Being from an Italian American background Swedish cuisine’s ingredients and seasoning couldn’t be more forward to me. My family has tried beef stews with beer in them for St. Patrick’s day, and a bottle of red wine in a French recipe, so I thought beef stew would be the perfect introduction to Swedish food for my family.
I based this recipe on a Swedish pot roast dish. I knew that red wine worked well with beef, but I was a little leery of adding brandy to the pot. Allspice and molasses are sweet not savory spices for me, though I know beef is hearty enough to balance out sweet flavors. I trusted the recipe so much I served it to my sister-in-law who was visiting from London. I really don’t recommend serving a dish you haven’t made before, but it was her and my nephew for dinner…I find family to be pretty forgiving. After a few hours of this beef stew simmering in the slow cooker based on the aroma, I had no doubt that this was going to be a tasty meal….AND IT WAS! Truly, this is now my family’s favorite beef stew. I served it with mashed potatoes along with sour cream and lingonberry preserves which are native to Sweden.
Slow Cooker Swedish Beef Stew
by Diane Balch
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 10 hours on low heat
Ingredients (6 to 8 servings)
4 pounds beef chuck pre-cut into 2 inch cubes
flour for coating beef about 4 tablespoons
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of corn starch (for thickening sauce at end of cooking)
2) In a large deep dish pan like a dutch oven pour 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Heat on medium high.
3) Salt and pepper a the beef cubes. Put about 1 pound at a time in a gallon ziplock bag with 1 tablespoon of flour. Shake.
4) Place the beef cubes in the hot pan. Sear for about 4 minutes per side. You want the outside brown but the inside as pink as possible. You will probably need to add 2 tablespoons of canola oil into the pan per pound of meat. Make sure you heat it well first.
5) While the meat is searing. Chop the onions and line the bottom of the slow cooker with them. Put the bay leaf on top.
6) As the meat browns put it in the slow cooker on top of the onions.
7) When all the meat is seared. Turn the heat up to high and pour the sauce into the pan. With a metal spatula scrap the bottom of the pan to get the flavorful brown bits up and into the sauce. When the sauce boils for a few minutes pour it over the meat.
8) About 30 minutes before the stew is finished cooking. Slowly whisk 2 tablespoons of corn starch into the slow cooker to thicken the sauce. If the sauce is not bubbling remove about 2 cups of it and bring it to a boil on the stove before you whisk the corn starch in, then return it to the slow cooker and mix it in with the sauce in the pot.
9) Over the next 20 minutes or so the sauce should thicken up and be ready to serve with a garnish of sour cream, parsley and lingonberry preserves. Mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles along with kale make a nice side to this dish.