Introduction: The art of slow-cooking has been cherished for centuries, allowing the melding of flavors and the transformation of tough cuts of meat into tender, succulent delights. In this recipe, we’ll explore a timeless favorite – Savory Slow-Cooker Beef and Noodles. Originating from the heartland of the United States, this dish is a hearty, comforting classic that has warmed countless souls over the years.
1. Sear the Beef:
- Begin by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season the beef cubes generously with salt and pepper.
- Once the oil is hot, add the beef cubes in batches, ensuring they have enough space to brown properly. Sear each side until golden brown. Use tongs to turn them.
- Transfer the seared beef to the slow cooker.
2. Saute the Aromatics:
- In the same skillet, add the chopped onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Saute them for about 5 minutes until they become fragrant and slightly softened.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to saute for another 3-4 minutes until they release their moisture and start to brown.
3. Deglaze the Skillet:
- Pour in the red wine (if using) to deglaze the skillet, scraping up any flavorful bits stuck to the bottom.
- Add the tomato paste, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and beef broth. Stir well to combine.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
4. Combine in the Slow Cooker:
- Carefully pour the skillet mixture over the seared beef cubes in the slow cooker.
- Stir everything together to ensure even distribution of flavors.
5. Slow Cook to Perfection:
- Set your slow cooker to low heat and cover it with the lid.
- Let the beef and vegetable mixture cook for 6 to 8 hours, or until the beef is fork-tender and the flavors have melded beautifully.
6. Cook the Egg Noodles:
- About 20 minutes before serving, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cook the wide egg noodles according to the package instructions until they’re al dente.
- Drain the noodles in a colander and set them aside.
7. Serve and Garnish:
- Once the beef is tender and the flavors are well-incorporated, it’s time to serve.
- Spoon a generous portion of the savory slow-cooked beef and vegetables over a bed of cooked egg noodles.
- Garnish with freshly chopped parsley for a burst of color and freshness.
Historical Tidbit: Slow-cooker dishes like this one gained immense popularity in the mid-20th century as busy households sought convenient yet delicious meal solutions. The concept of “set it and forget it” was a game-changer, allowing families to return home to the delightful aroma of a home-cooked meal, much like this timeless beef and noodles dish.
So, there you have it – a step-by-step guide to crafting a comforting classic, Savory Slow-Cooker Beef and Noodles. This dish not only fills your home with a delightful aroma but also warms your heart with its rich, savory flavors. Whether it’s a family dinner or a cozy gathering of friends, this recipe is sure to become a cherished favorite.