Monday, October 1, 2012

Emeril's Crock-Pot Beef Stew: 2.0

Emeril's Crock-Pot Beef Stew 2.0 |

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Hello, all. How was your weekend? Mine was gray, rainy and slightly chillyjust how I like it! Seriously, it rained non-stop all day Saturday. I turned off the A/C, threw open the sliding glass door and plopped myself onto the nearby couch to listen to the steady droplets.

One Pluviophile Living in a Hot, Hot State 

If you don't know me personally, it's likely you're not privy to this fact: I'm a rain person. No, that doesn't mean I'm made of rain (although we're all made of water), but that I love, love, love rain. Overcast skies and thunderstorms make me giddy. That said, it's pretty comical that I live in Texas now. I swear I'm not trying to torture myself.

Someday I will live in the Northwestern region of America, probably in Washington State, Northern California (San FranciscoI wish!!!) or Oregon. My whole life people have told me I'd love it in Seattle. The city with the reputation for "raining" daily. How ironic that the one time I vacation there (two summers ago), it is 95+ degrees every day and doesn't rain a single drop. Despite this, Seattle was gorgeous (the mountains/ocean combo is undeniable) and the fish was the freshest I've ever eaten.

Winter Comfort Food Cravings

Le sigh. So back to the wonderful state of Texas. I must have had some latent foresight into the approaching temperature dips, because last Thursday I had the biggest hankering to make beef stew. I can't take full credit for the craving, since my older sister called me that afternoon asking about tips on the beef stew she was assembling. I made a few guesses, but couldn't give her anything concrete, because I'd never cooked the dish before.

For the next several hours, my thoughts drifted back to saucy beef, potatoes and carrots. Eventually I gave upon on daydreaming and searched online for a recipe. That's where I stumbled upon Emeril Lagasse's Beef Stew. Boy am I thankful. Sure, I hadn't ever cooked beef stew before, but I've eaten it plenty of times. This is hands down THE BEST beef stew I've ever come across. So, so, so flavorful.

The credit should go to Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning (aka Bayou Blast), which is simply a mixture of seasonings you probably already have in your cupboard. The other smidgen of credit goes to the 3/4 cup of cabernet sauvignon and heaping spoonfuls of extra essence seasoning that I added. Yum!

Emeril's Crock-Pot Beef Stew: 2.0
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Beef Stew
Serves: 4-5

1-2 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil 
2 lbs of grass-fed beef stew meat (round or chuck), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt 
(I recommend Pink HimalayanCeltic or Utah sourced salt)
4+ teaspoons of Essence, see recipe below (use the seasoning liberally--it's what makes the stew)
1 1/2 teaspoons of cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of organic, grass fed butter
1/2 lb mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons of unbleached flour
2 1/4 cup of homemade beef stock or chicken stock
3/4 cup of dry red wine (like cabernet sauvignon)
2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon of ground all spice (or a few pinches of cinnamon)
1 lb of small organic red potatoes, quartered
1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced onion
1/2 cup of frozen haricot verts (or green peas), thawed

Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning (aka Bayou Blast)
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons sea salt (I recommend Pink HimalayanCeltic or Utah sourced salt)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

-Combine all seasonings thoroughly-
-Seasoning blend yields 2/3 cup-

Recommended Equipment
cast-iron skillet
slow cooker (crock-pot)

Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a cast-iron skillet heated to medium or medium-high. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of Emeril's Essence seasoning + a few pinches of salt and pepper into the beef cubes. Take half the beef (you'll do this in two batches) and sear in the pan for 1-2 minutes, flipping halfway through. Make sure not to overcook! You are just browning the outside. Sear the second batch and set the beef aside. Turn off the pan, but leave it be; you will use it again in a few minutes.

Dice the onions, cut the carrots, quarter the red potatoes and slice the mushrooms. Reheat the same pan you used to cook the beef to medium. Add in a 1 teaspoon of olive oil and toss the diced onions in. Sautee them for 3-5 minutes, then add the 3/4 cup of wine to deglaze the pan. Using a spatula, scrape up all the beef bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and mix everything thoroughly (this takes 30 seconds to a minute). We're not making a sauce here, though, so turn off heat and pour the wine and onion mixture into the crock-pot, making sure to get every stray bit out of the pan (that means extra flavor).

Add the butter, mushrooms, flour stock, tomato paste, dried herbs, spices and seared meat to the crock-pot. Stir in 3+ teaspoons of Emeril's Essence seasoning. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Add the potatoes and carrots.

IMPORTANT: From here you can either cook it on LOW for 7 hours or HIGH for another 3 hours. Your choice! I was impatient, so I cooked it on HIGH. During the last hour of cooking (the 4th hour on HIGH or 8th hour on LOW), add in the thawed haricot verts. When it's done, serve with fresh rolls or bread for dipping in the super seasony, tomatoey stew sauce.

Want another heart stew recipe? Try my Leftover Pot Roast Stew!

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Emeril's Crock-Pot Beef Stew 2.0 |

Give this a +1 if you love beef stew!

Real Food Resources

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Question for Discussion: What are your favorite ingredients to put into beef stew?

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    1. I love Emeril and I can't wait to try this awesome recipe!

      1. Yes, he's awesome! This beef stew is so flavorful and a cinch to make in the crock-pot. Our leftovers didn't last long. Let me know how it turns out when you try it. :)


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