Beef stew improves if prepared a day ahead. The stew can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days. When I was back in school (after I had children) I always prepared dinner the night before in the crockpot, as I wouldn't have time to make dinner when I got home.
- 2½ pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces -
- 2 cups dry red wine -
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (approximately) -
- 1 lb. mini red potatoes or 3 sweet potatoes, sliced -
- 2 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced -
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces -
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped -
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces -
- 1 tsp dried rosemary -
- 2 tsp dried thyme -
- ½ cup all-purpose flour -
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper -
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste -
- 1 cup chicken stock -
1. Place the meat in a large, resealable plastic bag or a container with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in the wine, making sure that each piece of meat is submerged in the wine. Let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Place 1 tablespoon of oil at the bottom of the crockpot. Add potatoes, leeks, carrots, garlic and celery to the slow cooker.
3. Combine the rosemary, thyme and flour in a large shallow plate. Pour the meat into a colander set over a large bowl and set aside the wine. Dry the meat on paper towels and generously season each piece with salt and pepper. Dredge the meat in the flour mixture and shake each piece to remove any excess flour.
4. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and lightly coat the pan with olive oil. Brown the meat on all sides, in batches if necessary, for about 6 minutes. Transfer the meat to the crockpot. Add about 1 cup reserved wine to the crockpot with the tomato paste and stir gently. Stir in chicken stock and season with salt and pepper.
5. Cook the stew for 2 hours on high and then 5 hours or more on low, until the meat is tender (the meat should be pierced easily).