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Friday, December 5, 2014

Slow-Cooker Beef and Bacon Stew

Slow-Cooker Beef and Bacon Stew
Raise your hand if you love baby showers! I really do; they're always so much fun with the games and the adorable little eensy-weensy clothes and the nibbles. But the truth is—I haven't been to one in years. I don't even remember the last one I went to. Apparently most of the people I know (local or family) have already had their babies.

So I will turn to my friends who live a bit farther, like the beautiful lady that we're celebrating today—Alyssa from Everyday Maven! Now, I feel like I've known Alyssa for a long time. In reality, it's probably been about three or four years. I don't remember exactly how we met, but it was through the world of food blogging. About two and a half years ago, I was a guest blogger at her site, and I shared a simple, delicious side dish of Arugula and Lemon Couscous. This was before Alyssa began her Paleo journey, and now I feel a bit guilty about the pasta, but she is gracious enough to leave it on her site.

Alyssa herself has actually been a guest blogger right here on All Roads Lead to the Kitchen a couple of times, as well. Two years ago she stopped by during the Twelve Weeks of Winter Squash winter squash! The next summer she helped me cool off during The Summer of the Popsicle with these Triple Berry Ice Pops. I love her style, and both she and her food are very approachable. One visit to her world and you'll feel the love for her family and for feeding them healthy food.

Slow-Cooker Beef and Bacon Stew
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) and Heather (All Roads Lead to the Kitchen) - Seattle, Sept. 2014But, the best thing of all was that after so many years, I got to give this lady a hug (real life). She's even sweeter and more stunning (if that's possible) in person. And she had the best baby belly going on.

Okay, sorry for the gushing. I'm just so happy to join with a great group of ladies today to throw Alyssa a virtual baby shower! We've put together a paleo menu in honor of Alyssa, and my contribution is this Beef and Bacon Stew. It's simple, it's healthy, and it's super easy because the crockpot does all the heavy lifting.

Now, I'm still a bit bewildered by the paleo diet. I basically get it, but then I find out something I thought would be paleo isn't, or vice versa. I guess bacon is a debated item by some people. But since I know that Alyssa isn't one of those people, I included in this dish.

Slow-Cooker Beef and Bacon Stew
This hearty stew is loaded with chunks of tender beef and veggies, and infused with the glorious flavor of bacon.
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Slow-Cooker Beef and Bacon Stew
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Keywords: slow-cooker soup/stew paleo nut-free sugar-free soy-free dairy-free beef carrots mushrooms onions American fall winter

Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 4 ounces bacon, cut into 1/4" stripes crosswise
  • 4 large carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 14 ounces peeled pearl onions (fresh or frozen)
  • 8 ounces button or crimini mushrooms, stemmed & quartered
  • 1/2 of a small red cabbage, cored & shredded
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
  • 2 pounds beef chuck or stew meat, cut into 1"-2" chunks
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (no additives)
  • 1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until done, ~10 minutes.

In the meantime, put the carrots, onions, mushrooms, cabbage, and garlic in the bottom of a large slow-cooker. Add the meat and sprinkle the salt and pepper over it.

Use a slotted spoon to add the bacon to the pot. Add up to a tablespoon of the bacon grease, as well (save the rest for another use).

Pour the tomatoes with their juices and the tomato sauce over everything, and give a gentle stir.

Put the lid on the slow-cooker and cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4-6 hours.

When ready to serve, scoop into bowls and scatter the sliced green onion over the top.

-slightly adapted from The Paleo Kitchen by Juli Bauer and George Bryant
Slow-Cooker Beef and Bacon Stew

Everyday Maven's Baby Celebration
Here's what everybody else is bringing to the #EverydayMavenBaby Celebration!