Monday, February 26, 2018

Slow Cooker Beef (or Lamb) with Onions and Gravy

Slow Cooker Beef (or Lamb) with Onions and Gravy
There are some days I just need some comfort food. This easy slow cooker recipe definitely fits that description. It fills my kitchen with a savory aroma that just enhances my anticipation of enjoying this hearty and healthy meal at the end of a long day. The meat is so tender, it just falls apart! I recently learned the trick of sprinkling meat with a little baking soda to ensure perfect browning. It is optional, but it really works. I serve this meat and gravy dish over cooked riced cauliflower or, for even more nutrition, I choose a riced cauliflower-broccoli blend (as pictured). When covered with silky gravy, I never miss the starchy rice and, even more important, my post-meal blood sugar doesn’t spike. I’ve listed two options, using beef or lamb, and you will use either red wine and beef broth (for beef) or white wine and chicken broth (for lamb). There is a distinct difference in flavor, but both are equally delicious, so choose your favorite combination and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Beef (or Lamb) with Onions and Gravy
Makes 6 servings

2 pounds beef or lamb chunks (stew meat)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, sliced into 1/2 rounds or chunks
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1 cup red or white wine
2-3 cups beef or chicken broth
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Thick-It-Up (or xanthan gum)
6 cups cooked cauliflower rice (or cauliflower-broccoli rice blend)
Fresh parsley, chopped (optional garnish)

1. Toss together the meat, salt and baking soda. Allow to sit for a few minutes while you slice the onions and put them into the crock pot to cover the bottom. Heat up a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Add beef or lamb to the heated skillet and brown all sides. Add the browned meat to the slow cooker. Sprinkle with thyme and black pepper.

2. Add 1 cup of wine to the hot skillet and deglaze the pan (red wine for beef or white wine for lamb). Add 2 cups of broth (beef broth for beef or chicken broth for lamb) and stir. Pour the liquid over the meat and onions in the crock pot. Add just enough additional broth to the crock pot until it almost covers the meat. Cook on low heat for 8 hours or on high heat for 4 hours.

3. About 10-15 minutes before serving, transfer the liquid from the crock pot to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. While whisking, sprinkle the Thick-It-Up or xanthan gum over the liquid and whisk constantly until thickened into a nice sauce (use a tiny bit more or less Thick-It-Up or xanthan gum as needed to reach a gravy consistency). Add the sauce to the cooked meat and remaining ingredients in the crock pot and stir to coat the meat. Serve over the cooked cauliflower rice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

Nutritional Information per serving (including 1 cup of cooked cauliflower rice): 323 calories, 8.4 g carbohydrates (2.5 g dietary fiber, 3.5 g sugars), 11 g total fat (5.1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 82 mg cholesterol, 825 mg sodium, 54.8 mg calcium, 365 mg potassium, 4 mg iron, 7 mg Vit A, 43 mg Vit C, 40 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.9 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2018
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.