Stewed Stew

  New Year. New work week.

Not excited.

It’s hard to generate excitement for a five-day work week after two short ones, isn’t it? The next three-day weekend is five months away.

Groan. Moan.

Hubby Bryan and I are having trouble generating ideas for meals, too. We’re already tired of our usual regimen of cold-weather comfort foods, so any ideas from out there would be appreciated.

I do have to share, however, that we cooked up a mighty fine beef stew last night in the slow cooker.

No actual recipe, but here’s what we did:

Bryan browned one package stew meat while I chopped up onion, celery and carrots (probably about ½ cup of each) and peeled and cubed 2 potatoes. Bryan added some flour to the pan to coat the meat and deglazed the pan with a couple tablespoons of red wine and 1 can chicken broth. We threw everything in the smaller of our slow cookers, set it on high for an hour or so to get it going, then turned it down to low for the rest of the afternoon. I later added about 1 teaspoon of chili powder, dried thyme and black pepper. Right before serving, I mixed 1½ tablespoons cornstarch with 1/3 cup dark beer and added it to the mixture to thicken.

The beer trick is something I learned a number of years ago from a recipe for a hamburger stew. The beer adds a ton of flavor and yet the stew doesn’t taste like beer at all.