I tend to do things quickly — sometimes too quickly — in an attempt to save time and be more efficient.
So you’d think I’d use my pressure cooker more often. Faster meals, less time, more efficient.
But instead, I cling to my trust crock pot, a slow cooker, emphasis on “slow.”
I love to make fall-off-the-bone shoyu chicken or simple pot roasts in this contraption. Dump all the ingredients in, turn it on, go about my daily life and come home to a kitchen filled with some delicious aroma. It’s like dinner cooked itself.
So last night I pulled out my crock pot, a gift my mom had given to me years ago. I decided to make my favorite Hawaiian-style beef stew.
Hawaiian-style beef stew is really not the best name for this dish. This style has a tomato sauce-based broth — which has nothing to do with traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Still, this brand of stew — hearty, with chunks of meat, veggies and potatoes — is hugely popular in the Islands and can be found at just about any plate lunch shop or lunch wagon.
And it’s super easy.
Here’s the step-by-step, with the recipe below:
My crock pot
Hawaiian-style beef stew
Using a crock pot
1 pound of stew meat (I used tri-tip steak)
1 medium onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 large potatoes, chopped
1 14-ounce can beef broth
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce plus a can of water
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste (after it cooks)
Plug in crock pot.
Cut up steak into bite-size chunks and brown in olive oil. Put meat, including the drippings, into the crock pot.
To that, add chopped onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. (You can add green peppers, too.) Then add the remaining ingredients.
Potatoes can be added before you start cooking or about 10 minutes before you turn off the crock pot, if you want your potatoes to be firmer.
Do NOT add pepper until AFTER the stew has cooked.
Cook for about four to six hours.