Slow Cooker Paris Beef Stew
A bottle of dark beer had been haunting my refrigerator for months. It took up precious shelf space and no one seemed interested in drinking it. Thrifty me would never toss it out. It was time to get creative. I got my slow cooker ready.
At the supermarket, a large and well marbled chuck roast caught my eye and made me think of a succulent beef stew I had eaten recently in Paris. The stew had potatoes and carrots in a luscious brown gravy.
I brought the roast home and cut it into chunks. After browning the pieces, I tossed them into my slow cooker. I sauteed some onions then used that lovely brown beer to deglaze the pan. It bubbled and foamed and smelled heavenly. I added some tangy Dijon mustard and poured everything into the slow cooker over the browned meats and vegetable chunks. It simmered away all day while I went about all of the other things I had to take care of during this very busy season.
That evening we sat down to a relaxing dinner. It was all so easy, I had even invited some friends over. We had a salad to start, and baked apples for dessert. What more can I say? A perfect simple slow cooker dinner, French style.
For more French, Italian or other Mediterranean slow cooker recipes, check out my cookbooks, perfect for holiday gifts!
BEEF AND BEER STEW
Serves 6 to 8
6 to 8 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3-1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 12 ounce bottle dark beer
1-1/2 cups beef or chicken broth
About 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Spray the insert of a large slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Scatter the potatoes and carrots in the cooker.
On a large piece of wax paper, mix together the flour, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Roll the beef a few pieces at a time in the flour mixture, tapping off any excess. Place the beef in the pan without crowding. Cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the browned beef to the slow cooker. Continue browning the remaining beef.
When all of the beef has been browned, add the onions to the skillet. Cook stirring often, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook one minute more.
Pour the beer into the skillet and bring it to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan. Wisk in the broth, mustard and thyme.
Pour the liquid into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until the meat and vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Taste for seasoning and add a little more mustard if needed. Serve hot sprinkled with parsley.