Every one of us has had one of those days, or several of them in a row, where there just doesn't seem to be enough time to get everything done. I had just one of those days yesterday. Between doing the routine morning chores of making lunches, making breakfast, doing the dishes, making the beds, getting my youngest off to school, dealing with the ever-present mound of laundry that I just can't ever seem to totally conquer, showering and about 4 hours devoted to a project my husband and I are working on, I had promised my dad I'd make him some beef stew with 'dough boys', a Newfoundland version of dumplings. However, I just didn't have the time to spend an hour or more in the kitchen, nurturing a pot of stew. My solution? Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Newfie Dough Boys!
Other than cutting up the meat and vegetables, browning off the meat, and tossing it all with the remaining ingredients, except for the dough for the dough boys of course,into the slow cooker, I could make a delicious stew with a prep time under 15 minutes.
I think a good slow cooker should be an essential cooking utensil in every kitchen. You can make everything from stews andsoups, to pulled pork and baked beans, right in one pot. The best part of all is, you only have to throw in all of the ingredients, give 'em a little stir, put the cover on, turn on the heat, and walk away, only to come back a few hours later to a perfectly cooked meal! It doesn't get much easier than that.
For this recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Stew, you'll need:
2 lbs. stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 c. all purpose flour*
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 and 1/2 c. no salt added beef broth
1/4 c. red wine
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
1/2 turnip, peeled and cubed
1 stalk celery, diced
In a large zipper baggie, add flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss in cubed stew meat, seal baggie and toss meat to coat. In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat; add coated stew meat, shaking off excess flour, and onion. When meat is browned, use slotted spoon to transfer meat and onion to slow cooker. Add 1/4 c. red wine and 1/4 c. no salt added beef broth to skillet and allow to come to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Pour over meat and onions in slow cooker.
Add remaining 1 and 1/4 cups of no salt added beef broth to slow cooker, along with bay leaf, paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to incorporate. Add cubed potatoes, carrots and turnip and diced celery - stir to distribute. Put cover on slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 10-12 hours, or high for 4-6 hours. (NOTE: Approximately 1 hour before serving, prepare batter for dough boys and drop by tablesppons. Put cover back on and leave stew to continue cooking for one hour).
For the dough boys, you'll need:
3/4 c. all purpose flour*
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. canola or olive oil
1/3 c. milk
Mix dry ingredients together, add in oil and mix with fork. Add in milk and stir just until dough forms - don't over stir because glutens in the flour will stiffen up and batter with become elastic-like. Again, about one hour before completed cooking time for stew, drop dough boy batter by tablespoonful on top of stew, replace cover and continue cooking for 1 hour.
*Although this recipe calls for all purpose flour, I substitute with Robin Hood Nutriblend with Omega 3's and fibre. The color of the dumplings is more beige than white, but the taste and consistency is unchanged.
Whether it's a weeknight supper for the family, or making meals for weekday lunches ahead of time, this slow cooker beef stew recipe is sure to please!