Baby Beef Stew Classico

Sunday April 13, 2014

I thought I better put one other one-serving down-home-style, nothing fancy, lottsa veggies, mom’s beef stew in the NYMSC for Two book since I use the 1 1/2 quart slow cooker so often. I cut my own stew meat from a boneless chuck roast and it tastes so great. If you have never cut your own stew meat, I recommend you do it here with a small amount. You will get the reward of tender, juicy, and top-notch flavor. Get a nice chuck roast, lean and fresh cut, and put it on your cutting board and get a long bladed, sharp knife used for boning out of your knife set. Cut it into 3 equal portions; freeze the two portions for another stew day or pot roast for two. Then cut the one pound portion into cubes; it is that easy. Many people just toss the meat in au blanc style, but a good stew needs the quick browning to get the meat caramelized; the flavor will reflect it.


Recommended Size: 1 1/2 to 3 quart cooker

Machine Setting: High

Cook Time: 4 to 5 hours

Serves 2


  • 12-ounces to 1-pound lean boneless chuck roast trimmed of fat and cut in to 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • Salt and freshly-ground black or white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4  of a 1-pound bag baby carrots
  • 1 small parsnip (or 1/2 of a big one), peeled and diced
  • 6-ounces baby red potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine of choice (whatever is next to the stove)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I use imported brand that comes in the tube)
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or marjoram
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup frozen petit peas, thawed


Sprinkle the cubes of beef with some salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, heat the oil until very hot.  Add the meat cubes; brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Spray the crock with nonstick vegetable cooking spray and add all the vegetables. Add the meat, broth, wine, tomato paste, sundried tomatoes, and herb; mix well.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours (on LOW for 7 to 8 hours), until the meat is fork-tender. In a small bowl with a fork, mash together the butter and flour; set aside in the refrigerator (if you don’t want to use the butter, stir the flour into a few tablespoons more broth).

The last half hour, add the butter-flour ball (known as a buerre manie) and stir until melted. Add the peas. Recover and cook another 20 minutes, until thickened a bit. Season to taste and serve over noodles or rice, or with nice fresh bread.

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2006, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2014

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

Your Comments

1 comments Comments Feed
  1. Megan 17/05/2010 at 1:28 am

    This is just what I need — stew for two! I always end up with so much that we get sick of the leftovers before we finish them. Now I just need a mini slow cooker… :)

Leave a Reply