Slow cookers really come into their own during the colder months, when we turn to warming stews and soups to ward off the chill in the air.
This beef stew recipe comes from the TerriAnn 123 Diet Plan, and it’s pretty much as simple as they come as long as you have a slow cooker in your kitchen. After 15 minutes of prep and frying the ingredients, flick the switch on your cooker and leave the stew to it, coming back to a winter feast several hours later.
Ingredients (Serves four)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2tbsp rapeseed oil
- 3 carrots, halved lengthways and cut into chunks
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ pack thyme
- 2tbsp tomato purée
- 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 beef stock cubes or 1 stock pot
- 900g beef for braising, such as skirt
- 2tsp cornflour (optional)
- ½ small bunch parsley, chopped
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- Fry the onion and celery in one tablespoon of the oil over a low heat until they start to soften – about five minutes. Add the carrots, bay and thyme, and fry for two minutes, then stir in the purée and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add 600ml boiling water, stir and tip everything into a slow cooker. Crumble over the stock cubes or add the stock pots and stir, then season with pepper (don’t add salt because the stock may be salty).
- Clean out the frying pan and fry the beef in the remaining oil in batches until it is well browned, then tip each batch into the slow cooker. Cook on low for eight to ten hours, or on high for four hours.
- If you want to thicken the gravy, mix the cornflour with a splash of cold water to make a paste, then stir in 2tbsp of the liquid from the slow cooker. Tip back into the slow cooker, stir and cook for a further 30 minutes on high.
- Stir in the parsley and season again to taste. Serve with mash.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.