First we focused on which cut of beef would work best in our slow-cooker beef stew recipe, ruling out top and bottom round because of their leanness, and prepackaged beef chunks because their irregular shapes made for inconsistent results. ...
Slow Cooker Hearty Beef Stew
- 5pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (see illustrations below)
- 2tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2medium onions, chopped medium
- 3medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 1cup dry red wine
- 2cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1teaspoon dried thyme
- 2bay leaves
- 2pounds Red Bliss potatoes, (about 6 medium), scrubbed
- 5medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Serves 6 to 8
1. Dry the beef thoroughly with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Distribute half of the beef in the skillet and cook, without stirring, until well browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Stir the meat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until completely browned, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Transfer it to a slow cooker. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and heat 2 more teaspoons oil until just smoking. Brown the remaining beef and transfer it to the slow cooker.
2. Return the skillet to medium heat and heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil until shimmering. Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the red wine; turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits off the skillet bottom. Pour into the slow cooker.
3. Stir the chicken broth, 1½ cups of the beef broth, thyme, and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Following the illustrations below, nestle the potatoes and carrots around the edges of the slow cooker. Cover and cook, on either low or high, until the meat is tender, 9 to 10 hours on low or 6 to 7 hours on high.
4. When the meat is tender, remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and transfer to a carving board; allow them to cool slightly. Set the slow cooker to high (if necessary). Whisk the flour with the remaining ½ cup beef broth until smooth, then stir into the slow cooker. Quarter the potatoes and return them to the slow cooker. Continue to cook on high until the sauce is thickened and no longer tastes of flour, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Stir in the peas and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.