Slow Cooker Beef-Eggplant Stew

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced into coins
1 lb Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 turnip, cubed
1 large eggplant, cubed
1 1/4 lb cubed sirloin or other beef for stew
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup cognac vinegar (can sub red wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
1 bay leaf
super fine flour (like Wondra flour)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Toss the beef with the salt, pepper and some super fine flour to coat. Set aside. Heat some olive oil in a Dutch oven and add the beef. Saute until the beef is lightly browned on all sides. Pour the mixture into a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients Stir. Cover and cook for 8 hours. Remove the bay leaf prior to serving. Stir prior to serving.

My thoughts:

After an unseasonably warm November, there is actually a bit of a chill in the air. We’ve busted out our slippers, flannel sheets and now the slow cooker for the season. I’ve been wanting to make beef stew for a while but it really didn’t seem appropriate when the days were 65 and sunny so when yesterday was rainy and dreary I popped some ingredients in the slow cooker and had a lovely, hearty meal come dinnertime. I’ve rarely cooked eggplant in the slow cooker (despite the hundreds of slow cooker recipes in my cookbooks)but that’s a shame, slow cooking renders eggplant silky and tender with nary a hint of bitterness. The perfect counterpoint to the rich beef.

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