Anytime is the perfect time to use your slow cooker, but especially during holiday season when you are busy running around buying gifts, attending Christmas parties or baking cookies. The warm comforting dishes that can be created in a slow cooker are just amazing and there is no end to the possible recipes that can be made.
Stews are one of the best things you can prepare in a slow cooker because the meat tenderizes perfectly and winter vegetables hold up to longer cooking times. Sweet potatoes, instead of regular russets add a natural sweetness and when cooked with hearty beef, enhance the sauce. Also, I love to add a little cumin to the mix as well, to bump up the earthiness this stew.
This is a great meal on a cooler evening or when you are craving something meaty, but not too heavy. Pair this Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Beef Stew with full bodied red wine like a syrah or zinfandel, it will delight your palate.
2 lbs. beef stew meat, chunks
4 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into large chunks
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 teaspoon onion powder
olive oil, or any variety
1. Salt and pepper your stew meat generously.
2. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil in insert of slow cooker with over medium high heat. If you can’t cook on the stove top with your slow cooker, do it in a regular pot and pour the ingredients in the slow cooker afterwards.
3. Add the stew meat to the pot and sear on all sides for 8-10 minutes.
4. While the meat is cooking, dice onion, slice the celery into large chunks and mince the garlic finely.
5. Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
6. Add the onion, celery and garlic to the pot with another tablespoon of olive oil and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes.
7. Next, add your dried spices – thyme, cumin and onion powder to the onion mixture and stir. Cook for 2 minutes.
8. Stir in the tomato paste and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
9. Add the beef broth and 1 cup of water to the pot and stir, while continuing to cook for 3 minutes.
10. Add your sweet potatoes and the seared stew meat to the pot and stir to combine. Place the insert into the slow cooker. If you are using a regular stove top pot, pour the ingredients at this time into your slow cooker.
11. Set your timer on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
12. Remove the lid and ladle the stew into bowls and top with fresh parsley. Enjoy!