Can I get a show of hands for the Bombay House lovers out there?! Holllllaaaaaaa!
My husband and I fell in love with Indian food in Provo. Who would have thought Provo would be such a mecca for fine international cuisines? Indian, Thai, Vietnamese (I’ve heard), they do it all extraordinarily well. Especially during the fall, I’m always looking for opportunities to use different spices, like adding some Indian flavor. Have you heard of garam masala? It’s an Indian spice that may be difficult to find, but if your local grocery store fails, look up one of those little hole-in-the-wall Indian grocery stores and they’ll sell it in big bags. I think Sprouts or Whole Foods might also sell it in their bulk spices. If you really can’t find garam masala, you can definitely substitute common Indian spices, a little of some or each and adjust to your liking: yellow curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, tumeric, coriander, these all lend to great flavors.
So the great thing about this meal is that it’s kinda a two-in-one. Find the biggest chuck roast beef you can find (at least 3 pounds). It may be a little pricier than you’re used to paying for roast since it’s probably larger than usual, but it’ll be two meals. Perfect. Season the heck out of it, sear it on each side in a little oil on high heat, and crock pot it all day. Eat half of it for your dinner one night however you like it (mashed potatoes and corn please!) and save the other half for your freezer meal. Tender, falling-apart roast. Heaven.
So what makes this stew a fall stew? Roasted sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots, and onions. Roasted veggies are simply amazing in themselves, but add them to a stew to impart all of its carmely, roasted flavor is absolutely delicious. Sometime during the day when your roast is cooking, chop some veggies, drizzle with coconut oil or olive oil, and roast in the oven. They’re ready to freeze with your roast. Now you can freeze the roasted veggies and leftover roast two ways: either dump it all in a freezer-safe gallon ziplock bag (be sure to leave it upright so when you’re ready to use it, it’s not one flat pancake brick that won’t fit in your crock pot), or you can stick it in a tupperware container that again, is the same shape or smaller than your crock pot so you can just dump the frozen mass into your crock pot the day you’re ready to use it. No thawing required!
The day you’re ready to eat your freezer stew, dump the frozen veggies and roast into your crock pot. Pour in some broth, tomato paste, and spices, turn on low, and let it do its thing all day. If the spices or Indian flavor really aren’t your thing, this is seriously delicious without the spices and tomato paste. Just a little salt and pepper. And if you’re really on top of your game, you’ll also have some leftover tall, soft, flaky Buttermilk Biscuits you’ve frozen to pop in the microwave and serve with your fall stew and a side of butter and honey. Everyone I make these for raves about them.
Both my 3-year-old and my 9-month-old loved this. Welcome in fall today with this easy, warm, comforting, spiced stew.
- the largest chuck roast you can find
- red pepper flakes
- 1 T canola oil
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb. chopped butternut squash
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 lb. carrots, chopped
- 1/4 c coconut oil
- 32 oz. beef broth
- 1 t garam masala
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 can tomato paste (3 oz.)
- optional garnish with cilantro
- Season roast with salt and pepper heavily and red pepper flakes lightly, rub onto all sides. Heat 1 T canola oil in heavy frying pan over medium/high heat. Sear all sides of roast in frying pan until it has lightly browned and formed a crust (a couple minutes each side). Remove from heat and place in crock pot. Fill crock pot with water until it halfway covers the roast. Add envelope of soup mix to water. Cook on low 8 hours. Remove from crock pot and shred with two forks. Serve half for dinner one night, saving the remainder for your crock pot stew to freeze for another day's use.
- Preheat oven to 425'. Place sweet potato, butternut squash, onion, carrots, and coconut oil in bowl. Mix well. Pour out onto foil-lined jellyroll pan, spread out evenly. Roast about 30 minutes, or until vegetables have begun to brown/char.
- Place roasted vegetables and leftover (half) shredded roast beef into freezer-safe plastic baggie. If you have room, place baggie into crock pot bowl and place into freezer so that it takes the shape of your crock pot. If you don't have room, try to let it rest/freeze similar to the shape of your crock pot.
- When ready to cook, place frozen vegetables and beef into crock pot. Pour beef broth, garam masala, salt, and tomato paste over frozen vegetables and beef. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
If you'd like more of an earthy, simply beef stew, omit the tomato paste and spices. They give it more of a robust, Indian twist. Just do salt and pepper. If you can't find garam masala spice, you can sub whatever spices you have on hand that would lend to an Indian flavor: cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, tumeric, cumin, curry, etc. PRESSURE COOKER: Turn pressure cooker on, heat oil in pot and sear roast on all sides. Leave roast in pot, fill with enough water so that roast is almost halfway-covered with water, add soup mix, lock lid, set to cook 2 1/2 hours on meat setting. Use half for dinner one night and use the rest to make stew another night. Optional to not roast vegetables when making stew, and simply throw all ingredients in pressure cooker and cook on soup setting for 30 minutes either quick or slow release.