New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CrockPot Azorean Spiced Beef Stew Recipe

Day 309.

I got this stew recipe from my buddy Sean, and it couldn't possibly be any better. I love how I used many of the same staples in this as I do when I make traditional beef stew, but it tastes completely different due to the spices.

Sean used 2 pounds of beef, but I only used one, and stretched it with some potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes.

The Ingredients.

--1 lb beef chuck stew meat
--5-6 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
--2 potatoes, chopped in 1 inch chunks
--3 green onions, chopped
--3 cups beef stock
--1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in quarters, or 2 large chopped tomatoes
--1 cup baby carrots
--2 T kosher salt (1 used 1 T, but then added some more to taste near the end of cooking time)
--1/2 T red pepper flakes
--1 tsp all spice
--1 bay leaf
--1 tsp cumin
--2 cinnamon sticks

The Directions.

I used a 6 quart crockpot. Anything over 4 quarts will work just fine.

Put the meat into your crockpot. If you are using frozen meat, it's fine, just know it will take longer to cook and get tender.

Add the broth. Chop up the tomatoes, potatoes (ha, that rhymed!), green onion, and garlic. Throw it in.

Stir in the salt, red pepper, all spice and cumin. Float the bay leaf on top and add 2 cinnamon sticks.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for about 6. Stew tastes better the longer and slower you cook it.

The Verdict.

We ALL ate this! Hooray!

Very good stew. It has a fantastic cinnamony flavor, but it isn't sicky sweet or weird. It's just good. Very, very good.

I will be making this again. I like to buy stew meat in bulk, and it will be wonderful to switch up my stew repertoire.

thanks, Sean!
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Anonymous said...

Yum! I like the twist on traditional beef stew! more recipes like this!!

Rose Quartz said...

PERFECT! I was planning on making veg/beef soup today and now I can add some spices I never would have thought to add. Thanks!

Amie said...

The very reasons crockpots were invented by Benjamin Franklin, my friend, the very reason.


Erin P. said...

this sounds really good.
My crockpot ceramic shattered yesteray. I am so sad. But now I get to get a new one.

Niki said...

I'm looking forward to this. The tradition Azorean method for this is cooking the stew in a hole in the ground. This is such a traditional dish over there (and if you don't know enough about the Azorean culture- it's an excellent place to research and daydream about!)

Natalie said...


I am so happy right now!

My grandma (mom's side) made hers this way - but dad's side uses fennel in theirs, and doesn't like cooking with cinnamon...sorry, long story short - I'm so excited to try this and looking forward to the yummy flavor bringing back some memories.

Thank you.

Yaaaaay!!! :)

Anonymous said...

cinnamon in stew...i will love this. i love anything with cinnamon in it. reminds me of the old Jack Benny (remember him?) joke about his buying cimmaron buns. he was told he had the name wrong, but in the end he was right. they were cimarron buns, not cinnamon. so much for vintage humor. thanx for another enticing recipe.

Alina said...

I'd like to make this but I rarely buy cinnamon sticks. Any idea on how much ground cinnamon I could add for an equivalent flavor?


Michelle said...

I lived in the Azores for two years right after high school! (dad was in the Air Force) I saw Azorean in the title and immediately had to check this one out! "Niki" is right! It is the traditional way to cook stew...and is a great place to daydream about...One day I'll go back. :o)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Saw Sean's version of this, had it bookmarked, but hadn't yet gotten around to making it -- and now here you are with a crockpot version, so I have absolutely no excuse for not making it.

Kim said...

This is a great blog. I look forward to reading it more often in the future. I notice that when I use my CrockPot I end up saving money as well as the irritation of coming home from work and having to cook. Have a great day.

Karen said...

My grandparents were from the Azores, so this caught my eye and sounds great! I'm going to give it a try.

Lisa said...

Glad the whole family enjoyed it. I can't picture cinnamon in stew, although I do enjoy Cincinnati Chili, and that has cinnamon in it!

Melissa said...

This sounds very good!!

Di said...

Hey...I just posted a comment to the rousing crock-pot discussion on and included your link. I hope you get lots of new readers from it!

Sean said...

