I’ve been on a mission to find healthy crockpot recipes to make for my fiancée, who is not a vegetarian. I find that if I make him a crockpot meal over the weekend, there’s enough leftover for him to eat it all week. He said this is one of the best beef stews he’s ever eaten.
- 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound small white potatoes, halved
- 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine (Note: I used Pinot Noir)
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped
Toss the beef with the paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat in flour and shake off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook undisturbed until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, turning the beef as needed, until mostly browned, about 3 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the beef to the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker; add the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onions and stir to combine.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and wine and whisk until thick (it’s OK if there are some lumps). Add the beef broth, thyme, caraway if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking; continue simmering and whisking until the gravy is smooth and thick, about 4 minutes.
Pour the gravy into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours OR 4 hours high + 1 hour low (Note: I do the later to save some time). The meat and vegetables should be tender.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.