Saturday, October 22, 2016

Crockpot French Onion Beef Stew

Beef stew season is here!!

I la-la-love beef stew, in any variety. With barley, over mashed potatoes, with a harvest-style twist, I feel like I've done it all. Cooked low and slow, no matter what you throw in it, it's bound to be delicious. 

This Crockpot French Onion Beef Stew is rooted in tradition - big bites of carrot, potato, celery, and onions cook all day with tender stew beef and rich beef broth. There's not much more you need, but I wanted to try...something else. I happened to have a packet of french onion soup mix in my pantry and I didn't have to think twice - this is what my stew needed. A salty, oniony kick, complimented with a glug of Worcestershire sauce and a can of tomato sauce for a little tang. 

Now, I don't think I need to spend much time on the fact that this is all made in the Crockpot and therefore you hardly have to expend any effort before you get to snuggle up with a big delicious bowl of this stew. Chop up those veggies, dump everything in your trusty slow cooker, do whatever you have to do for 8 hours, and then...dinner time! 

Just a few notes on this stew: french onion soup mix can be VERY salty, so I strongly suggest using a low sodium beef broth and salting very lightly in the beginning. It will be very important to taste and season gradually to avoid over-salting the dish. Also, I always recommend searing your stew beef before adding it to the Crockpot, but this dish will be just as delicious if you skip this step (but oh, boy, it is delicious if you have the time!) Lastly, the stew will freeze well! Once it has finished cooking, cool completely and store in a freezer-safe air tight container for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge then reheat in a large pot until warmed through.