"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Slow Cooker Beef Marengo #French Fridays with Dorie

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Slow Cooker Beef Marengo: simplelivingeating.com

I really would have followed the recipe this week if I had found humanely raised stewing veal. Wholefoods only had quality expensive cuts of veal that I wasn't going to chop up and throw into a stew.

I bought beef since it is the mature version of veal. I think pork would also work well with this recipe. I really like the technique that Dorie uses in the original recipe in which you dust the meat with flour and then brown it. 


Slow Cooker Beef Marengo: simplelivingeating.com

This technique is terrific for getting the flavor of the meat into the sauce, and it is terrific for thickening it too. I have used this browning technique for some of Dorie's Dutch oven stews. Truly, if you have the time and get the right meat, make the original recipe. 

I took the pictures early in the afternoon. The stew did thicken by evening. I added corn starch which is gluten-free. (I have a wheat allergy.) 


Slow Cooker Beef Marengo: simplelivingeating.com

I find that you can cook potatoes in a crockpot if you cut them very small and put them on the bottom of the pan. It also helps if you can put the slow cooker up to high heat for an hour or more. 

I never use a bouquet garni because I find it wasteful to throw away expensive (especially if they are fresh) herbs. Ingesting herbs has a lot of health benefits from reducing inflammation to lower cholesterol. 

The stew had an earthy, comforting flavor.  I can see why it is a French classic. My family loved it, but my daughter said she is getting tired of stews and soups. I would agree.. with the weather warming up, yes we are above freezing this week during the day, it is time to transition into some lighter Spring fare. 


Slow Cooker Beef Marengo

by Diane Balch
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 10 hours low heat
Keywords: slow-cooker entree gluten-free beef French

Ingredients (6 -8)
  • 2 pounds of beef stew meat pre-cut 2 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled, and cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 8 ounce bag of frozen pearl onions
  • 8 ounces of baby cremini mushrooms, stems removed, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley

Instructions

1) Whisk together: tomato paste, corn starch, butter, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
2) Stir in to tomato paste mixture wine, bay leaf, and diced tomatoes. Set aside.
3) In a large crockpot layer: potatoes then beef, onions, mushrooms and parsley on top.
4) Pour wine seasoning mixture over everything in the pot and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until potatoes are tender. You can whisk in more corn starch if the sauce is not thick enough.
NOTE: To guarantee the potatoes cook well turn the crockpot up to high for 1 to 2 hours. If you will not be around make sure you cut them small and put them on the bottom of the pan.

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Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 

28 comments:

  1. Diane, I tried roasting half a chicken in a slow cooker before and it worked perfectly. Just put it on HIGH for 2 hours and then AUTO for the rest of the night and you get a lovely roasted chicken in the morning!

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  2. Diane, I had the same trouble finding veal. I looked at some of the grass-fed beef ranches around here, but none of them focus on dairy, really, so they have no extra calves to, well, cull. Ah, well. The stew looks great and I can imagine being tired of stews after a long winter!

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    1. Thanks KB,
      Humane veal is not a big trend around here. It seems either people don't care or they just don't eat veal at all.

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  3. I agree with your daughter, though this was one good stew! Your pork version looks terrific, too. Ready to fire up the grill this weekend :)

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  4. This was a great stew with so many variations. We both loved it.

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  5. Diane, That’s actually the same problem I had finding veal for stew. One store told me they could get me veal cutlets for the next day…but I was not paying for cutlets, to then cut them up for stew. So I opted for beef! It was a delicious meal and yours looks terrific! Great idea to make it in the slow cooker!

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    1. Cheap meat is what stewing is all about. I got some pork butt today for a Jamaican stew for Sunday... though my daughter may be upset with another stew. It's still cold here and we will be busy all day.

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  6. Good to know this works well in a slow cooker. I also used a cheaper cut of beef and it tenderized beautifully!

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  7. Diane, I do own a slow cooker but I have not been using it a lot lately - sounds like the preparation of this wonderful stew was a perfect opportunity to use that slow cooker again. The "right kind of veal" can be quite hard to find but is sounds like this recipe works very well with that beef!
    Glad that you and your family enjoyed this wintry stew - have a nice weekend,
    Andrea

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    1. Andrea most of Dorie's stews can be adapted very well to the slow cooker. I hope you use it. I really keeps you eating healthy at the end of a busy day.

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  8. This was good, wasn't it. I am a fan of stew all year round, but soups are not my thing so much.

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  9. What I am enjoying so much about your Posts is how you convert to a slow cooker. The SC fits my lifestyle perfectly and I'm realizing almost everything can be made in one. Thanks for the potato hint. Nothing is worse than rock hard potatoes. I didn't mind all the fuzziness and different steps in this recipe like most of the others - I had the time - but certainly think a one-stop shop like the slow cooker is preferable. I'm with Julia, enough already. Looking so forward to meeting you also. Very much.

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    1. Yes, maybe some day when the kids are out of the house I can cook through Around my French Table and not need to covert every recipe for time constraints.

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  10. So nice that this translated well to the slow cooker! I love the technique of flouring the pieces of meat before browning them (which works just as well with gluten-free flour, I find), especially because it reminds me of the way my mother cooks. Must be a French thing.

    It's very much spring here, so I'd be in agreement with your daughter, but we're going through a rainy patch, so this stew was perfect this week!

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    1. I still have frozen leftover of some of the stew... so my daughter is going to have to wait an month before we are done with stew and soup for good until the Fall.

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  11. I do not do the bouquet garni either. When I tie them up in a string they all fall out anyway. I fish out the bay leaf and leave the rest. I am making a fish make up tonight since that suits our eating better than beef and potatoes. Have a great week.

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    1. We leave the bay leaf in and whoever gets it has to do dishes!

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  12. I forgot to shout out about your interview on Foodydirect. Congratulations, nice interview.

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    1. Thank you very much. I think they asked some good questions, it really helped me to think about my intentions with this blog.

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  13. I'm thinking of trying this (with chicken) in my slow-cooker tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe and tips. They have given me confidence!

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    1. You are welcome. Just had the leftovers... still tastes great. If you have time to flour and brown the meat it will come out with a richer taste.

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  14. Dishes like this are flexible for all sorts adaptations.
    My favorite use for the slow cooker is making mashed potatoes. It has saved my sanity on more than one holiday...

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  15. Your slow cooker Beef Marengo sounds and looks mouthwatering. I like the use of pearl onions, makes it special. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  16. Hi Diane,
    This looks like a very easy and very flavorful recipe. This would be a perfect recipe for our cold rainy day here. Your post is awesome and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Happy Spring!
    Miz Helen

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  17. Just catching up from last week. I thought this might work in the slow cooker, and you are the slow cooker Queen! I can confirm that this works well with pork. I agree with your daughter. Bring on spring, both the weather and lighter fare!

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  18. It can be hard to find humanely raised veal, and I think this dish sounds lovely with the beef anyway. I'm pinning it to try - it's perfect for this time of year with all the lovely herbs you have used. Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul hop link party, Diane. Pinning and will tweet. Hope to 'see' you again this week. The hop is live now :-)

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    1. I hope you get to try it soon. I agree it is perfect for early Spring.

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  19. Looks delicious and perfect for the upcoming cooler autumn and winter seasons!

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