Sunday 12 October 2014

Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef Stew

One of my favourite things about Autumn is the good, hearty food that's plentiful at this time of year. Begone, salads and white wine, and hellooo rich stews and a large glass of red. I've been waiting for an excuse to make a good beef recipe in the slow cooker for a while now, and when Lidl got in touch and asked if I fancied doing a recipe post with some of their ingredients, that was all the excuse I needed.

I've had a hankering for more balsamic meaty goodness ever since our last night in Florence. The balsamic steak we had was to die for - it was covered in a thick balsamic glaze, which tasted both sweet and savoury at the same time. God, it was good. This recipe wasn't the same in the slightest, actually, because the balsamic was a much more subtle flavour, but it was still pretty damn good.

I must do a disclaimer first - this recipe nearly went horribly wrong. The beef roasting joint I used would have been better replaced with diced stewing or braising steak, and when I make it again (when, not if), that's what I'll be using. The joint was from the rump, and was a little dense and thick. We chopped it up and returned it to sit in the sauces for an hour, and it was excellent, but it wasn't the falling-apart-meat that I was expecting. Sometimes improvising can make an even better meal though, and I really think this did. It was incredibly, incredibly tasty, and a really flavourful, hearty Sunday lunch.

Slow cooker Balsamic Beef 
(adapted from a recipe from Shugary Sweets)

Lidl British beef roasting joint (but I recommend using diced steak instead)
1 litre beef stock
100g brown sugar
60ml balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 large onion, finely sliced
8 mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp cornflour

Serves 6-8

1. Add all the ingredients except the beef, onions and mushrooms to a bowl and mix together with a spoon.
2. Slice the onion and mushrooms and add to the bowl and stir.

3. Transfer bowl to the slow cooker, then place the beef on top. With a large spoon, pour the sauce over the beef.
4. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

5. If using a joint, after 7-8 hours, remove from the slow cooker and cut into small chunks.
6. Return to the slow cooker and cook on low for another hour.

7. If using diced steak, you can skip steps 5-6.
8. Remove the meat, onions and mushrooms from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon, and transfer the juices to a saucepan. Don't worry too much if the odd bit remains!
9. Make a cornflour paste with a couple tablespoons of cornflour and a small splash of water. Stir together until no lumps remain.
10. Add the cornflour to the pan with the juices, stir together and then cook on a high heat for about 10 minutes. Keep stirring, and it should start to thicken. If it's still a little watery, just add more cornflour paste.

11. Transfer the beef juices to a jug - this will be your gravy.
12. Serve your beef with mounds of buttery mash, honey roasted carrots and tenderstem broccoli, smothered in delicious gravy.

I'm a real convert to Lidl and their counterpart (who I won't name here!) - I've been shopping at both a lot more frequently lately, and have been genuinely surprised at how much more I got for my money. I spent about £15 on the ingredients for this, and considering it could serve 8 people, that's pretty impressive.



  1. Oh my gosh, this looks incredible! The best thing about the autumn is easily the chance to justify multiple slow cooker meals in a week (:

  2. This sounds delicious, I am definitely going to try this with some braising steak!

    Maria xxx

  3. This looks heavenly! I am all about the stews and soups in this weather. I seriously need to buy a slow cooker!

    Beth // SANS SOUCI


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