Slow-Cooker All-Purpose Beef Broth
Why This Recipe Works
Rich, deep beef broth is a must-have in any cook's kitchen, and with the help of the slow cooker, it can be whipped up with ease. Hoping to avoid the work involved in cutting up beef chuck or dealing with beef bones, we turned to ground beef since we had success in the past using it as the foundation for a quicker beef broth—its increased surface area enables more beef flavor to be absorbed by the liquid. For additional meaty undertones, we included a full pound of white mushrooms, which we sautéed with onions and tomato paste before browning the beef and soy sauce (both tomato paste and soy sauce add depth of flavor without calling attention to themselves). Finally, we discovered that the broth needed to cook on low heat, and only for a relatively short period of time (4 to 6 hours ). Any longer (or higher) and the mushroom flavor took over and the broth became cloudy. To round out our broth, we added red wine for color and acidity, and an onion, carrot, and celery rib for sweetness.