Friday, January 11, 2013

Peppery Beef Stew

There are a couple nights a week that I work nights so I have to get creative on still making a great dinner for the Mr when he gets come, and when I get home later that night. The crock pot is my savior! I have a couple great crock pot recipe books but one that really stands out is The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicoline. She takes slow cooker cooking to the next level by focusing on things like browning the meat before you put it in the slow cooker. Making the sauce on the stove top before you add it to the crock pot. All these things make a big difference in the end product!

This may not be my prettiest plating job but it sure tasted good! This was my plate late last night when I got home from work, next time I make this dish I hope to get a better picture of just the beef. This recipe is just about cooking the beef, the veggies are just something a threw together (frozen Green Giant veggies).

Serves 6
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 pounds boneless beef chunk, cut into 2 in chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups canned tomato puree
2 garlic cloves, chopped, plus 6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns, or to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, or to taste

On a piece of wax paper, stir together the flour and salt to taste. Toss the beef with the flour and shake off any excess. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat in batches, without crowding the pan. Brown the beef well on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a large slow cooker.

Add the wine to the skillet and bring it to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato puree, garlic, peppercorns, and ground pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the beef is very tender. Taste for seasoning before serving.  

I don't have the exact Weight Watcher point value or nutritional facts but Weight Watchers did a review on Michele's cookbook here.

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