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Monday, February 14, 2011

Slow Cooker Tuscan Beef Stew

this stew is so delicious and makes a large amount.  i always plan on having left overs for the next evening, but there is never enough left after my family goes back for seconds....and thirds!
 makes: 8 (1-cup) servings
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH

1 tablespoon mixed pickling spice (i usually buy McCormick)
2 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1 to 1/2 inch cubes (if there is a value pack available, which may be a little over 2 pounds, i go ahead and buy this)
1 medium onion, cut into medium wedges
4 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 medium size potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon flour
8 slices day-old Italian bread, toasted

preparing it:
1.  Place the pickling spice in the center of a piece of cheesecloth or coffee filter.  Tie tightly with a long piece of string.
2.  Place beef cubes, onion, carrots, potatoes, crushed rosemary, garlic powder, and bouillon cubes to slow cooker.  Stir in tomatoes and wine.  Add pickling spice bundle. Cover.
3.  Cook 8 hours on LOW or 4  hours on HIGH.  Remove Pickling spice bundle.
4.  Thicken stew by mixing flour with 1 tablespoon water in medium bowl until smooth.  Stir in several tablespoons hot liquid from stew, then stir flour mixture into stew.  Cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until stew thickens slightly.  To serve, place 1 slice of bread in each bowl.  Spoon stew over bread.

tips: for best results, do not remove cover during cooking.

nutritional information:
Calories: 299
Fat: 7 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Protein: 32 grams
Carbs: 27 grams

again, this is a yummy stew that is easy to prepare, but just don't plan on having many left-overs!


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