Season your meat well with salt & pepper then lightly toss with some flour. We will season frequently to create different depths of flavor. This is important. The flour will help to thicken the gravy.
While your meat is searing, start chopping vegetables. This is how I like to dice my onions. It's quick and easy to get uniform sized pieces this way. Slice down half an onion and dice each slice.
I also like to chop little half moons like this because the onions will begin to fall apart and meld into the sauce. YUMMM. Chop down from top end to root end making slices.
This is how brown you want your meat to look. It's GBD ( golden brown delishious). It will take time to brown all the meat, do several batches, removing each piece as it finishes then adding more.
Place your onions into the skillet you browned your meat in. DON'T wash, the brown stuff on the pan is called fawn. It will add more flavor. Salt the onion then when the onion is 3/4 done add garlic.
This is when my onions were done. I also added a bit of butter while cooking. It's best to cook the onions until limp and brown (caramelized), not burnt. Caramelization adds sweetness.
I added the onions to the crockpot then added oil to my pan and put in the carrots with a bit of salt. I cooked them till just browning and shriveling then added some jalapeños.
Here are some flavors I decided to add to my stew. Choose what you like, look online at recipes for ideas.
My spices here are: parsley, thyme, oregeno, black pepper, dry mustard powder (must add), bay leaf (must add). I also added a bit of celery seed because I didn't have any celery available.
Here is everything in the crock pot. Add the stock about 3/4 to the top of the meat, don't cover the meat. The meat will release its own juices. Flavor. We want a thick rich sauce.
Stir everything together. I like to stir the stew throughout the time it cooks as well.
Add a lid and turn it on. I cook on high then turn down when it's about done. It's done when the meat falls apart. I also like to take the lid off around the last hour to allow the sauce to thicken.
The vegetables you'll add depend on what you have available. I prefer a base of onion carrot and celery (it's traditional). Jalapeño was added on a whim for me. Just add what sounds good to you!
The flour we put on the meat will act like a roux and thicken the sauce as will allowing the water to evaporate with the lid left off. I usualy let the stew cook for between 4 to 6 hours.
Before you serve taste your stew, what does it need? Probably salt but maybe you want more pepper, worsteshire, or something else... You know what you like best.
Here is the finished product. Beef stew served over mashed potatoes. My onions and carrots were mostly cooked into the sauce. If you want some chunky vegetables add them about 1 hour before serving.
If you make this let me know what you did and how it turned out. I want to hear from everyone. Take care and happy cooking!
- Stock / broth / liquid of choice
- Worcestershire sauce
- Tomato paste or tomato flavor of some kind (must)
- Garlic cloves
- Crock pot
- Bay leaf (must)
- Dry mustard powder (must)