Make an Easy, Not Too Expensive, and Fancy Beef Cabernet in Your Slow Cooker
Now doesn't "Slow Cooked Beef Cabernet" sound much better than "beef stew"? I love beef simmered with red wine, herbs, and plenty of vegetables. I also like the way the aromas from the slow cooked, wine-rich stew hit me when I enter the house in the evening. Even more, I appreciate being able to use a less expensive (well, relatively) cut of meat and not having to take the time in the evening when I'm tired to scrounge up dinner. Our meal is in the slow cooker, bubbling and ready to eat. Yes, this is beef stew, but a slightly dressed up version with the addition of plenty of wine and fragrant herbes de Provence--a mixture that often includes savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and lavender. The stew cooks to fork tenderness and is full of nutritious vegetables that have been infused with flavor. Serve the Slow Cooked Beef Cabernet in bowls or deep plates with plenty of crusty bread and a green salad, and you'll have a contented tummy. This recipe makes a large quantity if you want plenty of leftovers or to serve guests. Enjoy!
Slow Cooked Beef Cabernet -- Serves 8+
2-3 pounds of stew beef (chuck) cut into 1-2-inch chunks
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into eighths
3-4 stalks of celery chopped
8-10 small-medium red potatoes, quartered
8 ounces of baby carrots or regular carrots cut into 2-inch lengths
1 large red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup of flour, divided
2 tablespoons of herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1-2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of reduced sodium beef "Better Than Bullion"
2 cups of boiling water
2 cups of Cabernet (the cheap stuff is fine)
1/2 cup of chopped parsley or 1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes (optional)
Coat the insert to a large slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. To the insert, add the beef, onions, celery, potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, 1/2 cup of flour, herbes de Provence, pepper, and salt. Stir everything well to coat the beef and vegetables with the flour and seasonings. Dissolve the "Better Than Bullion" in the boiling water and pour the broth into the slow cooker. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Pour in the Cabernet. Stir the stew mixture well to combine all the ingredients, cover the slow cooker, and cook the stew for 8-10 hours on low or 6-7 hours on high. About half an hour before the end of the cooking time, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of water until no lumps remain and stir the mixture into the stew. Cover the slow cooker and let the stew continue to cook until the sauce has thickened a bit. Serve the stew sprinkled with parsley, if you like, in bowls or deep plates.