Cooking Tips & Hints
                 Week 38 Featured Recipe
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SLOW-COOKER HEARTY BEEF STEW
(click for printable version of this recipe)
In staying with recipes that will warm you on chilly days, I found this beef stew recipe that really is hearty and full flavored. This will probably serve 6 to 8 people. I served with a coupld of slices of buttered rye bread.
TOOLS:
• Cutting Board
• Knife
• Vegetable scrubber
• Large Skillet
• Large Mixing Bowl
• Wooden Spoon
• Large Crockpot
• Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, wide (not
  shown)
INGREDIENTS:
• 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, Cut
  into 1½ inch pieces
• Salt & pepper
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 4 onions, chopped fine
• 1 can tomato paste (6-ounce)
• 2 cups chicken or beef broth
  (low-sodium)
• 3 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into
  1-inch pieces
• 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into
  1-inch pieces (optional)
• 1 pound red or gold potatoes, scrubbed
  and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1½ tsp Thyme
• 2 tbsp Minute tapioca
• 2 cups frozen peas, thawed

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PREPARATION:
1. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt & pepper to taste. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook half the beef until well browned all over, appx. 8 minutes. Transfer to slow-cooker insert and repeat with additional 1 tbsp oil and remaining beef.

2. Brown onions in 1 tbsp oil and 1/4 tsp salt to the empty skillet and cook until browned, appx 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until paste begins to darken, appx 2 minutes. Slowly stir in broth, soy sauce and bay leaves and bring to boil. Transfer to slow cooker.

3. Toss carrots, parsnips, potatoes, remaining oil and ½ tsp Thyme, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper in large bowl. Place vegetables on one side of a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold foil over vegetables to form packet that will fit in slow cooker; crimp edges to seal. Stir tapioca into slow cooker; set vegetable packet on top of beef mixture.

4. Cover and cook on high 6 to 7 hours (or low 10 to 11 hours). Transfer vegetable packet to bowl and discard bay leaves. Carefully open packet (watch for steam) and return vegetables and any accumulated juices to slow cooker. Stir in remaining Thyme and peas, cover and let stand until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve.

HINTS: I couldn’t find parsnips for mine, so I added about 4 celery stalks cut into 1 inch chunks. The foil packet protects the veggies from overcooking and getting mushy.

Checkout the website Tuesday, November 23, for an American Thanksgiving Day special.
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