Slow Cooker Hearty Ham & Beef Stew
Updated: Aug 19, 2019
This stew was RIDICULOUSLY good. I mean CRAZY good. I mean - I make soups and stews all the time -- but sometimes you hit the jackpot!! Even my hubby exclaimed, "WOW, this is REEEEEEALLY good!" You have to go make this. It is SUCH a great winter dinner. Everything in this stew is seasonal and can be gotten locally!
Go make it. NOW. And then invite me over for dinner. ;)
Almost everything in this recipe was from either Deer Run Farm or Fall Line Farms. I have really enjoyed buying fresh farm food through Fall Line farms. It is so great to be able to do all my market shopping online and be able to purchase from multiple local farms simultaneously - and then have it delivered to a single dropsite!
I have been a regular of St. Stephen's farmers market for the past 5 years. But with the weather getting colder and the vendors moving inside, there is less selection. I had heard about Fall Line Farms a while ago, but never tried it until the week of Thanksgiving when I ran out of eggs!! Literally no one in Richmond had pastured eggs. I tried everywhere. And I cannot bring myself to buy regular store-bought eggs. When I tried Fall Line Farms, I was not disappointed! I not only got pastured eggs for an AMAZING deal from Misty Morning Sunrise Farms, but I also got all my other Thanksgiving shopping done too! Without leaving the house. Except to pick it up in one fell swoop. :) Win Win!!
Here is the recipe...
3 Tbs. pastured lard*, for frying (either home-rendered or from Fatworks) 2 quarts of beef stock* with the fat (homemade OR this brand from Thrive) 1 small head of cabbage (I got mine from Fall Line Farms) 4 large carrots, sliced chunky 2 medium onions, chopped Several springs of Fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. of dried) 1 tsp. dried oregano or 1 Tbs. Of fresh
freshly ground black pepper
*I used beef stock and lard homemade from bones and pork fat from Deer Run Farm
The secret to the amazing flavor of this recipe is this: BROWN the ham!! Those sweet, caramelized flavors are absolutely outstanding! Heat a heaping spoonful of lard in a cast iron skillet. Chop up the ham and fry it until it begins to brown. While it is browning, chop the cabbage and add it to your slow-cooker. Add the beef stock to the slow cooker.
(A note on slow-cookers: Many brands of slow-cookers, including "Crock-Pot," have been found to leech lead into the food. :( The Hamilton Beach brand that I use is one of the only ones found to be safe for slow-cooking-- I have two of these and LOVE THEM!)
Now, back to the recipe....:)
Once the ham is nice and browned, add it to your slow-cooker and then start sauteeing the ground beef hamburger and the chopped onions. Add about a teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt and a couple turns of ground pepper to the meat and onion mixture. Cook until the meat is cooked and the onions are translucent, and then add to the slow-cooker along with the sliced carrots, thyme, and oregano, and the minced garlic.
Cook for 6-8 hrs. on low or 4 hrs. on high. (I think I cooked mine for about 2 hrs. on high and then 4 hrs. on low...:D ...helpful, I know, right?? ;)
About 30 min - hour before serving, add the kelp noodles.
The ham was SOOOOO tender and falling apart and the flavors were really really divine. I will be making this one again!! It tasted so different than any soup I've made in a while - and it is not like the ingredients were that different. I really think the browned ham was the secret ingredient!!
Let me know how you like it. :)
Hope you enjoy!
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