Monday, January 24, 2011

Roasted Garlic Beef Stew

The wind is blowing, the snow is falling blowing coming at me from every which way.  This is the perfect time for another crock pot creation!!  Generally I don't use a recipe when it comes to stews.  You know, toss a bunch of stuff in the crock pot and dinner cooks on its own!  But a friend sent me a recipe they had tried at their house and it looked good so I figured hey why not give it a go?  When I got home from work, dinner was cooked and ready to serve, save a small salad and some bread.  This recipe for Roasted Garlic Beef Stew is from Canadian Living Magazine.  Canadian Living magazine is a tried and true type of magazine when it comes to recipes.  I have a couple of their books on my book shelf. I don't subscribe to this one but I do pick it up every now and then in the store. (They just recently changed their format and I am not a huge fan of it, but their recipes still come out great!)

Roasted Garlic Beef Stew, adapted for the slow cooker
adapted from Canadian Living Magazine

That's right, 12 cloves!
First the ingredient list:
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • veggie or canola oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1" chunks (I used baby carrots)
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 " chunks
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and diced into 1" cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 lbs stewing beef
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage (all I could find was ground so I used less)
  • 1 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine (or more beef stock)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup (or so) chopped celery tops (I had some in the fridge so I added them)
    You can add almost anything to a stew so if you have something in the cupboard or fridge hanging around that you want to use, toss it in)

    Ok, that is quite the list, but once you break it down, it is a cinch to put together in the evening to slow cook all day while you work.

    First lets deal with all of that garlic! Put a pan on to heat up to medium while you start working with the garlic.  Add some canola oil to the pan so there is enough oil to cover the cloves of garlic. Let the oil heat up though before you add the garlic.

    Peel the garlic cloves (a slight smash with the side of the knife helps release the skins!) Add the garlic to the oil and let the cloves fry.  You want the garlic to not only infuse the oil but to get all nice and golden brown! YUMMY!  Give the pan a gentle shimmy shake every now and then to ensure the cloves get even golden coverage.

    Remove the golden yummy garlic from the pan and drain.  Also drain all but 1 or 2 tbsp of the oil from the pan.

    Season the meat with salt and pepper.  In small batches, brown the meat in the oil.  Do not crowd the pan on this one!  You want the meat to brown, not to steam.  Brown = yummy, yummy goodness in the crock pot!

    Don't crowd the pan!!
    As the meat browns, transfer them to the crock.  Once all of the meat is done, add the chopped onions to the pan.  Saute the onions until translucent and they have picked up the brown flavour filled goodness from the bottom of the pan.  Add the onions to the pan.

    Add the beef stock, tomato paste, (and wine if using) to the pan and further deglaze all of the yummy goodness from the bottom. Pour into the crock.

    Add the carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and celery to the crock.  Give everything a stir, slap on the lid and store the crock in the fridge until morning!

    Toss it all in the crock pot!
    In the wee hours of the morning, just when you are awake enough to venture into the kitchen to conjure up something for breakfast, take the crock out of the fridge, place it into the cooking apparatus and turn it on to low....and for heaven's sake, make sure it is plugged in as well!! (Don't laugh, I have come home to a cold, uncooked pork shoulder sitting in the sad.....)

    Remember to add the frozen peas when you get home, these won't take long at all.  Also toss in the chopped parsley!

    All in all this was a tasty stew.  Although I couldn't really taste the garlic as it had mellowed so much in the crock pot I found I was really missing not having a bay leaf or two in the stew for flavour.  Perhaps next time I will add the bay leaf and up the garlic content if I am going to use the crock pot.  

    Stay warm and eat well!


    1. Glad you liked it. Clearly, this is a different type of Garlic taste than if it was not roasted. I just might use BOTH kinds next batch. (I used 2 whole heads of Garlic so it wasn't lacking there.)

    2. I keep forgetting to use my slow cooker! I really need to get it out to remind myself. Nevertheless, I've printed your recipe and put it right onto the stove... maybe that will do the trick. I have a family of garlic and beef fans, this will most definitely be a winner!

    3. I think I use my slow cooker at least once a week. Which is a lot compared to some people. This dish looks divine and that garlic, I could just squeeze out the goodness and spread on some French bread.

    4. this looks absolutely comforting. all those garlic is tempting me to make some soon. yum!

    5. I love your step by step photo instructions and the finished product looks so yummy! Thnk you for sharing and for stopping by my blog :)

    6. I love garlic very much. This dish just looks too good....mmmm.


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