• 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast or stew meat, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup red wine (I used pinot noir)
  • 2 cups chopped or baby carrots
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 1 lb baby potatoes cut in quarters
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup less-sodium beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used Glen Muir fire-roasted)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 package of egg noodles
  • French baguette

The best part of fall is all the comfort food cooking that comes along with it. Romain was not too happy when my Hamilton Beach Set n’ Forget slow cooker showed up at our door. I will agree that I get a little carried away with buying baking/cooking accessories, but I swear I put them all to good use. I mean honestly, who doesn’t need a whoopie pie pan and a peanut butter and jelly spatula? There are just way too many cool kitchen gadgets and I seriously need to have them all. Homegoods is my playground.

As much as Romain complained that I did not need this slow cooker, after he tasted this beef stew, I know I won this argument. I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light’s Beef Daube Provencal because it had such great ratings. I know this recipe would have been amazing as is, but I really wanted more of a hearty stew. You can definitely make this in a dutch oven, but I love how the slow cooker tenderizes the meat so that it melts in your mouth. Best of all, it’s so easy! I did brown the meat beforehand, but otherwise you just combine the ingredients in your slow cooker and dinner is ready when you get home from work. The stew was delicious over egg noodles, but next time I will make sure to have a fresh French baguette.

Sidenote: I highly recommend this slow cooker. Not only is it affordable at $50, but you can program it to cook for a certain number of hours and then it will change to its warming feature. Also, for an additional discount use your 20% off coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond in the store and they will ship it to your house for free!


Lia Mack Huber, Cooking Light 

1. Heat a small Dutch oven or large sauce pan over low heat. Add 2 tsp oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add crushed garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon; and place in your slow cooker. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned beef to slow cooker with garlic.  Add wine to dutch oven and bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add wine to slow cooker with beef and garlic.

2.  Add the remaining ingredients to your slow cooker.  Add enough beef broth to cover all of the ingredients. I omitted the rosemary and thyme because I didn’t have any on hand, but any fresh herbs will bring great flavor to this dish.

3. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours. Discard bay leaf. Serve over egg noodles with a side of crusty French bread.


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