Italian Beef and Bean Stew

January 9, 2011 – 6:23 pm

This crockpot meal is a lovely warming meal for a drizzley lazy Sunday 🙂 It’s similar to my other beef stew recipe, but with beans and tomatoes instead of mushrooms and potatoes.

Italian Beef and Bean Stew
(for at least a 4 quart slow cooker)
Makes 4-6 hearty servings

2 tbsps vegetable oil
½ cup flour
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp Emeril’s Essence, or other seasoning mix of your choice
1 can (2 cups) beef broth, at room temperature
1 tbsp brandy
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 15-oz cans canellini or great white northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
8 oz baby carrots

Mix the flour, salt, Essence, and pepper in a large storage bag. Shake the beef in the bag, coating each piece completely. Set a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil to the pan and sear the beef in 2 batches until nicely browned, adding the second tablespoon of vegetable oil after removing the first batch so the second batch can brown well too. Remove the beef to the slow cooker. Add the remaining flour in the bag to the pan with the oil and make a roux. Deglaze the pan with the beef broth and brandy, scraping up any stuck brown bits from the pan. Add the spices and herbs stir to combine. Bring to a low boil to thicken and then turn off the heat.

Add the vegetables to the slow cooker on top of the beef. Pour the beef broth mixture over the top. Cover and cook the stew for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. About a half an hour before the end of the cooking time, taste the broth for seasoning and adjust if necessary. If a thicker broth is desired, dissolve 2 tbsp of cornstarch in ⅛ cup of cold water and stir the into the stew. If a thinner broth is desired, add a little water. Allow to cook for the remaining half hour.

Serve with crusty bread.

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