Alberta Winter Stew

One of my fave “Alberta Winter” (you know the kind of days where it’s -10 but with the windchill feels like -40?) comfort foods is stew. There is something about it simmering away all day in my slow cooker that soaks my house in the most delicious scent that makes me feel so safe inside. Hearty, savoury, fill your belly and sleep well afterwards kinda meal. Without further adieu..

Ingredients: (rough guide since we’re thugs and do what we want)

  • stewing beef or wild game
  • potatoes & sweet potatoes
  • celery, onions, carrots
  • garlic & fresh/dried herbs (pick what you like)
  • beef/bone broth
  • balsalmic vinegar
  • splash of red wine & worchestire sauce
  • olive oil, salt & pepper, flour
  • Frozen corn & peas (optional)

Now you can wing it however you want, but here is the general method I follow:

  • (Night before) chop all veggies and put them in the fridge covered.
  • (Morning of) put a scoop of flour in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper and all the seasonings you want – thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, etc
  • Dredge thawed stewing meat in the spiced flour mixture. Coat all pieces
  • In a hot frying pan, sear those little flour-ey meat chunks. We don’t wanna cook ’em through. Just sear the outside edges. Then transfer to slow cooker.
  • Add a good glug of broth to the meat bits pan, and stir. Give it a good scrape.
  • Saute onions, garlic, and carrots in the crispy meat bits pan. Add a few more glugs of broth, some salt and pepper, and a splash of balsalmic vinegar and/or red wine and worcestershire sauce. Cook for a few mins. Then transfer to slow cooker.
  • Add all the potatoes and sweet potatoes on top. A few more glugs of broth. A bit more sprinkles of all your fave seasonings.
  • Turn slow cooker on for 6-8 hours on low. Check about an hour out from eating time to see how it is, add corn, get your buttered buns ready, etc.

*Note: yes, a “glug” is a unit of measurement. No, it’s not Canadian slang. It is the most superior of all measurements, a confident but restrained splash straight from the jug.

*Note #2: this recipe is designed to eat with buns. If you’re celiac, please don’t eat buns. But fresh buttered buns with homemade stew is one of life’s greatest wonders so don’t sell yourself short here.

*Note #3: yes, you can save this for leftovers. I have no idea what happens if you freeze it so don’t ask me.