Spicy Beef Stew (Salsa Verde and Potatoes Version)

It’s a new year, welcome to my latest obsession… cooking!

For the inaugural voyage of my slow cooker, I decided to make a beef stew dish. Something flavorful, a bit spicy, and altogether yummy. Given my current location and predisposition, I chose a recipe with a little Mexican twist, including salsa verde, jalapenos, and a green pepper. Here’s the recipe:

1.5lbs extra lean stew beef, in 1 inch pieces
4 medium unpeeled potatoes, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 large onion chopped
1 green pepper, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3 jalapenos, chopped
2 heads cloves of garlic, minced
14.5 oz, stewed tomatoes
15-16 oz pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup salsa verde
1 tsp ground cumin

Pre-cooking, post-prep ingredients:
spicy beef stew ingredients

In the cooker:
Stew in cooker

Prep time is supposed to be 30 minutes. It took me a bit over an hour. I suppose if you are a garlic peeling maniac you could make it in 30, but I’m not at that level yet. (see also: update 1 below to explain my laggardly prep time)

1. Brown the meat, on medium heat in hot oil. Drain the fat and remaining oil.
2. Dump the ingredients in the slow cooker.
3. Cook! (8-9 hours on slow, 5-6 on high)

This should produce six servings. I recommend warmed tortillas or bread to go along with the dish (I went with a sourdough bowl loaf).

Total food cost: $18.00 ($21.00 with bread/tortillas).
Cost per serving: $3.00 – $3.50

If you don’t have a slow cooker, here’s a great one: Rival 4-qt 3040TCC

Update: it turns out that a clove of garlic is not the same as a head of garlic. Who knew? I share this with you because I’m an idiot I want to increase the level of knowledge around the world and one of those bits of knowledge is that the clove is one of the pods of a whole garlic thingy, not the whole thingy.

If you re-examine the first picture above… those yellow-white things? That’s more than two cloves. Just so you know.

Update 2: (pre-tasting, given update 1, above) I’m renaming tonight’s concoction Garlic Stew … with some other bits!!!!!!! (alternate title “The Garlic Steamer”)

Update 3: (post-tasting) Not too garlicky actually (and surprisingly; the salsa verde and tomatoes color the flavor more). 2 heads o’ garlic may be the new norm (we may need to wait for the work/sweat test tomorrow to verify, though).

Taste Test: Woooo! Flavorful, spicy, yum-may (note: I like my dishes quite spicy. That I didn’t feel the need to add any form of hot sauce or pepper flakes probably means the garlic was too strong for mere mortals those who aren’t so into teh hawt). The salsa verde adds a great tang and makes the stew. It still needs some salt and touch of pepper, though, and I’ll probably add some wine next time, but overall… it’s a 3-star or 4-star dish (out of 5).

Update 4: peel the potatoes. I’ve also been upping it to 2 lbs of beef, 2 cans of beans, and a can of tomatoes and one can of tomato paste. Plus more seasoning