IMG_3387This stew! Oh, this stew!

Slow-cooked beef in a flavorful, velvety sauce has got to be one of the most comforting foods around. Add in a mix of hearty root vegetables, that get infused with flavor and become melt-in-your-mouth tender, and you have a swoon-worthy stew!

I recently bought a share of meat from a local grassfed beef CSA. We don’t eat a ton of red meat, (not that I have anything against it!) so I’ve been using it up slowly. Grassfed meat is special! These days, I would rather have a lifetime supply of grassfed beef over a lifetime supply of Sprinkles cupcakes. Who have I become?!

This beautiful chuck roast was the last cut we used from the share. I wanted to turn it into something truly delicious, as it deserved. This soup didn’t disappoint. (This pot roast would have also been worthy.)

I can’t decide what I love more about this stew, the fall-apart, tender beef or succulent stewed vegetables. We savored every spoonful! I served it with homemade, whole-grain dinner rolls (gluten-free, of course) and a big green salad. I could eat that meal everyday and be a happy girl.

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Slow-Cooker Beef & Root Vegetable Stew {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms, wiped clean and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups beef stock (be sure it's gluten-free, if needed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free, low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and thinly sliced (this helps thicken the soup)
  • 4-5 large carrots, peeled chopped large
  • 3-4 large parsnips, peeled chopped large
  • 4-5 small yukon gold potatoes, halved or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. After the meat has been cut into chunks, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef in 1 layer (probably about 1/2 the meat) and brown on one side without moving for 5-6 minutes. Browning the meat adds so much flavor the to final stew, so don't skip this step! Put the browned meat in the slow-cooker and repeat with the remaining meat, adding more oil to the pan if necessary. Keep as much fat in the pan as possible when moving the meat over. Do not clean the pan.
  2. With the pan on medium heat (adding more oil if needed), add the onion and mushrooms and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add a cup or so of the beef broth to the pan and scrap all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan (yummy flavor!). Pour the broth/onion mixture into the slow-cooker.
  3. Add the remaining beef broth, bay leaves, tomato paste, soy sauce, and russet potato to the slow-cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours. About 2 hours before the soup is done, add the carrots, parsnips, and yukon gold potatoes and give the soup a stir. Continue cooking until the vegetables and meat are tender. If you need to add all the vegetables at the beginning of the cooking time that will work too. They might just fall apart a little more.
  4. Mix together the arrowroot powder and water in a small cup. In a glass measuring cup, scoop out about 1 cup of the hot broth, While whisking, pour in the starch mixture into the hot broth and whisk until smooth. Add the broth back to the slow-cooker and stir to combine. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

*I like to chop the mushrooms very small so they melt into the sauce and give it great flavor.

*The russet potato is meant to help thicken the stew, which is why it's added in the beginning of the cooking process.

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