Years ago, when I was pregnant with my fourth son, I discovered my favorite beef stew recipe EVER. It was February of 2007, I believe, as I was enjoying an episode of Emeril Live on the Food Channel. The episode was geared for college students that wanted to cook real food in their dorms, and Emeril shared a fabulous recipe for beef stew done in the crock-pot. At that point in my life, I had NEVER made beef stew. Truth be told, I really didn’t eat all that much beef at the time, but I had a growing family to feed and nourish. I decided to try it, and boy was I glad I did. At the time I remember it being very rich and even too heavy for my pregnant belly that was not used to beef. However, these days I eagerly look forward to fall and winter just so I can make this awesome crock-pot beef stew.
I have tweaked Emeril’s original recipe slightly, simply to make it gluten free and to use homemade beef stock. It’s simple to throw together and a great way to make your whole house smell amazing. I love to make a big batch and have plenty of leftovers, so this recipe is for quite a large amount. I’d say you could feed 8-10 people with this crock-pot beef stew.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds grassfed beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning or other similar spice blend
- 1/2-1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 10 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 5 tablespoons arrowroot
- 4-5 cups homemade veal or beef stock, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons organic tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (non-irradiated)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (non-irradiated)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (non-irradiated)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into a small dice (substitute turnips if needed)
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
- 1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed OR onion diced
- garlic cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped, as many as you like (optional)
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- handful chopped fresh parsley(optional)
- Set the beef out and bring to room temperature.
- Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and seasoning.
- In a large cast iron skillet heat some lard over medium high heat.
- Brown the beef on all sides in two batches.
- Add the butter, mushrooms, flour, veal stock, tomato paste, herbs, spices, and browned meat to a slow cooker.
- Cover the crockpot and set the temperature to high.
- Cook for 1 hour.
- Add the potatoes, carrots and onions (if using fresh diced onions) and continue to cook the stew for another 7 hours.
- During the last hour of cooking, add the pearl onions (if using) and replace the lid. Once the stew is cooked, stir in the peas and parsley and serve immediately.
- To make this a GAPS friendly stew, omit the arrowroot and potatoes and use turnips.
- To make a thicker gravy remove cooked turnips with some broth and puree until a thick paste. Add back into the stew and stir. Do this before the last hour of cooking.
Looking for more tasty, hearty easy meals you can whip up for your growing family? Mama and Baby Love has some awesome eBooks that are gluten free and geared for the slow cooker. Check out From Your Freezer To Your Family; Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes . I picked up a copy and found it to be a great resource. It is 95% grain free and gluten free, and anytime a grain was involved (outside the extra recipe of Stephanie’s father-in-laws empanadas) was as a side to add later after the main meal was cooked. Her second mini-ecookbook is 100% grain free. This book has a lot of great ideas, plus a plan to get meals prepped and put up in the freezer for easy meals later on. I think it’s an interesting concept, one I hope to implement in my life a bit more.