I’ve always been in love with stew. Infatuated, actually. If it was on the menu, I was ordering it. Lucky for me, my college had a culinary school so the students would make lunch and dinner for the cafeteria. One of the best stews I’ve had was a lamb stew, served on a chilly autumn afternoon with fiery leaves falling in the grounds outside. Perfectly spiced, tender, melt in your mouth meat, and thick gravy over fresh potatoes was the perfect cure to exam week. Since then, I’ve been searching for the perfect restaurant to fill my fix quite unsuccessfully… Until yesterday. Yesterday, I found the amazing recipe from Jessica at Butter with a Side of Bread who wrote the Best Crock Pot Stew. And when they say the best, they do not disappoint.
It was incredibly fun to make this stew. Even though there was an incredible amount of vegetable cutting, crying over split onions, and running out of wine bottles, it was a fantastic afternoon. A great tip that wasn’t included in Jessica’s instruction was how helpful the wine is with dishes, time just flies!
I did make a few changes with the help of the boss (ie. my wonderful mother). I completely forgot to put flour on the meat before I seared it, lessened the wine to ½ cup and used 1 ½ cup of broth, added extra meat in the form of Salt Beef (all the way from Newfoundland), tossed as much of the tomatoes as we could, did not use meat tenderizer, drank too much wine, and added rosemary, Italian spice, and maybe a few others because I did not have allspice, and ¾-1 cup of instant potatoes and 1 tsp of cornstarch instead of 2 tsp cornstarch. After making this stew, I don’t think you could mess it up. Even with the salt beef stock and random spices off the rack, this still turned out amazing. The beef fell off the fork, potatoes and carrots perfectly cooked, and the gravy was a perfect consistency. I did the extra work for 15-20 minutes and I think it was absolutely worth it. Especially with incorporating salt beef it was a good choice. It’s not too much extra work and I don’t think I’d even think of doing it the “easy” way!
We bought more meat from Costco this morning to make more later this week and will add photos. Regardless of photos or not, Jessica did a fantastic job of walking you through the recipe.