chopped, we will cut our braising meat to the same medium dice as the vegetables. If you want to enhance the flavour, sear the meat on a high heat skillet then transfer into the crockpot.
Step 5: Next we will add our herbs and aromatics. Now you may utilize any herbs and spices you enjoy, but for the sake of this recipe I used rosemary, thyme and peppercorns. Place the aromatics on top of your seared meat.
Step 6: Place potatoes, carrots, onions, tomatoes and the various squash into the slow cooker. You may use different vegetables to your liking.
Step 7: Adding Stock. For a thicker stew, fill up the crockpot halfway. For a thinner stew fill to ¾. It’s best not to cover the ingredients with liquid.
Step 8: Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Continue along with your day and come home to a delicious and hearty slow-cooked, beef stew.
Now that you know how to make a slow-cooker stew, let’s talk about what you are going to need.
1 lb red baby potatoes
1.5 lbs stewing beef
1 large yellow onion
5 off the vine tomatoes
1 delicata squash
1 acorn squash
10 sprigs thyme
5 sprigs rosemary
600 – 800ml beef stock
1 cup red wine
3 garlic cloves (kept whole)
3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika