Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Slow Cooker Southwestern Beef Stew Recipe with Tomatoes, Olives, and Chiles

Slow Cooker Southwestern Beef Stew with Tomatoes, Olives, and Chiles
This Slow Cooker Southwestern Beef Stew with Tomatoes, Olives, and Chiles can be perfect for anyone who's eating Paleo.

I have a couple of friends who have embraced the Paleo Diet, so I've been learning more about it.  Happily, there's a lot of overlap between my South Beach Diet way of eating and Paleo, so it's not that much of a stretch for me to try to feature recipes occasionally that will work for my Paleo friends.  What *can* be challenging is that everyone who does Paleo seems to have their own rules about what they can or can't eat!  That's why when I redesigned my blog and added the new row of tabs to categorize the recipes by more diet types, I made a tab that says Can be Paleo.  Under that tab you'll find recipes that most Paleo eaters will be able to enjoy, like this Slow Cooker Southwestern Beef Stew with Tomatoes, Olives, and Chiles.  And even if you're not eating Paleo, I bet you'll still like this a lot if you like Southwestern flavors!

It did take me a couple of tries to get a version of this that I felt was blog-worthy, and this final recipe is one where you can cook the meat all day while you're at work and then add the rest of the ingredients and finish the recipe when you get home, which I know is helpful for a lot of slow cooker fans.  I ate this with a big dollop of sour cream, (which is definitely NOT Paleo), and it was delicious.

I started with a chuck roast, trimmed most of the fat, and cut it into cubes that were just over an inch.  You'll need 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of beef cubes.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the beef well.  Don't rush this step; it takes about 10 minutes to get it all nicely browned.

While the meat browns cut up an onion into 3/4 inch pieces.

When the meat is browned well, add it to the slow cooker, add one can of beef broth (or homemade beef stock) to the pan and simmer until it's reduced (to concentrate the flavor.)

You want to reduce the beef broth or stock by half, or until you have 3/4 cup concentrated broth.

Add the browned beef, reduced beef broth, 1 cup salsa, chopped onion, ground cumin, Mexican oregano and crushed garlic to the slow cooker and let it simmer on low for 6-8 hours.  (Slightly longer won't hurt.)

When you get home you'll have a lot of flavorful sauce and ultra tender cubes of meat.

Drain a can of olives and cut them in half.  Add the olives to the slow cooker with the diced green chiles and crushed tomatoes and cook an hour or two on high.

Serve hot, with pieces of lime to squeeze on at the table.  And I do recommend the sour cream if you're not eating Paleo!

Slow Cooker Southwestern Beef Stew with Tomatoes, Olives, and Chiles
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)

I used my Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe, but it could have been slightly smaller.

1 1/2 - 2 lbs. lean beef cubes, cut just over an inch square (I used a 2 1/2 lb. chuck roast and trimmed off all the fat.)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion chopped into pieces about 3/4 inch
1 can (14 oz.) beef broth or homemade beef stock, simmered to reduce to 3/4 cup
1 cup salsa (I used Pace Picante Sauce Medium)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Mexican oregano (or regular oregano will probably be okay)
1 T crushed garlic (from a jar is fine)
1 can olives (6 oz. drained weight) drained and cut in half
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles (not jalapenos unless you like it really spicy)
1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
fresh lime slices to squeeze on at serving (optional)
sour cream for serving (optional)

Trim the visible fat from the meat and cut into pieces just slightly over an inch across.  (For South Beach Dieters, the guideline is less than 10% fat.)  Heat the oil in a large heavy frying pan and brown the meat until all sides are nicely browned, about 10 minutes.  Don't rush this step because browning creates flavor in the finished dish.

While the meat browns chop the onion into pieces about 3/4 inch across.  When the meat is well-browned add it to the slow cooker and pour the beef broth into the frying pan.  Turn the heat to high and simmer, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the broth has reduced by half  to 3/4 cup. 

Add the reduced broth, chopped onion, salsa, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, and crushed garlic to the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours (or a little longer won't hurt.)

Turn slow cooker to HIGH.  Drain the olives and cut in half, and add them to the slow cooker with the diced green chiles and crushed tomatoes.  Cook 1-2 hours longer.  Serve the stew hot with pieces of lime to squeeze in (and sour cream if desired.)

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South Beach Suggestions:
This recipe would be a good choice for all phases of the South Beach Diet or any other type of low-glycemic eating plan.  It's also suitable for low-carb diets, and can be Paleo if you don't use the sour cream. 

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Beef in the Slow Cooker:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Slow Cooker Red Chile Beef ~ From Scratch to Plate
Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Tex Mex Pot Roast ~ The Perfect Pantry
Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef for Tacos ~ Elly Says Opa!
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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  1. What's not to love about this dish? I might even cook the beef overnight on a Friday or Saturday night, then finish the stew in the morning for lunch or dinner that day. And I might add a wee bit more hot chili -- but that's just for me! Thanks for linking to one of my recipes, too.

  2. Lydia, it could be as spicy as you like! Great idea to cook overnight too.

  3. This sounds right up my alley. I love southwestern flavors.

  4. Sounds wonderful. I'm going to make this on a day when we can watch football all day and eat this for both lunch and dinner.

  5. Kalyn - this looks like such a wonderfully hearty stew for the winter - I've never used black olives in stew, but sounds like a great idea.

  6. Thanks Jeanette. I have to confess I'm kind of a freak for olives. I could eat them in everything, but they really did complement the other flavors in this!

  7. I had a wonderful no-bean chili a few weeks ago and I was so inspired. This looks even better, with the big chunks of meat. I love Pace picante too. One of the best on the shelf imo.

  8. Can't wait to try this! I'm a former South Beacher who has converted to Paleo, so I love that your blog has evolved in this direction!

  9. Nicole, so glad you like the Paleo ideas.

  10. Hi Kalyn, this recipe worked like a dream. My husband loved it , I served with the fresh squeezed lime, sour cream on top and warm sour dough bread. I will not change a had wonderful, full favors.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  11. So glad you loved it as much as I did!

  12. I want to use my crockpot more but just don't have the time in the morning to prepare things the way they should. Can I do the browning and prep the night before and just pop it in and start cooking it the next morning?

  13. Crystal that will work just fine for this recipe; hope you enjoy!

  14. I am so glad I told my good friend about your blog. We cook together often and both enjoy your food. She made this for my birthday last night and it was just delicious! I need to thank you as well as her. Happy New Year.

  15. I religiously follow a low carb diet. The salsa is something I would stay away from in this recipe. 1 cup would amount to 16 - 20 carbs alone depending on the brand. I think you can accomplish the same flavor result by using a can of Rotel diced tomato w/chili's. That would cut the carbs in half compared to salsa. Otherwise it sounds very good.

  16. Tony, the Pace Picante Sauce I used has 24 carbs in the one cup of salsa. For a recipes that makes 4-6 servings, that doesn't seem extremely high in carbs for me since there is nothing else in the dish with any significant carbs, but of course you are welcome to use any ingredients you prefer.

  17. How would I cook this on the stove and not in a crock pot?

  18. I can't really give a recipe for stovetop cooking just off the cuff, since I've never made it that way. But in general you would use more liquid for cooking on the stove, and cook at the lowest simmer. I'd love to know what works if you try adapting it.


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