Crockpot Beef Braise

Feb 29, 2020 | Entree, Recipes

Hello and welcome to this super easy crockpot beef braise recipe! This braise is perfect for meal prep, or when you want to do a little work and 8 hours later get a delicious meal (so… always?).

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I have another braise recipe on the blog already, which is a great one for a holiday or special occasion. It’s made on the stovetop (preferable a cast iron skillet), and while it only takes 1 ½ hours, it’s mostly active time.

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This recipe on the other hand, is great for a weeknight meal, and it’s on regular rotation during the winter months. All you have to do is chop the veggies, brown the beef, and maybe cook some bacon if you want. Then put it all in the crockpot with some seasonings and set it. Eight hours later, you’ve got a delicious braise on your hands!

We used beef stew meat this time, but we’ve also made variations with chicken as well. Likewise, the tomatillos and sweet potatoes in this recipe are our regular staples, but we’ll change it up with other winter squash, or carrots, or any other hearty veggies we have on hand. The key is just to get the water ratio right — 1.5 cups of liquid was perfect for about 1 lb of meat. You can’t really go too wrong in the crockpot, but yours may require more or less liquid.

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We also maybe ate most of it before I remembered I needed to take pictures of the final product… thus the very small portion size in these photos. 😂Braise also isn’t really the most photogenic of foods either. But take my word for it — this is delicous and perfect for a cold and dreary day!

Crockpot Beef Braise

Notes
We've had this crockpot for a few years now and it works great.
I use Better Than Bouillon brand chicken stock concentrate. There's one that doesn't have any garlic or onion in it — I think it's the "organic" version.

Ingredients

  • ¼ pound bacon
  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 5-6 tomatillos, chopped
  • ½ heirloom tomato or 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 2 slices large jalapeño, finely diced (or to taste)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock concentrate (see notes)
  • ½ cup dry (white) vermouth
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • A few dashes cinnamon
  • A few dashes cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Cook bacon over med-low heat until crispy. Remove to paper towel.
  • Discard most of the bacon fat, leaving an even coating on the bottom of pan. Brown the beef in the bacon fat (no need to cook all the way through). Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, chop tomatillos, tomato, and sweet potatoes. Finely dice the jalapeño. Add all the veggies to the crock pot.
  • Pour water, chicken stock, and vermouth into crockpot. Next add the spices (paprika, chili powder, nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, pepper) and stir to mix everything.
  • When the beef is done, add that to the crockpot. Break the bacon into small chunks and add as well.
  • Set the crockpot to cook on high for 8 hours. Enjoy!

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