There is a reason this is the ultimate winter dish! Chunks of hearty beef and vegetables are braised in red wine in the slow cooker for the ultimate easy dinner. Remember the rule – only cook with wine you are willing to drink!
For the Meat
2 tbsp. oil
1.5 lbs beef stewing meat (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1-2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. flour
For the Gravy
2 large yellow onions (cut into wedges)
2 garlic cloves (sliced)
5 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
4 tbsp. tomato paste
3/4 c. red wine
2 c. beef stock
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauc
For the Vegetables
3 lg waxy potatoes (peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces)
4 lg carrots (peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces)
4 celery stalks (cut into 1 inch pieces)
How To Make
Brown the meat: Heat the oil in a large and deep skillet over high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper and then add to the skillet. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir well. Cook until the beef is browned on all sides (do not stir too much, or the beef will not brown properly). Remove to a 5-6 quart slow cooker.
Start the gravy: Put the skillet back over medium high heat. If needed, add a little more oil. Cook the onions and garlic until starting to soften. Stir in the tomato paste and add the herbs and cook, stirring constantly, until the herbs are fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour the red wine into the pan, scratching the browned bits off the bottom. Cook until thickened and the wine is reduced to the thickness of honey, about 3 minutes. Stir in the stock and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil (this will help the stew start cooking faster once it is in the crock), then switch off the heat.
Transfer to the slow cooker: On top of the meat, place the potatoes, carrots, and celery. Very carefully pour the hot liquid from the skillet into the crockpot, making sure the liquid runs down all the way to the bottom and underneath the meat (stir a little if needed).
Cook: Cook the stew on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Prior to serving, check for seasoning and adjust if needed. Either finish cooking with the lid open (if you want a thicker stew) or closed if you want it soupier. Serve in warm bowls with your favorite glass of red wine.