Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe with Olives, Garlic, Capers, and Tomatoes

Beef Stew with Olives and GarlicI have so many cookbooks that invariably a book I really like gets pushed to the bottom of the pile, and later I rediscover it. That happened to me over the weekend with The Olive and the Caper, a book about Greek Cooking written by Susanna Hoffman. I saw a recipe in this book called "Beef with Olives and 100 Cloves of Garlic," and it was the inspiration for this recipe. I didn't actually use 100 cloves of garlic, but I did use quite a bit, so this is a stew for people who really like the flavor of slow-cooked garlic. If you've never had garlic that's been cooked for a long time, it's sweet and delicious, and I loved the way this turned out.

Besides the garlic, there are Kalamata Olives, capers, bay leaves, and a touch of red-wine vinegar adding a lot of flavor to the tomato-based stew. I ate some tonight and after it was gone, I had the thought that a bit of feta cheese crumbled on top of this would taste great. Luckily I still have more stew left! Keep reading for the recipe, and more garlic-loving ideas from other blogs.

I had a big jar of Christopher Ranch Garlic Cloves in the fridge, and I used a full cup of garlic in this stew. These were really big garlic cloves, so I cut each one in about four slivers.

I also had an enormous jar of Kalamata Olives, and I used a cup of them too, cutting each one in half lengthwise.

Here's how the stew looked when I put it all in the Crockpot and got it started. This smelled wonderful while it was cooking!

Crockpot Beef Stew with Olives, Garlic, Capers, and Tomatoes
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe adapted from The Olive and the Caper by Susanna Hoffman.)

2-3 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into pieces about 1 inch (I used 2 1/2 cups beef cubes)
1-2 T olive oil (for browning beef)
1 can reduced-sodium beef broth (or use 1 1/2 cups homemade beef stock)
1 cup garlic cloves, peeled and cut into lengthwise slivers
1 cup Kalamata olives, cut in half lengthwise
2 T capers, rinsed
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice (I like Muir Glen organic tomatoes)
1 small can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 T tomato paste (optional, I added it when I tasted the stew after a few hours)
3 T red wine vinegar
fresh ground black pepper to taste

(I used a small 2 1/2 Quart Crockpot for this recipe. You could also cook it on top of the stove in a heavy dutch oven type pan over very low heat.)

In heavy frying pan, heat 1 T oil over medium-high heat and brown half of beef cubes, turning several times so it's well browned on all sides. Put beef in crockpot and brown the rest of beef, adding more oil if needed. Put second batch of browned beef cubes in crockpot. Add beef broth to frying pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and simmer until beef broth is reduced to 3/4 cup. Add reduced broth to crockpot.

While beef is browning, sliver garlic and cut olives. Add garlic and olives to crockpot along with rinsed capers, bay leaves, oregano, canned tomatoes and juice, tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, and pepper.

Cook on high for 2 hours, then taste for seasoning and add tomato paste if desired. Cook another 1-2 hours, until meat is tender and flavors are well blended. (This could also be cooked on low for 6-8 hours.) Serve hot.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Served alone, this stew is a perfect main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one, it would taste great with Mediterranean Salad with Hummus Dressing or Spinach Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans and Feta Cheese. For phase two or three, you could eat this over Uncle Ben's Converted Rice or serve it with some 100% whole wheat bread.

More Garlic Loving Recipes from Kalyn's Kitchen:
Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds
Roasted Broccoli with Garlic
Cheesy Zucchini with Garlic and Parsley
Grilled Halibut with Garlic Cilantro Sauce
Sauteed Broccoli with Garlic, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan
Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese
Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta, and Two Herbs
Roasted Asparagus with Garlic
Sauteed Scallops with Garlic
Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary

Delicious Recipes for Garlic Lovers from Other Blogs:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
44-Clove Garlic Soup from Smitten Kitchen
Garlic Bread from Simply Recipes
Garlic-Lover's White Bean Soup from Farmgirl Fare
Steamed Shrimp with Garlic Oil from Rasa Malaysia
Garlic Brandy Prawns from Steamy Kitchen
Roasted Garlic from Closet Cooking
Sichuan Tofu with Garlic Sauce from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Roasted Garlic, Artichoke, and White Bean Spread from Gluten-Free Bay
Ratatouille over Garlic Butternut Mash from The Village Vegetable
Linguine with Garlic and Olive Oil from Cookbook Catchall
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  1. That sounds delicious Kalyn! I make a garlic curry with an obscene amount of garlic because I loved it's slow cooked flavour so much. I also love to roast it whole and then squeeze the cloves out - yummy!

