This Beef and Potatoes au Chocolate is a very elegant slow cooker stew. Now “elegant” certainly isn’t a word I usually associate with slow cooker meals. Hearty, comforting, filling and warming are all words that describe slow cooker foods to me. But this stew somehow manages to be all of those things AND elegant. It’s a beef stew worthy of dinner guests. But will also do just fine for a relaxing Sunday evening at home.
There are a couple unique things in this recipe that elevate it beyond your typical beef stew. First and foremost, the chocolate. If you haven’t jumped on the red meat + chocolate bandwagon yet, I urge you to not wait a minute longer. Those two foods are just meant to be together. Well, technically I think chocolate is meant to be with everything, but that’s another blog post entirely. Bittersweet chocolate pairs exceptionally well with red meat, especially when combined with warming spices like cinnamon and cumin. Oh and don’t forget that pork + chocolate also equals amazing-ness. Check out my favorite pork tenderloin recipe here, which uses cocoa nibs and cocoa powder to create a flavorful crust.
Another thing I love about this stew is the meat is left is large pieces, instead of being cubed into small chunks. I think there is something very visually appealing about that when it’s served.
Make sure you have a large slow cooker for this meal. Mine has a 6-quart insert and it was basically FULL! Oh and when you are cutting up the vegetables here, don’t be afraid to leave them on the larger side. This will help the vegetables maintain their shape during the long cooking process.
Recipe slightly adapted from Gluten-Free Goddess
Beef and Potatoes au Chocolate
- For the Soup
- 4 cups low sodium beef broth, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 14 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced roasted green chiles (mild or spicy)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon agave
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 tsp. black pepper, divided
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 lbs boneless steak, trimmed of excess fat (ribeye or top loin works great here)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Special Equipment
- Slow cooker, 6-quarts or larger
- Warm 1 cup of the beef broth. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until it’s well incorporated. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3 cups of beef broth, the wine, tomatoes, chiles, raisins, bay leaves, vinegar, agave, the spices, herbs and 1/2 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Add the cocoa powder/beef broth mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Add the onion, potatoes, celery and garlic to your slow cooker. Drizzle the vegetables with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and stir to coat. Turn your slow cooker on high.
- Cut your steak into 8 equal sized pieces and season both sides with the remaining salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the meat on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per sides, working in batches if necessary. Transfer the browned meat to your slow cooker and lay it on top of the vegetables. Pour the liquid over everything.
- Cover your slow cooker and cook on high for about 5 hours. The stew is ready when the potatoes are tender and the beef is almost falling apart.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves. Ladle out about 1 cup of the broth and transfer it to a small bowl. Whisk in the corn starch to create a slurry. Add this slurry back to your slow cooker, stir gently to combine. Cover and let everything cook on high for another 10-15 minutes.
- Ladle the stew into big bowls and serve. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
1. I have not experimented with cooking this on the low setting. I’m guessing 10-12 hours on low would work fine.