Stew meat is one of the most affordable cuts of meat out there. Cooked quickly, it can be a tough, chewy mess but combine it with veggies, broth/stock, herbs then slow cook it for hours, and you’ll have magical deliciousness. Add in the ease of a slow cooker or Crockpot, and you have super simple, quick deliciousness. Even better.
This recipe was developed over many tries… never a failure (it is meat and vegs after all so what’s not to like?) but finally perfected. It comes out pretty liquid-y (tastes great that way too) but use cornstarch or arrowroot powder to thicken it up to your liking.
Serve with a hearty red wine like Cabernet or Spanish Rioja.
Slow Cooker Lamb or Beef Stew
Makes about 8 servings
1 1/2 pounds lamb or beef stew meat
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 Tablespoons bacon fat, lard or olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced (2-4 cloves)
Chicken or beef broth, about 2 cups
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1. In large saute pan or cast iron skillet, heat desired fat over medium-high heat about a minute. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt on all sides of the meat. Add meat in 2-3 small batches so that they’re not crowded together (otherwise, you’ll steam the meat instead — not good.). Get a nice brown sear meat on all sides. As they’re browned, transfer the chunks to the crock pot or slow cooker.
2. While meat sears, chop and add vegetables (through garlic) to the slow cooker.
3. Once all meat is browned and transferred to the slow cooker. pour enough broth over the top to just cover the food. Add 1 teaspoon salt, remaining ingredients then stir to incorporate.
4. Cook on low for 8 hours. Add additional salt to taste.
Serve alone or with brown rice, mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash.