Lazy Day Beef Stew


Many years ago, when I had my second round of stomach troubles (I was 32; my first round was at age 17, with a bleeding ulcer), the gastroenterologist suggested I purchase the current American Heart Association cookbook and use it faithfully.

I did.  I lost 15 pounds in six months. My tummy started behaving.  (The photo gives some visual representation of those days.)

Of course I also switched at the same time to diet soda, giving up the sugary drinks.  That may have helped too.

Anyhow, one of my favorite recipes from that cookbook is named Lazy Day Beef Casserole.  It’s really a stew.  And instead of baking it, I use the slow cooker.

This is a hearty, healthy(ish) dish that combines well with a green vegetable such as green beans or broccoli or peas, for a total meal that really doesn’t need anything else!

I made the stew again on Sunday and came home from church to a house that was scented from heaven.  My mouth was watering.  And I was not disappointed.

From memory, here’s the gist of the recipe:

Brown 1 lb. of stew meat, cut into 1″ cubes, all visible fat removed.  No need to cook the meat all the way through.

Throw the browned meat into a small slow cooker.  Sprinkle on 1/2 t. garlic powder and 1/2 t. rosemary (or more, as it won’t hurt at all). Pepper generously.

Mix 1/3 c. flour, 1/2 c. red wine, 1 15-oz. can of no-salt-added beef broth, and 3 T. tomato paste (or more) until flour and tomato paste are fully integrated into the sludge.  Pour over beef.

Roughly chop one yellow onion, 8 oz. of cleaned white mushrooms, and a small bag of carrots.  Throw all that on top of the liquid.

Cover, and cook on low for a few hours, then on high for more. Stir occasionally after a couple of hours.

I cook three hours on low and 1 or 2 more on high.  I want the beef to be falling apart. The longer this cooks, the more the veggies meld into a rich reduction that is thick and tasty.  Of course, chopping the veggies very fine will also help build a reduction.

I added a generous T of Worcestershire sauce this time.  Kitchen Bouquet would add the same depth.

And then I added salt at the end, since this dish is not salty enough (on purpose, for those folks who need low sodium, as I probably should).

Serve with a green veggie.  I also made some cheese and herb biscuits that allowed for very happy sopping up of the broth.



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