Slow cooking, especially in a slow cooker as opposed to the Dutch oven, is a great way to enjoy dinner without having to do much at all in the kitchen.
This Shredded Country Beef Stew recipe is very similar to a traditional beef stew that we all know and love from the kitchens of our mothers. It has similar ingredients, only by choosing chuck steak you are able to cook the meat long enough for it to shred instead of being in chunks.
In addition, if you have lots of leftovers, the stew makes a great filling for a meat and veggie pie after straining off some of the gravy. The recipe is scented with rosemary and thyme and is a comfort food blast from the past!
3 lbs. pound boneless chuck
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 large onion cut in chunks
2 large carrots cut into coins
2 ribs celery, cut into chunks
2 medium russet potatoes cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 small can diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups beef stock
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Arrowroot mixed with water for thickening (optional)
Turn on your slow cooker to the 8 hour setting while you prepare the ingredients.
1. Make several slits with a sharp knife all over the meat. Rub the meat with a little olive oil and then the salt and black pepper. In a large skillet over a high heat, sear the meat on all sides until darkened in color. Set aside.
2. While the heat is still under the pan, add a little of the broth to deglaze, scraping up all of the brown bits. Add these to the slow cooker or Dutch oven with the onions, carrots, celery and bay leaves.
3. Combine the tomatoes and juice, beef stock and the Worcestershire sauce. Place the meat on top of the vegetables and pour the stock all over. Cover and cook for at least 6 hours or until the meat is shredding when twisted with a fork. Remove the lid and let the stew cool a while.
4. Making a thicker gravy :- If you would like the gravy to be thicker, here are the directions for that. I choose arrowroot instead of cornstarch to thicken, as it does not leave an after taste.
Remove the meat from the pot and shred it with two forks. Place the liquid and its veggies into a large pan and it bring to a boil. Add approximately 1 tbsp. of arrowroot to 4 cups of liquid. If you are unsure start with 1 tbsp.
Add the arrowroot at boiling point, cook for 1 minute and reduce the heat to medium low for 5 minutes. If you need more thickener, just repeat this step until the gravy is how you like it. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Add the meat back to the veggies and serve with mashed potatoes.
Arrowroot is sometimes difficult to find, so I've given a link below if you wish to purchase this.
Bob's Red Mill Arrowroot Starch Flour, 16 oz on Amazon