Crock Pot Beef Stew

This recipe is one that, although it falls into the “soup” category, I make year-round. It’s always a crowd-pleaser, it makes a lot and, well, it goes in the crock pot. ‘Nuff said. It is particularly lovely in the colder months, though, so here we go!

It’s a classic beef stew. At least, I think it’s classic. It’s heavy on the veggies and with homemade bone broth and a tasty grass-fed roast, it sounds pretty classic to me – and nutritious, too! Also, being grain-free as well as dairy-free, it’s a great addition to your repertoire of recipes that meet such criteria. Most of us need as many of those kinds of recipes as we can get our hands on for day-to-day cooking. This one is incredibly flavorful.

If you are including dairy or some grains in your diet this is delicious served with parmesan shavings, slices of a nice, sharp cheddar or a bit of traditionally fermented sourdough bread. (For a wonderful source of artisan fermented breads – and even einkorn sourdough bread – in Lubbock go to the Percy St Bakery website.) A green side salad is another great addition. Usually, though, I just sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper on top and enjoy it as is. It’s delicious… and I know delicious.

A few things before we get to the recipe:

beef stew second image

The roast in the recipe is very large. This is so I can put only half the shredded roast back into the stew and save the other half for use in another recipe. Ninety-nine percent of the time the saved shredded beef goes into my red chili recipe a few days later. Head over and make that next!

Your roast, if from a grass-fed source, will likely have a bone in it. This is a good thing. Cook it in your stew and save it in your freezer for making more bone broth later.

Make sure you plan ahead. You’ll need a whole day and night to thaw your roast if it was frozen when you bought it. If you buy a grass-fed cut of meat, it will more than likely be frozen. You’ll also need to thaw your broth if you’ve stored it in the freezer. Utilize the calendar or any other notification app on your phone for stuff like this. Each week I am setting alarms for myself so that I don’t forget to thaw or buy something for dinner!

You can buy some store-bought broth in a pinch. Just look for something that’s organic and pastured or free-range, if you can find it. Look for something without a lot of unpronounceable words in the ingredients list. I’ve even just used water in the past. As the veggies and beef cook, it will turn that water into a broth anyway so you may opt for this over store-bought broth if you don’t have any homemade. Just adjust your salt accordingly at the end if you feel the water makes the stew taste a bit bland.

Don’t feel like you have to remove bones or a lot of excess fat from the roast before cooking it. Both of these components of a grass-fed (pastured) roast add nutrition and flavor to your stew and they are actually easier to cut away from the roast after it’s cooked.

You’ll know your roast is ready when you can take a fork and, with a twist, easily begin to shred the meat. Cook a roast too long, it gets tough. Let it cook even longer, the proteins will relax again and it will become tender and shred-able.

If you feel your roast isn’t quite tender enough after the cook time is up, just give it another 30 minutes. Turn your crock pot up to the “high” setting if it isn’t already there. It will be fine.

I hope you love this as much as I do!

ingredients

  • One 3 or 4 lb chuck roast an arm or shoulder roast will also work, pastured/grass-fed is best , thawed
  • 2 Tbs ghee or avocado oil
  • 3 C beef bone broth, divided you can use chicken broth if that’s all you have
  • 1 can organic diced tomatoes OR 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large organic yellow onion diced
  • ½ C fresh or frozen organic black eyed peas
  • 1 ½ C purple potatoes yellow or golden potatoes are OK if you can’t find purple ones, cubed (swap out for cubed turnips or radishes for keto-friendly)
  • 1 medium size head organic purple or green cabbage thinly sliced
  • 4 organic carrots sliced (may want to omit for more keto-friendly version)
  • 4 stalks organic celery chopped
  • Any other veggies you have around and want to use – cauliflower winter squash, green beans, broccoli, etc.
  • 3 tsp Real or Celtic Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • A bit more salt and pepper to season your roast
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • Serve with shaved parmesan cheese or slices of sharp cheddar if you’re doing dairy.

