Chef 101 Eve Makes: Beef Stew with Chocolate, wine and single malt Scotch!

Gotta love a five-minute prep time with 6 hours in the slow cooker!  (And I loved the way my house smelled the whole day!)  It might have taken me 10 or 15 to get things together, coat and then cook the beef, but it was well worth it.  We paired it with buttered egg noodles and Macallan 12 year-old single malt Scotch.

And, for once, I have no changes in italics!

Beef Stew with Chocolate, photo courtesy the food network

Ingredients

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup frozen sliced carrots

1 (8-ounce) package sliced brown mushrooms

3 cups diced red potatoes

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons finely grated bittersweet chocolate

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 (1.5-ounce) packet meatloaf seasoning (recommended: McCormick)

1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth

1 cup red wine, preferably Merlot

1 leek, white part only, sliced and cleaned

Directions

In a large bowl combine beef stew meat, salt, pepper and flour. Toss until beef is well coated.

Heat the canola in a large saute pan over high heat. Add seasoned beef and sear on all sides until brown and caramelized. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Combine seared beef, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes and tomatoes in a 4-quart slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, stir together grated chocolate, garlic, meatloaf packet, beef broth, and red wine. Pour into slow cooker and sprinkle the leeks over the top. Cover and cook on HIGH setting for 4 to 6 hours.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Serves 6, from foodnetwork.com, courtesy Sandra Lee

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