Red Wine Beef Stew

When the most recent Cooking Light arrived in my mailbox I couldn’t help but want to make the beef stew that was featured on the front cover right away.

via Cooking Light

Seriously drool worthy.

And as much as I wanted to prep the slow cooker the minute I looked at the recipe, it didn’t happen right away.

But it did happen on Monday.  Seeing that we both took the day off work, I had plenty of time Monday morning to prep all the ingredients and assemble them in the slow cooker.  And after that, I let the slow cooker work it’s magic.

The best (or worst) part of being around the house the day you’re slow cooking beef for 8 hours is the smell.

Beef Stew is a classic slow cooker recipe yet one that I’ve never prepared.  And I’m not sure why it took so long.

The stew starts by searing trimmed bite-size cubes of chuck roast in a little bit of canola oil.  Once browned, the beef is added to the bottom of the slow cooker.  The onions (I used frozen pearl onions) are then sauteed in the same pan before adding them to the slow cooker.  Garlic, tomato paste and wine are then sauteed and simmered until reduced before adding in the beef stock.  This mixture is then added to the slow cooker along with the mushrooms and carrots and sprigs of thyme.  At this point your house will already smell amazing.  But it gets better.

After the slow cooker has worked it’s magic for 7 1/2 hours you have a few more steps before you can settle in with your warm bowl of stew.

Strain the liquids into a large saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer until reduced by half.  Flour (I used brown rice flour) and a little red wine are made into a slurry and added to the liquid for even more thickening.  The sauce is poured back over the beef before serving.

I made some fluffy mashed potatoes to round out the meal – simply boil chopped potatoes until tender and then mash with one cup of milk and a tablespoon of butter.

The cloud-like potatoes are placed in a bowl and then topped with the richest, meatiest beef stew along with the luscious sauce that is like a blanket over the potatoes.

beef stew

The flavors are so deep and rich and using an incredible red wine only helps the situation.  The meat is so tender while the carrots are tender yet still full of sweet flavor.  But the sauce.  Oh, the sauce.  Each bite is creamy and rich and total comfort food.

And while this is quite a hearty dinner, it would also be perfect to serve to guests while entertaining.  The smell alone will drive your guests crazy.

Served with a glass of red wine – Heaven, I tell you.

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