Stew is one of my favourite things to make in the crock pot. Its delicious smell greeting me as we walk in the door after a busy day is like heaven.
Making stew is pretty basic, of course. Meat, veggies, taters. But I found a recipe in Adrian’s Big Game Cook Book that I tried today that made a pretty darn good stew. You, of course, could use beef not deer.
1 1/2 cups water 1/2 cup beer 2 envelopes (7/8 ounce each) onion gravy mix 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme 2 to 3 lbs deer (or beef) stew meat 3 tablespoons oil 1 bay leaf (I used bouquet garni) Carrots Parsnips (I used potatoes instead since I can’t stand parsnips – taste like soap. Bleh) Frozen peas or corn
In a bowl, mix water, beer, gravy mix, brown sugar, and thyme. Set aside. Cut meat (after having removed fat) into 1-inch pieces. Brown meat in oil over medium-high heat. Add beer mixture and bay leaf to meat. Reduce heat; cover. Simmer a bit so it thickens up nicely – then, at this point, I add it to my crock pot. [If you didn’t want to use the crock pot, simmer for 1-1/1/2 hours; then for 20 more minutes after adding vegetables] Toss in the carrots and potatoes. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8. I add the frozen veg. near the end. And because Adrian loves them, I make dumplings, too.
Maybe the beer made the difference this time, maybe it was the deer, or maybe I was just really in the mood for stew. I don’t know. But tonight…mmmm, it sure tasted gooooood.
I like my stew to be nice and thick – not soupy. The above photo was taken at the end of the night, though, after a lot of the liquid was gone so it appears thicker than it was originally.