  2. Thank you for the recipe and for mentioning the crockpot size that you used. Many people don't know that this can make or break a dish. I have three different sizes for this very reason. This recipe has been put on my to-do list.

  3. That looks just delicious! I think it's time to bring out my crockpot. You won me over with the slow cooked garlic and olives. Yum!

  4. I'm always looking for great recipes for my slow cooker. I love the combination of beef and olives.

  5. I do not have a crockpot but I make these kind of dishes in a large baking dish on slow heat in the oven. Works well. I simply love garlic and this is going to be a wow dish!

  6. Anything with Kalamata olives and capers is ok by me... and I've never had them in a stew! Sounds like a good choice for our next rainy day.

  7. That looks so good! I love to use my crockpot and am always looking for a great new recipe. Gotta try this one!

  8. Thanks for the link, Kalyn - I appreciate it! The linguine recipe is one of my favorites. My post desperately needs a better photo - this will be my reminder to get on it!

  9. I'm just getting started on south beach and your site is very helpful. However, the link on the right to "a month of phase one recipes" does not work. I keep getting the snack post. Is that link no longer available?

  10. Very glad to hear people are liking the sound of this recipe. I just loved it. (Plus anything that cooks without being watched and makes your house smell good gets my attention.)

    Angak, the link for "a month of South Beach recipes" is a link for the monthly archives of January 2007, when all the recipes I posted for the month were phase one. The snack post is simply the last day of the month, but if you scroll down farther, you'll get a lot of phase one recipes. You can also search for phase one by using the recipe archives; every recipe link in the archives lists the phase it's suitable for.

  11. ooo... I LOVE kalamata olives and have never thought to pop them into a stew. What a nice twist!

  12. Wow, I've never would have thought to put olives and capers in a beef stew. Very interesting, I will have to try it.

  13. Hi Kalyn, am the silent and honest reader from London,i love your recipes.is there any personal suggestion from you to replace meat in this recipe or any recipe which involves meat like chicken,lamb,beef......??

  14. Now THAT is one awesome stew! I gave my crockpot to my daughter (somehow I rarely used it), and I know she'll love this recipe.

    Thaks for sharing.

  15. Rasshmi, I'm not an expert at cooking with meat substitutes like tofu or tempeh, but I do think portabella mushrooms would taste great in this as a substitute for the meat. It would be a slightly different flavor, but equally good, in my opinion.

    Hmm, maybe I'll try making it like that myself, sounds good.

  16. Nice looking stew Kalyn! Isn't amazing how much garlic mellows when it's been braising for awhile.

  17. I love garlic and red wine and this recipe is *perfect* for me!

  18. Beef stew with olives and capers sounds really tasty.

  19. Yum - I made something very similar last winter and loved it. This is perfection!

  20. Yum! Thank you for this recipe! I received a crockpot as a gift, but have no clue what to do with it. This looks like it would be a winner. :)


  21. Wow, looks delish!! I just found you and I'll be back!!! °Ü°

  22. I know there are people who think you have too many cookbooks if you can loose and forget about them only to rediscover them. I on the other hand happen to think it's a great joy in life.
    This looks really fabulous Kalyn!

  23. This looks delicious. I love using the crockpot for flavorful dishes with minimal muss and fuss. This is a must try. Thanks

  24. Looks great! I have this cookbook too, and haven't used it in a while. Thanks for reminding me of it!

  25. I made this over the weekend, and it is one of the best dishes I have ever had. It tastes like the food I had in Italy! Thanks for such a great recipe! One thing I changed was subbing fresh oregano for dried, and I think it was an improvement.

  26. I have never met a crock pot dish that had this much flavor. I would totally use this as a spaghetti sauce with ground beef. Or just palin with out the stew meat. Wonderful!!!!

  27. Anonymous and Nicole, thanks to both of you for the nice feedback. Love the idea of subbing fresh oregano too.

  28. I just found this recently, absolutely love it. I made it a few weeks ago and finally finished off the leftovers out of the freezer. Now I'm back for another round!

    The garlic and olives really just meld into an amazing flavor combination. I've been debating how to tweak it a bit, haven't quite decided on what route to take though. I'll check back in if I do something interesting with it.

    Thanks for the tasty!
    Eat your beer

  29. Oh my goodness, this is fantastic. I figured anything with a cup of garlic had to be good, and this certainly did not disappoint. This was absolutely fantastic, and has definitely earned its place in my regular crock pot rotation. It made the entire house smell heavenly. If all "health" food tasted like this, I wouldn't need to diet!


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