Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Beef Provencale

As expected, we've been using the crock pot more often as the weather turns colder, the evenings get darker, and we're all busy with work and school. Next week is mid-term break, the clocks will go back and it'll be Halloween before we realise.

At the moment, we are using the crock pot about 3 times per week - on Sundays and then two mid-week dinners. With the kids so busy with after school activities, hubby back at his musical society, me on the parents' association, and both of us doing mom/dad taxi, it's amazing that we all manage to sit down to eat together at the same time, most evenings.

Beef Provencale
Beef Provencale
Yesterday (Tuesday) we had this delicious beef stew, based on a recipe from a weightwatchers magazine. As usual, we prepared it all the night before, including browning the beef. That saved time yesterday morning, and by the time I got home from work the stew was bubbling and hubby had prepared his famous mashed potato.


I browned about 500g stewing beef, cut into chunks. I put the beef, along with the juices left after I deglazed the pan with a splash of water. To this we added: 2 onions, cut into quarters; 8 peeled garlic cloves, left whole; a can of chopped tomatoes; 1tbsp tomato puree; 2 tbsp dried thyme; a beef stock cube; a red pepper, cut into strips; and a splash of water. This mixture was left overnight in the fridge.

Next morning I simply set the slow cooker to cook on low, and left it all day - about 10 hours in total. When hubby got home, he prepared his mashed potato.

The Outcome

I think I am getting better at judging the quantity of liquid to add into a dish like this. The reciped called for 300ml beef stock, but the only liquid I added was the little bit from the pan, the can of tomatoes, and the splash of water to rinse out the can. As a result, the stew was perfect in terms of its quantity and consistency of sauce. The meat was beautifully tender and there was a lovely flavour.

There was easily 5 good helpings of stew - 6 at a stretch. Only three of us ate (see below) and we all had second helpings. There was plenty left over, which hubby will take to work for his lunch on two days.

The Verdict

Ms Fussy Eater had been sick earlier in the day, so she just had mashed potato. Mr Teenager wolfed his helping down and then demanded more - so that's a good sign. Hubby said it was delicious, and just the thing for a damp, dark night.

This definitely goes on the list for repeating.

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