Blog Archives

Slow Cooker Spiced Braised Beef with Sweet Potatoes

“Think Spring” (Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland)

My slow cookers—that’s right, I’ve got more than one—have been getting quite a workout thanks to the snow upon snow upon snow we’re getting out my way. This evening my big boy outdid himself (and yes, I am referring to my 6 quart) by whipping up a dee-lish-us take on beef stew, which in this incarnation (courtesy of Real Simple) goes by the name “Spiced Braised Beef with Sweet Potatoes.” Enjoy!


(serves 6)

1.5 pounds beef chuck, cut into chunks

2 sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch thick half-moons

1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes

1 large red onion, cut into wedges

1/2 cup dried apricots

2 tsps. ground cumin

2 tsps. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

3/4 tsp. Kosher salt**

1/2 cup water

1 10-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed

2 cups baby spinach***

1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped

1. In a four- to six-quart slow cooker, combine the beef, potatoes, tomatoes (and their juices), onion, apricots, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, and 1/2 cup water.

2. Cook covered until the meat is tender. On HIGH, for about four to five hours, or on LOW, for about seven to eight hours.

3. A few minutes before serving, add the chickpeas and baby spinach. Serve with the couscous**** and sprinkled with almonds.


* I took pictures of the stew, but, uhm, I think the snow ate them.

** I ended up adding more salt before serving.

***In lieu of baby spinach, I used frozen spinach I had on hand. I steamed the spinach, pressed out as much water as I could, then mixed it in. You also could defrost and drain the spinach while the stew cooks. It’ll cook when you add it to the crockpot.

****Out of sheer laziness, I skipped the couscous and almonds, opting instead for a slice of ciabatta withs some butter. I imagine this dish would also work over brown rice, quinoa, or similar grains.

Recipe: Crockpot Chai Tea

Crockpot Chai Tea*

(*from Rival crockpot cookbook, I think)

2 quarts ( 8 cups) water

8 bags black tea

3/4 cup sugar (or to taste)

16 whole cloves

16 whole cardamom seeds, pods removed (This ingredient is optional; the first couple of times I used ground cardamom since I didn’t have pods)

5 cinnamon sticks

8 slices fresh ginger

1 cup milk (I use skim)

1. Combine water, tea, sugar, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger in crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

2. Strain mixture; discard solids. (I’ve been using a slotted spoon to just scoop out the solids so I can keep the tea warm). May be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

3. Stir in milk just before serving. Serve warm or chilled. (I’ve been adding the milk and letting it warm up a bit before serving.)

I bought the cardamom seeds and cinnamon sticks at the Takoma Food co-op so I could get the exact amount I needed. Here’s an article with some tips for storing the leftover ginger.

Here’s what it looks like when everything’s in the crockpot except for the water.
%d bloggers like this: