Crockpot Stew: Plug it, and forget it!
To make a crockpot stew is to rest assured dinner will be fantastic, at the cost of very low maintenance:
This crockpot stew, like every crockpot stew, may look deceptively rustic and monochromatic, but the smells that waft through the kitchen all night (or all day) can’t lie: It tastes just as heavenly as it smells. Perfect for Shabbos lunch too: luxurious new-age cholent with none of the beans nuisance? Environmentally safe, as my son calls it with a wink? I’m there!
I do love beef cheeks for a long cooking dish like crockpot stew, as it is ideally lean and gelatinous, and produce a voluptuously silky sauce. I only ask that you add no salt, as beef cheeks can err on the salty side, and contain enough salt to amply season the whole dish.
It has become a real pleasure to cook with chestnuts!
now that they are so widely available in their peeled, roasted and vacuum-packed form; try Gefen Brand Chestnuts, easy to locate in supermarkets and health food stores.
This crockpot stew was so outstanding exactly as it was that I for once ask you to leave every ingredient as listed, before you go ahead and tweak it on another day: this lineup just can’t be topped, and forbidden rice is easy to find in health food stores and online.
- 4 pounds beef cheeks, thoroughly rinsed, left whole
- 2 cups forbidden rice (also called black rice)
- 1 1/2 pounds oyster mushrooms, diced
- 1 cup peeled vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts
- Optional: 2 dozen tiny new potatoes
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6-8 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 good pinches saffron
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot. Set on medium-low in the morning for dinner, or at night (for example, just before Shabbos Candlelighting) for dinner. Transfer the stew to a platter, liquids and all. Break up the beef cheeks into smaller cubes with a fork. Serve hot. Makes 8 ample servings.