All of the recipes in the Whole30 Slow Cooker book were created to be as dump-and-go as possible – just arrange or mix everything in the slow cooker, close the lid, push the button and you’re out the door. But this is one case where quickly browning the meat makes a big difference in the final result. Not only does browning caramelize the meat’s natural sugars – infusing the stew with rich flavor – but it also avoids the protein bits that slough off raw meat during cooking and cloud the sauce.
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ lbs beef stew meat, cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and diagonally sliced 1-inch thick
- 8 baby red potatoes, quartered
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 c. Whole30-compliant beef broth or Beef Bone Broth
- 2 c. Whole30-compliant vegetable juice
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 Tbsp tapioca flour (optional for a thicker stew)
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook in batches if necessary, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides.
Transfer the beef to a 4-quart slow cooker. Add the carrots, potatoes, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaf, vegetable juice, and coconut aminos; stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours, or until the beef and vegetables are tender.
If using tapioca flour, turn the slow cooker to high if using the low setting. In a small bowl, stir together the tapioca flour and 2 tablespoons water. Stir into the stew. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf before serving.
Instant Pot Variation
Follow the directions in the first step, using a 6-quart Instant Pot instead of a skillet, selecting Sauté and adjusting to High. In the second step, add the ingredients to the beef in the Instant Pot and lock the lid in place. Select Manual and cook at high pressure for 25 minutes. Use natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release. Continue with the last step, selecting Sauté and adjusting to High on the Instant Pot.
Article and Image Credit: giveumhealth.com