Rainy Day Crockpot Beef Stew

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Category : Main Dishes, Recipes

Photo of Rainy Day Crockpot Beef Stew One of the special delights of eating local food is trying new ingredients or using familiar foods in new combinations.  I haven’t cooked much with sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes. I tried using them in a cottage pie recently, and was delighted with the flavor. This time I tried using them in a hearty beef stew.

The flavor of sunchokes is distinctive, slightly sweet, and fairly strong. It blends better with other flavors if the sunchokes are cut into small pieces. For this stew I recommend a quarter-inch dice.

This is a variation of a traditional beef stew that uses a lot of mushrooms and a thick wine sauce. Locally raised stew beef cooks up tender and tasty.

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting until it’s done while you smell the hearty fragrance wafting through the house from the kitchen!

  • Prep Time:
    45 min
  • Cook Time:
    5-7 hours
  • Ready In:
    5-7 hours and 45 min
Servings: 4-6 servings
  • 1-1/4 lb beef stew meat (Island Grown Farmers Co-operative, Lummi Island member)
  • 2 tsp clarified butter (homemade)
  • 1/2 lb sliced mixed mushrooms (Twin Sisters Mushroom Farm, Acme)
  • 2 tbsp rye bread crumbs (Breadfarm, Bow, Skagit County)*
  • 1 cup red wine (Legoe Bay Winery, Lummi Island)
  • 3/4 lb sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), diced into 1/4 inch cubes (Osprey Hill Farm, Acme)
  • 1 Yukon gold potato, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick (Hopewell Farm, Everson and Broadleaf Farm, Everson)
  • 4 shallots, chopped (Hopewell Farm, Everson)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (Uprising Organics CSA, Bellingham/Acme)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped (home garden)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (home garden)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (optional) (see article on Exceptions)
  • 1/2 cup water

* Note: When I made this recipe, I was trying to avoid eating wheat for awhile so I used a 100% rye bread made in Skagit County just south of the Whatcom County border. Otherwise I would have used a rye bread made by Avenue Bread in Bellingham.


Brown the beef in clarified butter in a large skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Then put in crockpot.

In same skillet, cook mushrooms until their liquid is released and it reduces to a glaze, about 5 or 6 minutes. Sprinkle rye bread crumbs over top. Don’t stir for about 15 seconds, then stir and cook for another half minute. Add 1 cup wine, and cook about 3 minutes until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Move the mixture into the crockpot.

Put sunchokes, potatoes, shallots, garlic, rosemary, thyme, water, and salt (if desired) into crockpot and stir to mix all ingredients.

Cook covered on low heat until beef is fork tender, about 5-7 hours.

Serving Suggestions:

Try with Roasted Potato Wedges and Mixed Salad Greens (DEVine Gardens, Lynden and Custer) with Yogurt, Chives, and Sorrel Dressing and Easter Egg radishes (Broadleaf  Farm, Everson). It may seem odd to use potatoes as a side dish when there’s a potato in the main dish itself, but the potato in the stew acts mostly to balance the flavor of the sunchokes. It’s an important ingredient overall, but not a primary flavor itself.

Food Sources:

Terra Organica, Flora and Cornwall, Bellingham
Community Food Co-operative, Westerly and Cordata, Bellingham
The Islander Grocery, Lummi Island
Artisan Wine Gallery, Lummi Island
Uprising Organics CSA, Bellingham/Acme
Home garden

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