You are probably going to have those moments when you have a few vegetables that are nearing their peak in your refrigerator. This recipe was born of months of noticing what things we ended up with by week’s end. This stew is a great opportunity to make something tasty and clean out the fridge at the same time.
SERVES 6 TO 8 / PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES / TOTAL TIME: 6 TO 8 HOURS IN A SLOW COOKER
2 pounds beef (chuck, roast, stew meat; see Notes), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch/flour
2 tablespoons fat (lard, coconut oil, butter, or ghee)
2 cups diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 leek, white and light green parts, quartered lengthwise
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon Steak Seasoning
1. Season the beef with the salt and pepper, then coat with the arrowroot starch/flour.
2. In a large skillet, heat the fat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the beef. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. In the same skillet, sauté the onion and garlic until the onion becomes translucent, 3 to 5 minutes, adding about ½ cup of the stock and the coconut aminos to deglaze the pan as the onions cook.
4. Coat the bottom of a slow cooker (see Notes) with the olive oil and line with potatoes, leek, carrots, and mushrooms. Add the sautéed onions, garlic, beef, and steak seasoning.
5. Pour the remaining stock over everything. Cover & cook on low for 6-8 hours.
VARIATIONS: You can add whatever leftover veggies you have to this. Celery, tomatoes, and peppers are always welcome in this pot. You can also play with the spices. Our household leans toward the spicier side of life.
NOTES: If you’re using a fattier cut of meat, trim some of the fat off before you brown it.
A pressure cooker can be used if you want to eat this meal within an hour. Otherwise, slow and low is the way to go.
An authentic mole usually has more ingredients than there are pages in this book. However, you can get a mole-like flavor with some relatively accessible ingredients and in a much shorter time frame. Using a slow cooker means almost no hands-on time for you and coming home to a pretty amazing smelling house. Serve hot over cauliflower rice, Mashed Cauliflower, or with some Lime Chipotle Slaw.
SERVES 6 TO 8 / PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES / TOTAL TIME: 6 TO 8 HOURS IN A SLOW COOKER, 25 MINUTES PLUS TIME TO COME TO PRESSURE
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
2 pounds pork stew meat
1 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
¼ cup pitted dates (or raisins)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup beef or chicken stock
2 tablespoons almond or other nut butter
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
Slow cooker method:
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and when shimmering add the pork pieces (working in batches if needed) and brown for a few minutes on each side (see Notes). Add the tomatoes, dates, garlic, stock, almond butter, cocoa, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper and stir to incorporate any of the browned bits.
2. Empty the pork and sauce contents into a slow cooker. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours. About halfway through, add the sweet potatoes to the slow cooker, setting them on top of the meat mixture.
Pressure cooker method:
1. Heat a pressure cooker for sautéing (many electric pressure cookers have a sauté feature). Working in batches, brown the pork in the oil when shimmering for a few minutes on each side (see Notes). Add the tomatoes, dates, garlic, stock, almond butter, cocoa, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper, and stir to incorporate any of the browned bits.
2. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and set for 15 minutes at high pressure. Use the quick release method to release the pressure, then add in the sweet potatoes, stir, replace the lid, and cook for 10 more minutes at high pressure.
NOTES: If you are rushed, skip browning the meat first. It makes a slight taste difference, but not so drastic that you’re going to want to avoid this recipe.
To freeze, combine everything but the sweet potatoes in a resealable freezer bag. When you’re ready to cook, simply thaw out the bag contents, place them in the slow cooker, and add the sweet potatoes. Follow the cooking instructions opposite.
VARIATIONS: We have used kohlrabi and butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes and loved the dish just the same.