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Jazzing up Beef Stew

So, I'm making beef stew in the slow cooker tomorrow night, the usual beef, parsnips, celery, carrots and small potatoes, usual spices. Although it always comes out good, I am a little bored with it. Anyone have any ideas to make it more interesting? Thanks!

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    1. re: danionavenue

      You could also add in biscuits or dumplings.

    2. In the same train of thought, Guinness?
      Or do you/household like spicy? Add diff spices, andouille sausage, cayenne, bell and other peppers (you control the heat)?

      4 Replies
      1. re: pinehurst

        Or a can or two of Rotel. I just put some in my sauerbraten last night. Also a little lemon peel.

        1. re: pinehurst

          ^^Second this. The last few times I've made beef stew, I've added a bottle of Guinness.

          In this vein, this weekend I made pot roast simmered in Guinness and homemade beef stock.

          Wow, it makes it something special, I think.

          1. re: BabsW

            Babs, how do you do your beef stock, if you're reading this? I feel mine is kind of meh.

          2. re: pinehurst

            I was going to suggest beer, too. In a slow cooker, though, I'd sear the meat and then deglaze the pot w/ beer and let it simmer some. The beer can add a bitter taste if it's added directly to the slow cooker because it doesn't get to cook away at all.

          3. Plenty of onions for a start - my cousin who went to the Cordon Bleu always said that if a receipe called for two onions make it at least three.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ZoeZ

              ...and/or shallots, I always mix the two and didn't even think of it.

              1. re: ZoeZ

                I'm with you on plenty of onions, they make the sauce so wonderfully rich, and a nice dark half bottle of red zin. mmmm, I must make this too!

              2. Braise onions and beef in bacon fat. Add some wine and tomato paste and a glug of Worchestershire. You will of course be using garlic, right?

                3 Replies
                1. re: Berheenia

                  with you all the way. guaranteed to be delicious with these tips!

                  1. re: Berheenia

                    A winner from Berheenia. Red wine OR Guinness would work here.

                    1. re: Berheenia

                      Oh, I would do mushrooms and skip the potatoes. Serve mashed potatoes with it instead.

                    2. Change the beef to short ribs or oxtails......add green peas, pearl onions and mushrooms tot he ingredients.....some wine or beer if you like.