Hearty Beef Stew

It’s winter(ish) here in Joburg and we are loving stew in our household! It is hearty and healthy without being heavy. And it is a meal that my family will ALWAYS eat. I like to make a large pot of stew so we have for lunch the next day (it’s always better the next day, right?) and then freeze the rest for lazy days.
What’s more convenient that throwing together some ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and coming home to a meal that smells great and is ready to eat? Ok, so there’s a little more to it than just throwing ingredients in. In my experience it’s better to sear the meat first in small batches to make sure that each piece is properly caramelised on the outside. This seals in the juices and flavour. The cut of meat also makes a huge difference. For tender chunks of meat I recommend chuck or sirloin.
I don’t like a very thick stew, so I don’t add anything to thicken it (potato is enough). If you want a thicker stew simply coat the meat in flour. There’s no need to add thickeners.
The recipe I am sharing with you is my basic stew. However, I have to add that I like to improvise and depending on what we have in the house it turns out differently almost every time. In the stew pictured above I added zucchini, turnip, olives and tomatoes and left out the carrot and celery. It had a lovely Mediterranean flavour that was amazing the next day. We ended up with nothing leftover to freeze.
1kg meat cut into small chunks
1/4 cup all purpose flour (if you want a thicker stew)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock (1 1/2 cups for a thicker stew)
3 potatoes, diced
4 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
Sear meat in a very hot pan until caramelised on the outside, then place in the slow cooker.
In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture.
Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
Cover, and cook on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.

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