In this video I tested out the Crock Pot Express Mini by making beef stew for the first time ever. Is this really foolproof? Watch the video to find out. The recipe is below.
1 pound beef stew meat (pre-cut)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp herbes de Provence (or Italian seasoning)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp onion flakes (or 1 large onion chopped)
3 cloves minced garlic or 2 tsp minced from jar (but I used more)
1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
16 oz bag baby carrots
2 potatoes cubed
16 oz beef broth
8 oz can tomato sauce
¼ cup flour (or 2 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp water added at end)
Measure ¼ cup flour and 1 tbsp herbes de Provence. Place the salt, pepper, onion flakes, paprika, and bay leaf in a small container.
Turn on the Crock Pot Express (or Instant Pot) to sauté. Add the olive oil and beef to the pot. Begin cooking the meat, then add in the flour and herbes de Provence, stirring well. Cook the meat until it is browned.
Add in the seasonings, beef broth, tomato sauce, garlic, carrots, potatoes and Worcestershire sauce, stirring well and scraping any bits off the bottom of the pot.
Before placing the lid on the pot, make sure the steam valve is closed.
Using the Soup/Stew function, set the time for 35 minutes. After the timer beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes (the timer will count up for you).
Using a long utensil, carefully open the valve release.
Stir well and enjoy.
As usual, I looked at several recipes and took pieces of the ones that I liked the best and that are easiest. I don’t care for celery, but you can add celery if you like, as well.
Tips and Tricks:
- If needed, cube the potatoes ahead of time and cover with water to prevent them from turning brown.
- Use baby carrots instead of slicing carrots.
- Use onion flakes in place of onions – or use frozen diced onions. No need to cut onions!
- An automatic can opener is a must-have.
- Use garlic that is already minced in a jar.
- If you can’t eat garlic or onion due to digestive problems, try asafoetida.
Why the Crock Pot Express?
After comparing the Crock Pot Express with the Instant Pot, I went with the CPE for two reasons. First, the pan in the Crock Pot Express is lighter (it’s not ceramic) and non-stick. And secondly, the lid seemed easier to get on and off in the Crock Pot Express.
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