Monday, November 18, 2013

Steak and Veggie Stew

Got a new delicious cold weather recipe for you!  I came up with this one last week.  Hubs and I are challenging ourselves to pack the most veggies that we can into our diet.  I had a big cut of beef (I'm not positive, I think it was either a round or rib roast) hanging out in the freezer and thought maybe I could make some vegetable beef soup in the slow cooker.  I don't particularly care for VB soup, as it generally isn't very well seasoned and just seems kind of bland to me, but I was determined to do it better.

This is also a great clean-out-the-fridge recipe, as you can throw just about any bits and pieces of leftover vegetables you may have in the mix.  As it were, I had quite a few leftovers that got consumed this way.

I started by heavily heavily heavily seasoning each side of the roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, seasoning salt, oregano and basil.  You can use different or additional spices.  My best-friend-in-law informed me that the key to a successful VB soup is to season the mess out of the meat and in turn let the meat season the soup as it cooks.  Sear each side for about 4-5 minutes. Also I used bacon grease in the pan (though only about a tablespoon) rather than oil.

I then cut the roast into cubes, eliminating as much fat and gristle as I could.  I put the chunks back in the skillet and got them just browned all the way around.  You wouldn't want to cook them too hard as they're still going to sit in the crock pot for some time.

When I got done browning the meat, I noticed that the pan was coated in the juices that had cooked down and concentrated.  I didn't figure letting all of that flavor go to waste was a good idea, so I opened up my can of turkey broth and poured it in to deglaze the pan.  This went directly into the crock pot.  If you wanted to skip this step, toss in a beef bouillon cube instead.

So now the fun begins; assembly.  I took to the pantry and started grabbing jars of some of the veggies I had put up this summer.  So far there's the beef, 2 jars of turkey broth, and 2 jars of drained tomatoes.

I had made some crunchy Asian-style green beans the night before and thought they'd blend in nicely.

Then I grabbed a jar of sweet corn (drained).  I also chopped some celery, carrots, and potatoes.

A clove or two of garlic very thinly sliced.  I wish I had gotten a chance to roast it beforehand!

I ended up putting some additional seasoning salt, a good bit of freshly ground black pepper, and a dash of red pepper flake out of my fear of under seasoning.  Then it sat in the crock pot for about 5-6 hours on low.  When I opened the lid, it smelled like someone grilling steak and veggies (thus the name).  It was a great success, and it seems to keep rather well.  The picture above was taken when I reheated it about 4 days later.  Even better than the first time.  Hope you give it a shot and enjoy it!

Steak and Veggie Stew
-3 pounds of beef (roast or stew meat)
-2 T olive oil, butter, or bacon grease
-1-2 T each, salt, pepper, seasoning salt, oregano, basil, garlic powder
-2 cans beef, turkey, or chicken broth
-2 cans crushed tomatoes, drained
-1 can sweet corn, drained
-2-3 carrots, thinly sliced
-2-3 celery stalks sliced
-about 2 C green beans, fresh, blanched, or canned
-2 small potatoes, diced into 1/2" cubes
-1-2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
-additional pepper and seasoning salt to taste

1.  Heavily season the beef with the desired seasonings and sear in a greased skillet over medium high heat for about 5 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat.  Carefully dice into cubes, removing as much fat and gristle as possible.  Return to skillet and cook on medium-low until browned on all sides.  Place in 5 quart or larger slow cooker.

2.  Pour broth into skillet and gently scrape loose any cooked on juices.  Pour into crock pot.  (If you don't wish to deglaze the pan, add the broth and a bouillon cube directly to the slow cooker instead.)

3.  Add the tomatoes, corn, carrots, celery, green beans, garlic and potatoes to the cooker.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

4.  Add additional seasonings to taste if desired.  Serve with buttered bread or biscuits.  ENJOY!

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