Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mmmmm. Stew!

This is one of the very first recipes I tried in my crock pot, years ago. It continues to be a favourite in my household. It is a bit cumbersome, but the results? Worth every minute of preparation!

This is an elegant, simple, delicious meal. The flavours are wonderfully subtle. What could be better?

1 Tbsp Olive Oil (15mL)
3 oz. Pancetta diced to 1/4" (90g)
2 lbs Stewing Veal, cut into 1" cubes (1Kg)
3 Leeks, white part only, coarsely chopped (3)
30 Baby carrots cut in half (30)
2 Celery stalks, diced (2)
2 Garlic cloves, minced (2)
1.5 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary Leaves, chopped (1.5T)
1 tsp Salt (5mL)
1/2 tsp Freshly ground pepper (2mL)
2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour (25mL)
1/2 C Dry Red Wine (125mL)
1/2 C Condensed Chicken Broth, undiluted (125mL)

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring until browned. Use slotted spoon to transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

Add veal to pan in batches. Cook, stirring until batch begins to brown. Use slotted spoon to transfer to slow cooker. Continue cooking in batches until all veal is browned.

Add leaks, carrots and celery to pan and cook, stir until softened. Add rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle flour over mixture and cook for 1 more minute. Add wine and chicken broth and stir until mixture thickens.

Pour thickened mixture over meat in slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 6 hours. Serve with Polenta, mashed potatoes or crusty bread.

The best part of this recipe, over the years the kids have decided to help out! Here is the process:
I make sure I have all of my ingredients before I start. 
Chloe and Caden help peel the carrots while I take care of the sizzling pancetta. 
The leeks, carrots and celery are all chopped up (big chunks) and wait in a bowl.
After the veal is browned and moved to the crock pot all of the veggies are added and softened in the pan.
Caden continues to be helpful as my sous chef. Here he's adding salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary to the cooked vegetables. 
The vegetables have been floured and chicken stock has been added, along with the wine. Now it's time to wait! Six or seven hours later. Delicious!

I know this is not your typical stick-it-in-the-pot-and-wait slow cooker recipe and you do need a bit of time to prepare, but my, is it ever worth the effort! If you find you have a slow, damp day that screams for some comfort food, this is the perfect solution. 

One thing to note: my kids are not crazy about Rosemary and I have modified the recipe to less than the original. The original calls for burying a whole sprig in the middle of the pot while cooking. So, if you like Rosemary, feel free to add more!

Enjoy your day!


Becky said...

Sounds delicious!

Jayne said...

This sounds SO good! Just printed it to give it a try. Thanks Lee!