Lentils are a sometimes forgotten legume but have recently experienced a comeback due the fact that they are low calorie but are very nutritious. Lentils are about 25% protein, which helps in the building of all body tissue, particularly muscle. Moreover studies show that adding fiber to your diet can lower cholesterol, and the folate and magnesium in lentils are heart healthy. They digest slowly, which helps to prevent spikes in blood glucose, and give the feeling of fullness for a longer period of time.
This stew cooks in the slow cooker, and also freezes well for another day.
Slow Cooker Lentil-Beef Stew:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 5 cups beef broth
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 potato, cut into chunks
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup sweetcorn
- 2 teaspoons beef bouillon base
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- For the spice mix: In a small bowl, combine the basil, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, cumin and oregano. Mix until well blended.
- For the stew: Combine the flour with 1 tablespoon of the spice mix. Dredge the beef in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the grape-seed oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. In two batches, sear the dredged beef on all sides, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons grape-seed oil before the second batch. Transfer the seared beef to a slow cooker.
- Deglaze the saute pan with 1 cup of the beef broth, scraping up any browned bits left in pan; add to the slow cooker. Then, to the slow cooker, add the remaining beef broth and the carrots, celery, garlic, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, lentils, soy sauce, bouillon, pepper flakes, sweetcorn, thyme and bay leaf.
- Cover and cook on low for 12 hours or on high for 8 hours. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs before serving.