We’re all about balance. We balance out weekend getaways—jetting from outdoor adventures to wine tasting to shopping excursions—with cozy weekday respites at home. Using ingredients from the Tualatin Valley, we balance a savory stew with sweet pumpkin cornbread. Our slow cooker recipe includes Bull Run Cider, which mellows the sweetness and gives depth as the stew, well, stews. We’re also sharing a semi-homemade secret: mixing local ingredients like pears into store-bought cornbread is an easy way to infuse Oregon flavors into dinner any night of the week.
Apple Cider Beef Stew
2 lbs of stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sized onions, chopped coarsely
2 ribs celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
about 10 small red potatoes, quartered
1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning (such as Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup Bull Run Cider’s Creekside Cranberry Perry
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen peas
Salt and ground pepper to taste
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (we used a gluten-free blend and it worked splendidly)
Lightly brown meat in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add tomatoes to the slow cooker, then the browned meat.
Add onions, celery, carrots and potatoes to the slow cooker.
In a small bowl, mix 1 ½ cups chicken broth, a ½ cup of cider and seasonings.
Add liquid to slow cooker, and mix.
Add the bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.
One hour before serving, add frozen peas, salt and pepper.
In a small bowl whisk together the flour and remaining 1/2 cup of broth, then add to the slow cooker.
Leave slow cooker on low setting for another 20 minutes before serving.
1 package cornbread mix (and oil, butter and milk that the directions call for; however, omit eggs)
½ can pumpkin puree (if you’re a real showoff, make your own after visiting one of our pumpkin patches)
1 Bosc Pears from Jim Dandy Farm Market, diced
Make cornbread according to package’s instructions.
Fold in pumpkin puree.
Stir in diced pear.
Bake according to instructions; bake time may need an additional 5 minutes due to extra moisture.
Enjoy the flavors of fall and the Tualatin Valley!