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    stjoad's Avatar
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    Beef stew in slow cooker?

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    I'm going to attempt a beef stew in my slow cooker tomorrow - just wondering if anyone has experience in making a very good, thick broth. Most traditional recipes call for flour, but obviously that's not an option.

    For what it's worth, I'm going to try some combination of water, red wine, and guinness (maybe) as a base for the broth. Any points would be most helpful

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    Don't use much. Your veg will provide a lot of liquid. I often will just use a can of tomatoes, or half a can, as the liquid for the whole stew. If you have mushrooms in your stew, they'll give off a lot of liquid too.

    I like beef, onion, carrots, canned tomatoes, garlic, italian seasoning, green beans (they are pods,not seeds..) and let 'er cook for a long, long time. With the lid on.

    Enjoy.

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    MeatSleepRepeat's Avatar
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    Agree. I'm always surprised how much liquid is released by my meat and veggies. You can always add more liquid as things go along. It's in the slow cooker, you won't ruin anything by adding water (or whatever) later on.

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    Honestly, I often drain the liquid out after it's done cooking and reduce it on the stove. It's a bit of a pain, but I like me stew nice and thick.

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    stjoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiralicious View Post
    Honestly, I often drain the liquid out after it's done cooking and reduce it on the stove. It's a bit of a pain, but I like me stew nice and thick.
    When making the reduction, how long does it take usually and at what temperature?

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    I tried potato starch for the first time when I made a pot roast 2 weeks ago. DH thought the gravy was made with flour and pronounced it amazing. It was incredibly easy to use and at least 2x as effective at thickening as flour. I pulled a ladle full of the juices from the crock pot and let it cool in a bowl to barely warm. I whisked in about 3T of potato starch and then whisked part of that into the juices in the pot. I was really surprised how little starch thickened it up and I had at least 4 cups of thick, smooth gravy. I don't think you can make a roux with it, so it might not always be a perfect substitute for flour, but for making gravy for a crock pot dish, I think it beats flour, hands down.
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    Arrowroot is a great thickner and it is paleo/primal. My beef casserole rarely needs thickening as I leave it all day and the veg soaks all the meat juices. Debra

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    magicmerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socoolnanny View Post
    Arrowroot is a great thickner and it is paleo/primal. My beef casserole rarely needs thickening as I leave it all day and the veg soaks all the meat juices. Debra
    this for us too. We don't often have gravy,but when we do, it's arrowroot.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

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    I don't know if it is primal or not, but I always stir in some Minute Tapioca (Minute Tapioca is ground tapioca - not the little round balls - it comes in a small red box - I suppose it is processed - sigh - but at least it isn't grain). When I make stew, if I'm using my 3 quart slow cooker I stir in about 2 tablespoons of tapioca - if I using my large slow cooker (I think it is a 6 or 7 quart) I stir in about a quarter cup. It makes a nice gravy and you don't have to try to stir in some other starch at the end of the cooking.
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    bone marrow and some cubed sweet potatoes will thicken it up a bit.
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