One traditional recipe that is typically laden with carbohydrates from potatoes and dumplings is beef stew. But I couldn’t cut this hearty soul food out of my repertoire going low-carb, so I knew I wanted to tackle adapting it. Throughout the month of May the weather was rainy and chilly here in Ohio, so I figured it was as good a time as any for a nice hot bowl of yum.
2 pounds stew meat, cut into bite-size chunks
2 tbs coconut flour
Salt and pepper
Oil for cooking (use grapeseed oil or another oil with a high smoke point)
1 cup red wine
1 ½ cups broth (I used chicken, but beef or vegetable would work)
4 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs tomato paste
2-3 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp paprika
8oz. sliced mushrooms
Add grapeseed oil to a large pan and set over medium-high heat while you chop the stew meat.
After you chop the stew meat into bite size chunks, toss into a gallon Ziploc bag with coconut flour and salt and pepper to taste. You may need to do this in batches. (I did one pound at a time.)
Arrange pieces of lightly coated meat into the heated pan. It should sizzle when you lay the meat down. Resist the urge to move the pieces around, and don’t overcrowd the pan. Let sit for 3-5 minutes until the bottom is seared, then flip and sear the other side. Do this for all of the stew meat. Again, you’ll probably have to do this in batches. (It took me 4 batches to sear all the meat.) As a batch finishes, you can toss the seared pieces right into your crockpot to wait for the next step.
When you’re done, you should end up with some nice browned bits on the bottom of your pan like this.
Leave the heat set to medium-high and add the red wine. Use a spatula to push it around and release the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine simmer and reduce by half.
Add the broth, bring it to a simmer, and let it reduce as well.
While your liquids are simmering, chop up your garlic, carrots, and onion. Add them to the crockpot with the meat. Leave the mushrooms out until later.
Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika to the crockpot.
Pour the wine/broth over top of everything in the crockpot. Stir to combine.
Sprinkle leaves from the springs of thyme over the top, and add the bay leaf.
Here’s the part where you need to know your crockpot. Most beef stew recipes I read (even the ones where you sear the meat first) say to set the crockpot on low for 8 hours. My crockpot runs HOT and can cook most recipes in half the time, even on the low setting. Since the meat is already well on its way and I don’t want my carrots to get too soggy, I set my crockpot to low for 4 hours. Alternatively, you could sauté the veggies up a bit first so that everything is partially cooked, then throw it into the crockpot to incorporate for just an hour or two.
With 1 hour left to go (however long your crockpot has been going), add in the sliced mushrooms and stir to combine for the last hour of cooking.
Top with feta cheese and garnish with parsley.
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