North African Beef Stew
3 T olive oil
3 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1” pieces [note: I only used 2 lbs and it was fine]
1 ½ t salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 t sweet paprika
1 t ground cumin
½ t ground cinnamon
3 C beef broth
One 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 C dried apricots, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ C golden raisins
2 T cornstarch mixed with
¼ C water
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle the meat evenly with the salt and pepper Add the meat to the skillet a few pieces at a time and brown on all sides. Transfer the browned meat to the insert of a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker
Add the onion and garlic to the same skillet and sauté until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, paprika, cumin and cinnamon and soften until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Deglaze the skillet with a cup of broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow-cooker insert. Add the remaining 2 cups of broth, the beans, apricots, and raisins.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, until the meat is tender.
Skim off any fat from the top of the stew. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine. Cover the slow cooker and cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Note: I didn't bother with the cornstarch and it was still great. I used just under 2.5 lbs of beef. Three pounds just seemed a bit excessive to me.