I've been learning to do more with stew meat lately. Partly because it's not too expensive, and also because we order grass-fed beef in bulk, so I'm learning to cook all sorts of cuts of meat I normally wouldn't know what to do with. I came across this recipe in a slow cooker cookbook and thought it looked delicious. I ended up tweaking it a little bit based on ingredients I had on hand. I also add more liquid when I use grass-fed beef since I still have a fear of the meat turning out tough (especially stew meat). I was expecting the apples in this recipe to cook like the potatoes, but they didn't stay firm. They just kind of dissolved in the broth. I will still add them because I enjoyed the flavor they added, even if I couldn't see the big pieces of apple. I always add more carrots to recipes because my husband and son love carrots cooked in "meat juice." My husband really enjoyed this recipe (so did the kids). It was a nice mix of sweet and savory. I will definitely be making this again, especially if this 90 degree weather ever changes!
Apple Cider Beef Stew
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 carrots, cut into large pieces
4 red potatoes, quartered
2 onions, quartered
2 apples, cored and quartered
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cups apple cider
2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1) In a large skillet, brown meat in hot oil Drain off fat.
2) In a slow cooker, combine carrots, potatoes, beef, apples, and celery.
3) Mix cider beef broth, thyme, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour over beef and vegetables.
4) Cook on low for 8 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.