Ollie's Slow Cooker Stew

Here's the thing about stew. I hate tough meat. I hate chewy meat. If I'm eating red meat (something I seldom do), I want it to melt in my mouth with tenderness. I don't want to work hard at anything I'm about to ingest. So, I don't use stewing beef. I don't care how long it's simmered, to me it is tough meat. I use Top Sirloin and cut it myself into the size cubes I like. You might think some of the ingredients I use a little odd, but try it, you might like it!

Take 1 lb Top Sirloin and cut into chunks. The size of chunks is a personal preference! Toss them into your slow cooker and sprinkle on about 1/4 cup white flour. Now add 1 can of consomme and stir. Start your slow cooker on medium while you get the rest of the stew goodies ready.

Add 1/2 cup wine to the slow cooker. I use white wine which most people think is "wrong" but I prefer it to red. You can use whatever you want!

Now we are going to add a few different items, and I don't measure these so can only give you guestimates. Put in several squeezes of HP Sauce, Bold. I'm guessing it's about 1/2 cup. You want enough to give your stew a "bite" but not so much it is overpowering. Shake in several shakes of Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce. Again, you want enough for some zing in your stew. Okay we have the bite and zing, on to the rest.

You will want to season the stew next. I use about 4 tsp of Fine Herbes (McCormick's) plus salt and pepper to taste. I put the following vegetables in my stew but you can use any vegetables you like.

* Carrots, thick chunked. I use about 5-6 medium size
* Parsnips, about half the size of the carrots. I use about 3 medium size parsnips. Try to buy them rather thin rather than the thick ones you often see in the store. If you have to buy the thick ones, be sure you cut the core out as it can be woody and just not the best part of the parsnip to eat.
* Onions, thick chunked or sliced, whichever you prefer. Don't chop them too small or they will cook too fast and go mushy. I use 1-2
* Potatoes. I use Yukon Gold, thick chunked. I don't like a lot of potato in my stew so I only use about 4 medium size ones. You can use more if you like more!
* 2 stalks of Celery cut in slices

These vegetables can be added about an hour after the meat has been started. Set your slow cooker on medium for about 6 hours. About a half hour before the stew is done, I like to add a few frozen niblets corn (3/4 cup). Then I make Helena's Dumplings (see recipe), add them to the top and let everything simmer in the slow cooker for another 30-45 minutes. Dumplings are tricky to make in the slow cooker so you do have to keep checking to see if they are cooked through.

I sometimes serve this with buttered rolls although you really don't have to since the dumplings and potatoes are a very filling carbohydrate.

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