Bachelor Beef Stew

Bachelor Beef StewThe Comfort of January

January, for me, is a slow month. The chaos of the holidays is over. There is usually a lull in youth sporting activities—though this year the boys are trying basketball. And there just isn’t that much going on, which means I get a bit lazy.

This time is all about the crock pot. My issue is that I get tired of the same old same old. Pot roast is great…occasionally. You can only do so much chili and pulled pork before you lose your sanity (and your waistline). So I have been looking for new recipes to try that are good but also fall into that comfort food category and, don’t require a lot of prep so I can throw them in the pot in the morning.

Most crock pot recipes are heavy on the beef mainly because you can use the tougher cuts that break down over long periods of cooking and are melt in your mouth good at the end. This one uses steak tips which make it even easier for those days when you’re really lazy since you don’t even have to cut it. The use of the microwave might seem weird but it works. Just try it next time you’re on the couch with a book and don’t want to move much.

Bachelor Beef Stew
Recipe adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution
by Americas Test Kitchen

2 cups frozen chopped onions (or 2 onions, minced)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder (or 6 garlic cloves, minced)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra as needed
1 cup beef broth
8 ounces baby carrots
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
2 bay leaves
3 pounds beef steak tips
Salt and pepper
1 pound frozen roasted potatoes, steak fries, or French fries
1 cup frozen peas

Microwave onions, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic powder, and thyme in a bowl, stirring occasionally until onions are softened, for about S minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.

Stir in chicken broth, beef broth, carrots, soy sauce, tapioca, and bay leaves. Season beef with salt and pepper and tuck into slow cooker under the broth. Cover and cook until the beef is tender: about 9 to 11 hours on low, or 5 to 7 hours on high.

Transfer beef to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred with two forks into bite-size pieces. Return the beef to the crock pot. Let stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using a large spoon. Discard the bay leaves.

In the meantime, microwave potatoes with remaining tablespoon oil in a bowl stirring occasionally, until thawed and warm, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir warm potatoes, and peas into the stew and let sit until heated through, about S minutes. (Adjust stew consistency with additional hot broth as needed.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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