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How do I make my beef stew tasty

(124 Posts)
ouch321 Wed 01-Apr-20 17:54:54

Tried making beef stew and dumplings in my slow cooker crockpot. But it comes out a bit bland.
Do you have suggestions to improve?

Currently...
- sliced carrot
- diced beef
- sliced onion
- dissolved stock cube/s

Left on slow for c8 hours and then I put the dumplings in for an hour or less at the end.

It just tastes a bit bland at the end.

What would make it better?

Pebbles574 Wed 01-Apr-20 17:56:36

Bit of Worcestershire sauce, Oxtail soup, red wine, dash of tomato puree

You choose!

Emmagen Wed 01-Apr-20 17:58:01

Herbs, the ones you'd link with a roast, sage, rosemary, thyme etc

Salt and pepper

Good slosh of Worcestershire sauce

Blob of tomato purée

Alcohol, red wine or beer or a glug of port.

Any or all of above would help but all would need some time to cook in.

LuxuryWoman2020 Wed 01-Apr-20 17:58:10

Red wine and a good dollop of mustard

Judashascomeintosomemoney Wed 01-Apr-20 17:58:17

Seasoning, s and p it, taste, add more if necessary. Also, fry and coat the outside of beef in flour before adding to the pot (never used a slow cooker mind but I imagine it’ll be the same as stove top/oven)

60sPony Wed 01-Apr-20 17:58:41

recommend this recipe but we use red wine instead of the ale... always a winner in our house

www.goldenfry.co.uk/recipes/right-proper-yorkshire-beef-stew-with-belting-yorkshire-dumplings/

Ginblooded Wed 01-Apr-20 17:58:57

I always make mine in the slow cooker, I add tomato purée but towards the end of cooking time I add some bisto best gravy granules (usually the caramelised onion one). I don't know if this is considered 'cheating' but it thickens the sauce a little and makes it taste delicious!

Robs20 Wed 01-Apr-20 17:59:23

Marmite or red wine....or both!

Sharpandshineyteeth Wed 01-Apr-20 17:59:35

Squash. Cooks right down and gives a sweet flavour. I also use red wine and sage.

RickOShay Wed 01-Apr-20 17:59:36

Coat the beef with a mixture of paprika and flour
Add a bay leaf if possible

managedmis Wed 01-Apr-20 18:00:15

Yeah mine's always blah too

You need to seal your meat

TenToTheDozen Wed 01-Apr-20 18:00:48

Garlic, tomato puree, red wine, bay leaf

peachypetite Wed 01-Apr-20 18:00:58

No seasoning 😱

Mominatrix Wed 01-Apr-20 18:01:21

Slow cookers are notorious for bland food. To get more flavour, I would:

- brown the meat, remove
-brown the aromatic veg, remove
- add wine to the pot and reduce by half
- add meats, veg, stock cube, herbs (thyme, bay leaf) and any additional water you need
- add ad squirt of soy sauce and a little squeeze of marmite
- stir, then cook

This will add layers of flavour and umami to your dish.

HardAsSnails Wed 01-Apr-20 18:01:47

Salt and pepper

Bit late now but frying off the meat to get a Maillard reaction makes a big difference.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 01-Apr-20 18:03:04

Brown the onions and meat before slow cooking. I'd put some garlic in with the onions too.

ReturnofSaturn Wed 01-Apr-20 18:06:42

You need some seasoning at least!!

I like the suggestions of Worcestershire sauce and a bold of tomato sauce too.

YorkshirePud1 Wed 01-Apr-20 18:09:19

I follow this recipe and it's so tasty. Just leave out the mushrooms if you're not a fan https://thecookspyjamas.com/slow-cooker-beef-and-mushroom-stew/

MayTheGodsBeEverInYourFavour Wed 01-Apr-20 18:10:15

Brown the meat, and the onions
Yy to thyme, bay leaf, tomato purée, garlic & wine
Also Worcester sauce
Definitely seasoning
Mustard at the end

Windyone Wed 01-Apr-20 18:11:32

Definitely salt and pepper then any of the good ideas above

ouch321 Wed 01-Apr-20 18:13:19

Thank you very much - lots of things to try.

AintNobodyHereButUsKittens Wed 01-Apr-20 18:14:16

Everything everyone else said: wine or beer, flour, Dijon mustard, thyme, Lea & Perrins.
Also soften the onions first if you have time.
I also often add a dash of balsamic vinegar:

AgeLikeWine Wed 01-Apr-20 18:15:35

The first thing you need to do is properly season & get a really good, dark sear on your meat. Then fry off your veg in the same pan, you want to be getting some caramelisation into them. This Maillard reaction is key to depth of flavour. Adding & frying tomato purée is the next step, then deglaze with red wine & reduce by half. Then the stew can go into your slow cooker with stock, herbs, Worcester sauce, mustard etc etc.

When it’s cooked you can then check & adjust seasoning and reduce the sauce until you have the flavour & consistency you want.

StarsThatTwinkle Wed 01-Apr-20 18:16:37

Oxo beef stock cube.

To thicken and add flavour at the end of cooking, a small amount of Bisto powder (not gravy granules! use Bisto powder, which is different) mixed with a small amount of cold water will thicken it and add extra flavour.

MsChatterbox Wed 01-Apr-20 18:16:45

I have the exact same recipe but with salt. I have 1/2 tsp in mine. Then add bisto gravy granules at the end. It tastes amazing!

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