To my husband Ted, beef stew, maple syrup, and nectar of the gods all tie for first place on his culinary love list. We buy maple syrup at the local farm, and I've yet to come up with a good recipe for nectar of the gods, but I do love to make stew. Most often it's chock full of root vegetables like turnips and potatoes and rutabaga, of which I'm not a big fan, so I tend to leave the stew for Ted. However, this honey Sriracha beef stew includes only carrots and onions, with nothing else to distract from the sweet-hot gravy, and I absolutely love it. Although I make this in the slow cooker, you could adapt the recipe easily for stovetop cooking. This lick-your-lips beef stew (I think it would be delicious made with lamb, too) is a great dish to make ahead and have on hand for weeknight dinners. Adjust the amount of heat and sweet at the very end of the cooking time.
Slow cooker honey Sriracha beef stew
From the pantry, you'll need: dried mushrooms, all-purpose unbleached flour, reduced-sodium soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, fresh ginger root, garlic, onion, pearl onions, honey, Sriracha sauce.
1 cup dried mushrooms
2 lb stew beef (chuck, bottom round, etc.), cut into large chunks
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 Tbsp oil (olive, rice bran, vegetable, etc.)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1-inch chunk of peeled ginger root
1 medium red onion, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster-flavored sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
14-oz bag frozen pearl onions, defrosted
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp Sriracha, or more to taste
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Place the dried mushrooms in a 2-cup glass measuring cup, and fill the cup with water. Microwave for 3 minutes. Remove, and set aside.
Dry the chunks of beef with paper towels. Add the flour to a large mixing bowl.
Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan (or in a slow cooker with a stovetop insert, or a Ninja cooker). Dredge the beef in the flour, shake off the excess, and brown the beef in the oil, in as many batches as necessary so the pan is not overcrowded.
When all of the beef is browned, add it to the insert of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in the garlic, ginger, onion, carrots, soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice vinegar. Drain the mushroom soaking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer, and add the liquid only to the slow cooker. (Save the reconstituted mushrooms for another use; you can freeze them, or chop and add to soup.)
Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
Then, stir in the onions, honey and Sriracha. Cook on LOW for 1-1/2 hours.
Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef and vegetables from the slow cooker into a large bowl. Pour the remaining sauce into a small saucepan. Reduce the sauce on the stovetop, over medium-high heat, for 10 minutes or until reduced by half. The sauce should be thicker, with a bit of sheen from the honey.
Pour the reduced sauce over the meat and vegetables, and stir to combine. Serve hot, with rice or noodles. Or, let cool completely and refrigerate or freeze.
More slow cooker stew recipes for cold weather:
Slow cooker beef stew with potatoes, parsnips and rutabaga
Slow cooker lemon-garlic chicken and white bean stew
Slow-cooked beef and green chile stew
Beef, ale and onion stew
Slow cooker vegan black bean and sweet potato stew
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Lamb stew with almonds and apricots, from Simply Recipes
Honey-soy braised beef, from Local Kitchen Blog
Beef and sweet potato stew, from Joy the Baker
Sofigado, the Greek sweet and sour beef stew, from My Little Expat Kitchen
Slow-cooked Moroccan-spiced beef and apricot stew with Naartjie couscous, from Scruptious South Africa
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