A Week’s Worth of Delicious Sweet Potato Beef Stew in 60 Minutes [Slow Cooker Recipe]

A few weeks ago I got myself a new tool.
I’m sadly attracted to shiny new tools.
But this is one that I’ve been eying for quite some time. And when I saw it sitting on the store shelf by itself with its price tag slashed three times, I knew it was time to take action.
I swooped in, dropped some bills, and was told that I just grabbed the last unit in the store.
Meant to be.

I stuffed it in my car, drove back carefully to my apartment like I was bringing home a new born, and unpacked it with such a love and care to make sure it stayed in supreme condition.
This is how I continue to treat my brand spankin’ new slow cooker – the original Crock Pot.
But what’s the big deal right? A tool is just that – a tool. Nobody cares about tools. You don’t care about tools. You care about what one can do with those tools. http://mysweetoutfit.com/

That’s what I like about you.
So today I’m going to show you what I’ve been able to do with my brand new crock pot. I’m going to show you how I used it to make a week’s worth of absolutely delicious sweet potato beef stew in just under 60 minutes.
Let’s dig in.

The Tools
Here’s what you’ll need to make this happen:

A slow cooker (doesn’t have to be a Crock Pot),
A deep saute pan (I use stainless steel),
A cutting board (preferably a big one),
A good knife,
A peeler (optional, but very helpful),
A garlic mincer (optional, but amazing).
The Ingredients
Before I jump into the good stuff, I’d like to send a shout out to Jess Williamson from Butter with a Side of Bread. I used her awesome Best CrockPot Beef Stew Recipe as a framework for building mine. Thank you!

I made modifications where I had to.
Alright, let’s get into the ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make a sweet potato beef stew:

3-4 medium-sized sweet potatoes,
2 lbs trimmed beef chuck (patted dry with paper towels),
1 medium onion chopped up,
2 cups of sliced up mushrooms,
3 stalks of diced up celery,
3-4 cloves of minced garlic,
3 good-size carrots sliced up,
1-2 cans of beef broth,
3 stalks of diced up celery,
1 can diced tomatoes,
1-2 Bay leaves,
1 tsp dried thyme,
1 tsp dried parsley,
1 tsp of Vegeta (spice)
Salt and pepper (as needed),
2-4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
1-2 tablespoon of Coconut Oil.

Some Notes:

The quantities are not set in stone. Feel free to play around with them. The quantities I listed above gave me enough sweet potato beef stew to feed a small village (or enough to last me the whole week;
Jessica uses 1 can of beef broth alongside a cup of cooking wine to make the sauce. then either add an extra can of beef broth to the mix or simply add boiled water as you see fit when things are cooking in the slow cooker;

Don’t overdo it with the sweet potatoes. They take the longest to cook. As I’ll explain later, you don’t want to have a bunch of them floating on top of the slow cooker;
I talk more about this later, but I like to use coconut oil to coat the pan for high temperature cooking. Jessica uses olive oil. It’s up to you. Just note that regardless of what you use to coat the pan, you’ll still need 2 tablespoons of olive oil for the deglazing process later. https://www.airataloha.com/

Ingredients: The Process

Once you’ve got all your shopping done, it’s time to roll back the sleeves and get to work. While some people like to do things as they go, I like to prepare everything ahead of time to make it easier for myself later on in the process. That’s why we start with preparation.

Step 1: Preparation
Estimated Time: 20-25 minutes
Grab your peeler, your knife, an your cutting board.
Peel and dice your sweet potatoes. Wash all your vegetables Cut up your mushrooms, dice your celery, peel and slice up your carrots, and mince your garlic (if you don’t have a garlic mincer, just cut up your cloves with a knife). Cut your beef chuck into 1/2 inch cubes and marinate them with your spices (Vegeta, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper). The picture above shows how I prep everything into containers.
Now throw your sweet potato cubes, celery, carrots, and can of diced tomatoes into the slow cooker and get your meat ready for some sizzling action.

Throw in celery, carrots, sweet potatoes, and a can of diced tomatoes in your slow cooker.
This is definitely the longest part of the process, but it helps dramatically speed things up in later steps.
Step 2: Sear the Meat
Estimated Time: 5 minutes
Start heating up your saute pan on high.
Since we’re dealing with high heat, I like to use coconut oil instead of olive oil to coat my pan (always better to use a saturated fat for high heat cooking). Throw in your minced garlic. When the pan is hot, toss in your beef.

Sear beef for 4-5 minutes on high heat.
The idea here is not to cook the meat all the way. You just want to sear it. This part isn’t necessary (see Jessica’s post for simpler alternative), but it will provide a much better taste when it’s all said and done. Let the beef sit on high heat for five minutes with limited stirring. Let the meat brown the bottom of the pan. After 5 minutes, throw the meat into the CrockPot.

Add the meat into the CrockPot.

Step 3: Deglazing
Estimated Time: 10 minutes
Wait! Don’t you dare wash that pan!
We need it nice and dirty for our next step – deglazing!
“To deglaze a pan means adding liquid such as stock or wine to a pan to loosen and dissolve food particles (called fond) that are stuck to the bottom. The flavorful mixture produced by deglazing can then be used to make a sauce.” [Source]
We’re going to deglaze the pan to loosen up the flavorful meat remnants from the bottom of the pan and make the liquidy portion of our stew.
Place the pan back on the stove (on hot) and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil gets hot, throw in your diced up onions and wait 3-4 minutes for the onions to become translucent. Finally, add your 1-2 cans of beef broth.

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