Today felt like fall, so I abandoned my child in the wild (turned TV on and provided her with a snack) while I prepped our first fall stew.
I got the recipe from a slow cooker cookbook I found at a half-price bookstore. And in a rare turn of events, I followed the recipe (aside from adding barley, wine, and seasoning near the end of the cook time because the stew had no flavor whatsoever).
How to make flavorless beef stew in your slow cooker:
Step One: Put child in highchair and provide him/her/it with apples and graham crackers. Doling out two ultra-treats in one snack may help you handle your guilt while simultaneously handling bloody meat chunks. Turn on TV and change channel from ESPN to child-appropriate programming.
Step Two: Layer bottom of slow cooker with potatoes and carrots. Gorgeous!
Step Three: Flour bloody stew meat (that butcher already cut and trimmed) and brown it.
Step Four: Add browned meat to slow cooker. Free child from high chair after she is sufficiently snacked and TV’ed out.
Step Five: Chop up onion and celery and mix up with meat, being careful not to disturb the carrots and potatoes below. “Tuck in” parsley and bay leaf…and sing them a lullaby.
Step Six: Pour about 2 cups of “seasoned” beef broth over the sexy meat and veggie medley. Set the slow cooker on High for 5 hours (because you decided to change the order of this week’s meal-plan at 10:00 AM this morning, leaving no time for a proper 9-hour slow-cook at the Low temp setting).
Step Seven: Leave frozen peas out to thaw and place the package of instant barley (that you accidentally bought at Trader Joe’s that one time) next to slow cooker so you remember to add them in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Step Eight: Serve with with whatever you’d like… bread, rice, buttered egg noodles, and/or a bottle of red wine. Dig in!
Have you started cooking any fall treats?