Beef stew with spinach

And because I care about digital trends, the emergent mechanisms of communication and also eating well, I offer you this recipe. 

Not sure exactly how I made, it but it goes something like this…I change it slightly every time, but it always turns out well. Don’t be afraid to get some salt in there but taste it — the beef broth can be salty depending on what kind you get so just be aware I. Order to avoid over salting. 


~2lbs stew beef

1 big bag of raw spinach (probably like half a pound?)

Large can of roasted crushed tomatoes (I like Muir Glen organic brand)

Small can of tomato paste

2 cans beef broth

4 celery stalks

4 scallions

Two big carrots

One large parsnip 

One box of brown mushrooms

About two lbs –maybe a little less– of small potatoes (mix of gold and red)

Five whole cloves of garlic

One yellow onion

1tsp smoked paprika

Cut most of those ingredients into hearty, fork-worthy chunks. Dice the onions, scallions and mushrooms a little smaller. I leave the garlic cloves whole, but you may prefer smaller pieces. Don’t chop the spinach. 

Ideally you’d brown the beef over a high heat in a pan with some salt and pepper. It’s stew beef and therefore not super fatty, so you can just spray a little Pam in there to avoid sticking. Deglaze the pan with some of the broth and dump that into the slow cooker. Or if you’re feeling lazy, as I was this morning, just toss it in there w out searing it. It’s gonna cook for a long time, so no worries. 

Pour your broth, canned tomatoes and tomato paste into your slow cooker and stir it up a bit. Dump all your other ingredients in there too except the spinach. Sprinkle in your smoked paprika. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Set for 12 hours on low. (I often set everything up the night before so I can start it at 6:30 when our boys wake up…then it is done for dinner.)

Give it a stir every hour or so for the first few hours and when you do, add some spinach. By hour three or four you should have the whole bag of spinach in there. At that point you can ignore it until you serve it. I suppose you could try to cram the spinach in there earlier if you want to leave for the day, but it is bulky until it reduces. Improvise!

I make it without hot sauce so it is more appealing to the rest of my family who, sadly, do not care for spicy food. But then I put chipotle hot sauce in mine in the bowl to liven it up a bit.