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Yeah I know, I know…it’s freaking MID AUGUST…and you’re thinking wow, she’s doing a slow cooker recipe?  Huh??  Well, we’re not in the middle of a scorching heat wave here in Seattle (believe me, we DO get them occasionally, however), and I was craving to try something new.

So I blew the dust off my Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast slow cooker recipe book.  A very cool Christmas gift from my folks a few years ago.  In fact I remember it all too clearly now.  A few years ago my refrigerator crapped out after a very short 8-year lifespan.  And I got a gift card from the nice people at Sears as I paid cash for my new fridge (that was one hard-working debit card that week I tell you!).  So I decided to hop on the newly-awakened slow cooker rage and get one of my own.

I’ve tried several recipes in this cookbook and I’ve always been pleased. And I’m really excited about what’s cookin’ here at chez fivenineteen right now, as the townhouse is smelling heavenly.  Most of my cooking tends to be in the Italian/Mediterranean domain (plus those amazing soup recipes from various parts of South America – search this blog for “soup” and you’ll find a ton), so it’s fun doing a southeast Asian-style recipe for a little variety.

Indonesian Beef Stew – serves 6-8

  • 1/4 C canola oil (60 m.) 
    3 lb (1.5kg) boneless beef chuck, cut into 2″ (5 cm) cubes
    1 chopped yellow onion
    2 C (250g) unsweetened, shredded or flaked dried coconut
    1 T light brown sugar
    1 T ground coriander
    1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    4 C (1 l) coconut milk
    Steamed rice for serving

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the beef and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is no longer red and the onion has softened, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the shredded coconut, brown sugar, coriander, cumin and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper. Continue sauteing until the meat and coconut are browned and the spices are fragrant, about 5-7 minutes longer. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.

Add the coconut milk to the frying pan, raise the heat to high and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Bring the coconut milk to a boil, and pour it in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat setting for 4 hours or the low heat setting for 8 hours.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle the stew over steamed rice and serve.

Fivenineteen notes:  I used olive oil instead of canola oil. And as this recipe was new to me and I don’t have a lot of experience buying larger cuts of meat like chuck steaks, I opted for a 1.5 lb boneless size.  I reduced the spices down just slightly and used just one can of coconut milk (which is just under two cups.)  Be sure to shake the can before opening and be careful when emptying it into your pan as it will contain a mixture of milk and cream and will come out a little chunky and splashy sometimes.

This recipe is SUPER EASY to prepare – 15 minutes or so and then let the slow cooker work its magic!

The slow cooker I use is here.  There are lots of cool, newer models where you can sear and brown right in the slow cooker itself before switching to slow cooker mode.  Given I don’t do a lot of slow cooking this one is great and the 3.5 quart size is just right.  The lid and ceramic insert easily fit in the dishwasher for cleanup too!

Buon appetito!

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