Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Damn Good Crock Pot Beef Stew

Thank you, God- for crock pots, stews, soups and whatever else you can cook-up, leave and then serve wonderfully a few hours later. But really this is my favorite crock pot meal for some reason- it is so simple, yet completely nourishing and satisfying. And worth swearing over- it's that damn good!
This time of year the bones need warming-up at most meal times. I'll confess soup and stew are on my brain majority of the time for meal planning. It only feeds into my day-dreaming about opening up a soup and bread shop some day.... ahhhh :) A girls gotta have dreams and goals, amiright?!
Maybe some of you wonder why I care about vegan (no eggs or dairy) options for many of my baked goods, but still consume meat and feel OK about posting a recipe where beef is a main ingredient. I will tell you... Although, I respect and value the views of any person on their food/consumers journey- me and my family eat solely based on what we do not have allergies/sensitivities to in our house. So we are not paleo, vegan, GAPS, AIP, keto, or whatever trending names for diets are out there currently.We eat what we have found to not cause hives, breathing issues, digestive distress, IBS, headaches, and the list goes on for our sensitive issues. So we are not under any real diet label- it isn't easy or straight forward, but I work damn hard to provide nutritious food for myself and family that will help us promote the best health, balance and peace in our house. And this involves meat sometimes. Because no one is allergic to meat in our house ;) THANK GOD! But we choose the best options available to us if possible, which means pasture-or grass-fed, without the use of pesticides or antibiotics, and hopefully from a local farmer as well. So the beef stew meat I use in this recipe I buy from a local farmer that sells at our local farmers market. I can get it for 6 dollars a pound and buy meat for this meal under 20 dollars that will last us 2-3 nights of food. So I call it a "frugal meal", yet it is still a treat in our house because we do not really eat beef at this caliber more than once or twice a month.  So yes, I get food and diet and nutrition has LOTS of opinions on the matter- trust me- after 10 years of being in the "biz" of food and recipes and holistic health I GET IT! But I always come back to with myself and my clients--- what is your body telling you--- to be best nourished, balanced, and at peace- this is a different answer for every person, so the reminder is to be curious and kind, and not judgmental to yourself or others. OK- I get off my soap box now!!! time for the recipe :)
Damn Good Crock Pot Beef Stew Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, nut, seed and sugar-free}

1 very large onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 TB of grated turmeric
1 TB of grated ginger 
1 bunch of green onions or leaks finely chopped
pinch of sea salt
1-2 TB of avocado or olive oil

In a large pot, sauté the above ingredients until soft. While that is happening, coarsely chop up your potatoes and carrots below...

2 pounds of potatoes chopped into cubes
2 pounds of carrots sliced

3 pounds of grass-fed or pasture raised beef stew meat (most grocers have this meat already designated as "stew" meat)
1 ts. of sea salt/black pepper to taste

Then dump the above carrots and potatoes into the crock pot, when the onion saute mix is soft dump those over the carrots and potatoes and mix together then dump your raw fresh beef stew meat cuts in the same sauté pot and just brown the meat on all sides and use up the oil/onion juices in the pot as well. When the meat is browned on all sides, dump that also in the crock pot with potatoes and carrots and mix well to get an even mixture. Then you can add your fresh herbs and sprinkle and mix those in.

1/2 cup of fresh herbs- I use a combo of thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano if I got it
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley 

Then in the same pot you used to saute your onions and brown your meat- add 4 cups of broth, sprinkle in the tapioca flour and the following spices...

4 cups of broth: use either bone broth or veggie...I usually use a mix of both
1 6 ounce can or organic tomato paste
2 TB of tapioca flour
1 TB of dried Italian herb blend
1 ts. of ground garlic powder
sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper
Use a whisk and blend in the tomato paste and flour into the broth and you make a thickened gravy after about 5-7 minutes over high heat. Then pour this gravy over all the holes and crannies of the potato and meat mixture already in the crock pot. It will soak to the bottom of the crock and you will start to see in on the edges of the mixture. Set your cook time on low if you have 8 hours to cook. But f you have 5-6 then put it on high. I usually start mine cooking around 9-10 am in the morning and leave it on high until 3-4pm, and then put it on low or keep warm for the last house of cooking and serve around 5-6 for dinner.

Toppings to serve: 
I love to serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley (or cilantro is great too)
Some on my family also love a dollop of sour cream
And most in my family make this a full wonderful mean with a large slice of my bread

I make this meal probably every 3-4 weeks during the winter. And it is a beloved favorite and every time I think- is there a more filling meal? My favorite part of the meal though is the fact I can make it in the morning and have the whole day to go on family adventures or accomplish some other task of the day and just roll into the kitchen at dinner time and serve it up with delight! It must be some form of magic if you ask me. The past few Christmas Eve's I've made this that morning and after a party (or two), an evening church service, then we come home to a warm nourishing meal out of the crock pot and snuggle in for the next 24 hours of magical Christmas. I hope you do something similar so that you have less work in the kitchen. 

Much love, xoxo

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