I bought a slow cooker a few weeks ago and tonight I made beef stew and beer bread and it turned out so good that I thought I would share.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then lightly brown the meat in batches. Transfer browned beef to a plate and set aside.
Dump the tomatoes into the slow cooker (juice and all). Crush them with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the vegetables and then add the beef and any accumulated drippings. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the beef broth over the beef and vegetables. Give the mixture a quick stir. Add the bay leaves.
Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.
About 20 minutes before serving, add the peas (no need to defrost first), salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together the flour and remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth, creating a smooth paste. Stir into the stew. Replace the slow cooker cover and cook until thickened (about 15-20 minutes). Remove the bay leaves before serving.
3 cups organic all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder (make sure it’s fresh!)
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 ounces beer
Optional glaze: 1 egg & 2 teaspoons water, beaten
Heat the oven to 375°. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, dill, and cheddar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir in the beer and mix just until combined. The batter will be thick.
Spread in a greased 8-inch loaf pan, brush with the egg glaze if desired, and bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The first time I made this bread I made it exactly as above but I found the dill to be overwhelming. So instead, tonight I only added a cup of shredded parmesan cheese and it turned out very good. I think I will be making it regularly.