Conference Crock

Conference Crock (n): Assembling a dish in the slow cooker while on a conference call.
Mutation (n):  Repeatedly checking the mute button on your phone while you assemble a conference crock.

This is a mongrel recipe of my own devices, and a few ideas off the internet. I had half an hour to throw it together and as a result, I took no pictures during the prep. You just get the money shot.

Mongrel Beef Stew

  • 2 lbs boneless chuck steak, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 packet Lipton onion soup mix
  • 4-5 carrots, diced
  • 10-12 mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 1/2 bag of frozen pearl onions
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 bag frozen peas

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Put flour in ziplock bag. Add half the meat pieces, shake to coat, and put into skillet. Cook until browned on all sides then put meat in slow cooker. Brown other half of meat the same way. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bits up, then pour wine into slow cooker.

Put carrots, mushrooms, onions and tomato paste into slow cooker. If you have time you can give the mushrooms a quick saute but it's not necessary. Pour the onion soup mix over all. Add water and cover.

I didn't start this until 1 in the afternoon so I put David on high for 3 hours, then turned it to low. If you are starting earlier, just put it on low for 6-8 hours. I stirred every now and then and added another cup of red wine when I felt it was too thick. You could also just add plain water, the onion soup mix has enough flavor of its own and in fact, I wouldn't use beef broth because the soup mix is on the salty side. I didn't season the meat with salt and pepper for this reason.

Before serving, stir in the frozen peas and cover cooker again until heated through.

Serve with pasta, egg noodles or mashed potatoes.