Fanci-fy it:

  • ½ C red wine
  • Cayenne pepper sprinkled over individual bowls of stew to serve

instructions

  1. First, set your crock pot out on the counter and plug it in. You don’t want to turn your crock pot on after you’ve filled it up meanwhile it’s not plugged in and you don’t notice until it’s too late. That’s never happened to me…
  2. Thaw bone broth, if yours is frozen. Run the frozen container of broth under warm water until you can dump it out into a pan on the stove. Turn the heat on high and the broth will melt down quickly and be ready to use in step …?…
  3. Now, prepare all your veggies – dice, chop, slice or cube your onion, celery, carrots, cabbage, potatoes and tomatoes (if you’re using fresh ones) and any other veggies that strike your fancy.
  4. Put all your veggies into the crock pot. Don’t forget the peas and can of diced tomatoes (if you didn’t chop fresh ones).
  5. Sprinkle your salt, pepper and garlic powder over the veggies and with a large spoon turn the veggies a few times just to mix them up a bit.
  6. Press them down and, if you need to, make a well in the center so your roast doesn’t sit too high in the crock pot. You still want the roast on top of the veggies but nestled down in them a bit is OK.
  7. Now, prepare your roast by unwrapping it and patting it dry with paper towels.
  8. Season it with a bit more salt and pepper on each side. Set aside while your pan heats up.
  9. Place a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat on the stove and melt 2 Tbs of ghee or avocado oil.
  10. After a couple minutes your fat should be hot. Using a pair of tongs, pick up the roast and set it in the hot fat.
  11. Allow your roast to brown in the fat for 2 minutes on each side. Be patient with this process. It takes about 10 minutes and creates a lot of flavor you don’t want to miss!
  12. When you’re done browning the roast place it in the crock pot on top of your veggies.
  13. Remove your pan from the heat and pour in 1 C of broth to deglaze.
  14. To deglaze just use a whisk or other utensil to stir the liquid, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all that brown flavor from your roast into the liquid.
  15. If you’re adding in red wine, pour it in with the broth at this stage as well. It adds even more divine flavor to the finished stew!
  16. When the bottom of the pan looks clean and all the brown bits have been scraped up, pour the liquid over your roast in the crock pot.
  17. Add the rest of your broth to the crock pot as well and put the lid on.
  18. Turn your crock pot on high or low depending on how long you have to let it cook. 7 hours on low or 4 ½ hours or so on high.
  19. Set a timer to check your roast at the end of the cook time. Go about your day and your business and let it make you so happy every time you think about how dinner is already handled this evening (and lunch and dinner tomorrow, too, because – leftovers!)
  20. Now, when it’s time to check the stew you want to make sure the roast is very soft and easy to cut or shred. See notes in body of this post for tips on how to deal with the roast at this point.
  21. When it’s ready, using your tongs, place the roast on a cutting board. Allow to cool for a few minutes
  22. With a large spoon, again, stir the vegetable content of the crock pot. There should be quite a bit of heavenly, vegetable-y, beefy liquid down in there.
  23. Stir in 1 Tbs of Worcestershire sauce at this point and turn the heat off on the crock pot.
  24. Taste it and see if you need to add more salt. I usually do! Add a bit more liquid, too, if you need to. You can even add a bit of water at this point. It will blend right in with the flavors of the stew and taste great. You’re almost done!
  25. Shred or dice up your roast using a fork and a steak knife. Cut around any large sections of fat or gristle. Maybe your dog will want it.
  26. Add half of the beef back into the stew and mix it in. Save the remaining shredded beef in the fridge (or freezer, depending on how long it will be before you use it) and use it in our red chili recipe. In my house I always follow stew with chili. I love Fall & Winter food!
  27. Add the 1 Tbs of Worcestershire sauce and mix it in along with the shredded meat.
  28. Enjoy!

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