Slow-Cooked Herbed Beef and Potatoes
Savory and tender, this beef is simmered in a slow cooker and served over potatoes
8 hearty servings
2 pounds beef stew meat (in large cubes) or beef roast (chuck roast or similar)
1 large onion, diced
6 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1/4 teaspoon dried sage (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried savory (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh)
2 teaspoons salt
2-3" of water in slow cooker (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk or water
3 pounds potatoes, washed and cut into 1" chunks*
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1. Place beef, onions, seasonings, and water (about 4 cups) into slow cooker. I use a 6-quart slow cooker, but I think this would fit in a 3-4-quart on as well. Cook on HIGH for 6 hours.
2. After about 5 1/2 hours of cooking, wash and cube the potatoes and place in a stock pot. Cook, covered, until potatoes are soft. (Reduce heat after potatoes start to boil.)
3. While potatoes are cooking, whisk together the 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup milk or water in a small bowl. Remove the 6 bay leaves from the beef. Stir in the flour/milk mixture, into the hot beef, and cover again. Allow to heat for 10 minutes (still on HIGH) and stir again. Cover again, and heat until bubbly.
4. Drain potatoes briefly, return to pan, and stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon salt. Potatoes can still be chunky. Or, you can use a hand mixer to make mashed potatoes. (Add 1/2 cup milk if making mashed potatoes.)
Serve the hot beef over the potatoes and enjoy!
*For an even quicker meal, you can serve instant mashed potatoes in place of the potatoes listed.
Another serving option is baked potatoes! Just remember to place them in the oven with enough time to be finished baking when your beef is ready to serve. (Or, use the microwave.)
To make this on the stove top, I would suggest using a 6-quart heavy stock pot with a lid. Heat on medium-low until boiling, then simmer on low (JUST simmering, not a full boil) for 3-4 hours, until meat is tender. Then thicken as the recipe suggests in step 3.
My mom's recipe for chuck roast (which is a similar concept, but seasoned totally differently!) is done on the stovetop and it's really tender and delicious (and still very easy -- about as easy as the crock pot).
I'm not sure how I would adapt this for the oven (as far as baking temperature and time) but if you do want to try it in the oven, I recommend a dish with a good lid (or tightly-wrapped foil covering) to keep all the steam inside.
6 - 6.5 hours
I created this recipe on a chilly winter's day. The fragrance of the simmering herbs warmed the house and the beef and potatoes satisfied our tummies.
I love how easy this slow-cooked beef is! You can even put the ingredients in the crock pot and refrigerate for a day or two until you're ready to cook it.
We love real potatoes (Yukon Gold are our favorite!) but I have served this with good instant mashed potatoes and it's still a winner.
Costco has huge containers of bay leaves for just $3. They are one of the savory herbs in this beef (yes, along with the herb called "Savory", if you have it!) and your house will smell SO GOOD while this meal is cooking!
I make this in my 6-quart Stay-or-Go slow cooker, although I think it would fit into a 3-4 quart slow cooker as well.
The potatoes shown in these photos are Yukon Gold potatoes. Those are our favorite, as they seem less starchy, are tender and flavorful -- and as a bonus, they have a beautiful color! :)