I would never have thought that I would enjoy writing a blog on how to make beef stew, but I guess that's just what us millenials do for fun these days. I think many people avoid making stews and slow cooked meals simply because they require some planning in advance, but once you finally get on the slow-food bandwagon, you'll realize how much time (and money) it actually saves, AND how many delicious options you have that are nearly impossible to mess up. Also keep in mind that slow cooking makes it more affordable to use higher quality (grass-fed, organic) meats since you'll be using the cheaper cuts that need to be cooked for a long time in order to become tender.
The following is what I used in this latest beef stew. I hesitate to call this sancocho (stew popular in Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic) as it doesn't contain some of the traditional ingredients and seasonings, but that being said, you could make endless variations on the recipe. Many other ingredients would work well also, so don't worry if you don't have access to all of the root vegetables below. I'm fortunate to live in the Washington Heights area of NYC where you can find all of these in most grocery stores for very little cost. Even if you only used one type of potato it would still turn out good, I just prefer having more variety in flavors and texture.
*note: I will definitely add some marrow bones next time I make this stew for additional flavor and health benefits. Also, keep in mind I filled a 6qt slow cooker almost to the brim with these ingredients, so make sure you have enough space!
Paleo-Friendly Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Prep Time: 30min
Cook Time: 10hrs
- 6qt slow cooker
- Knife suitable for chopping
- Cutting board
- Frying Pan
- 4-5lbs beef for stew
- 3-4 celery sticks
- 2 large carrots
- 2 white onions
- 1 head of garlic
- 1tsp powdered garlic
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 TB Sea salt or Himalayan salt
- 2 TB butter or olive oil
- 1TB coconut oil
- 1 green or semi-ripe plantain per serving
- 2 cups chopped Yucca
- 2 cups chopped Batata
- 2 cups chopped Yautía
- 2 cups chopped Ñame
- 2 cups chopped Idaho potato
*any other hearty root vegetable would do fine as well!
Heat frying pan on medium heat with butter or olive oil. Saute onions until they begin to caramelize and then place in slow cooker (10-15min). Brown beef on all sides then add to slow cooker (~4min)
Add all chopped root vegetables (you could add green plantains here as well, but I did not), celery, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and salt to slow cooker
Add Water or Beef broth (more or less depending on how much liquid you want) to preference. The ingredients certainly do not need to be fully submerged. You may want to add more salt if adding a significant amount of water.
Set slow cooker on low setting for 10hrs
Step 5 (plantain bowl):
Cut plantain into slices and pan fry in coconut oil on both sides until golden and a bit crispy. Mash with salt and powdered garlic (optional) and a mold around the inside of a bowl using the back of a spoon.
Add stew to the bowl, bask in the feeling of smug satisfaction while the stew cools down, and enjoy!