Slow-Cooker Beef Stew

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 6.5 hours (in a slow cooker)

Makes about 4 large servings

There’s nothing better than coming home from a long day at work, and finding your dinner all cooked for you. While sometimes thanks to the generosity of your spouse, roommate, or family member, it can also be a lovely perk of having a slow cooker. I personally use mine all the time, and one of my favourite slow-cooker recipes is this hearty beef stew, which is loaded with a tonne of veggies and protein for a stick-to-your-ribs fall or winter meal. The wine and balsamic vinegar add a but of an extra punch to mix, but if you’re avoiding alcohol or more sugary ingredients you can simply add in some extra stock and even a dollop of tomato paste. In fact, like all my recipes, I encourage you to play around with proportions and ingredients! Lamb is a great sub for the beef, and kale is an awesome replacement for the spinach. Try kobacha instead of acorn squash, or basil instead of oregano! Either way, you just have to close your eyes, throw it in, set your timer, and come home to the inviting aromas of a warm meal.

Ingredients

  • 1lb. grass-fed beef cubes for stewing
  • 1 large acorn squash (or two small-medium), peeled, de-seeded and cup into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 oz. spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup organic wine (or another half cup of stock)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 14 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Warm up a skillet over a medium-high heat.
  2. Brown the beef cubes in the skillet for about 1 minute per side.
  3. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the spinach and the mushrooms, to the slow cooker.
  5. Give everything a good stir, set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours.
  6. Add in the mushrooms 30 minutes before the stew is done.
  7. Add the spinach just before serving.