Bachelor Beef Stew
Serves 6 Cooking Time 9 to 11 hours on Low or 5 to 7 hours on High
Why this recipe works: You won’t even need to dirty a knife to make this super-streamlined but surprisingly flavorful beef stew. To start, we chose whole steak tips over our traditional choice—cubes of chuck—alleviating the need to cut any raw meat (we shredded it into bite-sized pieces once it was cooked and tender). As for the aromatics and accompanying vegetables, we further simplified things by choosing frozen onions, baby carrots, and frozen roasted potatoes (which we microwaved and added to the stew at the end of the cooking time). A little tomato paste and soy sauce add meaty flavor and richness to this stew.
2 cups frozen chopped onions (or 2 onions, minced)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder (or 6 garlic cloves, minced)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra as needed
1 cup beef broth
8 ounces baby carrots
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Minute tapioca
2 bay leaves
3 pounds beef steak tips
Salt and pepper
1 pound frozen roasted potatoes, steak fries, or French fries
1 cup frozen peas
1. Microwave onions, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic powder, and thyme in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.
2. Stir chicken broth, beef broth, carrots, soy sauce, tapioca, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Season beef with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
3. Transfer beef to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces (see page 21). Let stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves.
4. Microwave potatoes with remaining tablespoon oil in bowl, stirring occasionally, until thawed and warm, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir warm potatoes, shredded beef, and peas into stew and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. (Adjust stew consistency with additional hot broth as needed.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Smart Shopping – Frozen Chopped Onions
Frozen chopped onions can be a convenient way to save a few minutes of prep time (as well as a few tears). Though we would never recommend them for salads or for recipes in which the onion flavor is important (such as French onion soup), we think they work just fine in hearty dishes such as stew and are well suited to the slow cooker. You can swap one packed cup of frozen chopped onions for one medium minced onion. Just be sure to cook (sauté or microwave) the frozen onions as directed before adding them to the slow cooker.
Recipe courtesy of Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen. Published by America’s Test Kitchen. All Rights Reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
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