Yay! I absolutely should have noted that it was a crockpot-worthy dish. We've never made it that way (just stovetop and pressure cooker) but as you found out, it works just great in the slow cooker. Glad you enjoyed it! I'll tell my neighbor Felicia. She had some great feedback in the comments of my post too for future versions, i.e., flouring the meat and browning it to make a thicker, velvetier stock. Yum!

gourmandemodeste said...

My parents are from the Azores and this type of seasoning (cinnamon + hot pepper + cumin) is very common. Try it with pork or even kidney beans...makes for great taco fillers too.

JudyL said...

Made this last night for our lunch today and it is fantastic. Thanks so much!

gfcfmom said...

Isn't it like winning the lottery when EVERYONE ends up eating what you cook. It feels like all the stars and planets aligning perfectly. I am making a yummy beef stew tonight too!
Beef Stew with Onion and Red Wine

Andrew said...

I made this today and it didn't go so well. We were able to eat the meat and veggies but not the broth. I am not sure exactly what was off, but I believe the cinnamon was just too strong. I believe I followed the recipe except that I think I used 3.5 cups of beef broth.

Strah said...

I wasn't sure how much cinnamon I would want in this dish, so I used one stick instead of two and took it out after a couple hours. Doing that gave it just the right amount for my taste.
Excellent stew! I'm putting this one in regular rotation.

dana gwen said...

OK, I have to say that this is FABULOUS! I cooked it for a crowd and everyone wanted leftovers the next day...even my kids! It was very different but very good...cravable even! The only thing I would do differently next time is buy leaner meat. I just bought the package that said "stew meat" at the grocery store and there was too much fat. I would either buy leaner meat or brown it first...probably just buy leaner since I don't like to brown either:) Thanks for yet another favorite recipe! By the way, all my friends are dusting off their crockpots again since they have tasted all the yummy stuff I've been making in mine...I got a new one:)

Anonymous said...

I made this last night and it was pretty good. I halve all your recipes so I did half the spices, too, adding one cinnamon stick. I think next time I'll add only a half a stick.

Hubby LOVED it!

MoonGoddess said...

This is our new years day dish & I am loving you for posting the recipe.

Of course, nothing goes as planned around here typically, so mine is without the cumin (thought I had it & now realize I don't), used chicken broth after the guy got the wrong broth & had to leave out the tomatoes so that the guy would eat it! But its AWESOME!

& the house just smells yummy too!

Thank you.

elizabethx said...

I made this last night, except that our grocery store didn't have any grape or cherry tomatoes in stock. We live in the boonies and have an awful time getting stuff like that out of season. But I loved it, and have a little more sitting in a tupperware container next to me. Can't wait for the lunch hour. It was VERY spicy, and I was worried that my picky boyfriend wouldn't eat it, but he had a hunk of bread and butter with it and was happy as a clam.

Thanks, as always, for such great inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Here is a simple stew that we like:
1 pound "beef for stew" or other cut you like.
4 or 5 red or russet potatos, cubed about 1 inch.
4 carrots sliced as desied.
1 stalk celery, chopped.
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed.
1 large onion coarsly chopped (2 if you like).
freshly ground black pepper to taste (I like a lot).
a few shakes of white pepper
salt to taste.
2 cans condensed tomato soup (for stock).

Place vegetables in crock pot.
Put meat on top.
Season with salt & pepper.
Add soup, without any water
Stir to coat meat.
Cook on low about 6 hours or till veggies are done.
About half an hour before finished, add about 1/2 - 1 cup of frozen peas if you like.
Add frozen corn also if you like.

This is simple and tasty.
Ken - NM9P

Wendy said...

Just made this and it was so YUMMY! I dredged the meat in cornstarch and browned it before sticking it in the crockpot! I also only used 1 cinnamon stick and only 2 cups of broth. I am happy cause I think this was the perfect amount of broth, any more and this would have been a soup instead of a stew. The flavours were fantastic!! Thanks for the great recipe, definitely adding this to our rotation!

Beth said...

I made this yesterday, and LOVED IT. It is rather spicy, and it was a little too much for my 5-year-old. I stirred in a couple tablespoons of plain whole milk yogurt to tame the heat a little, and it was quite delightful that way. It turned it to a kind of Indian curry type deal. And for my toddler, I straied off the broth and replaced it with whole milk yogurt so it was thicker and more spoonable. Everyone ate it!

Ladiebug said...

OMG! I will never make another boring stew after making this tonight! My husband and daughter were licking their plates! I took the leftovers to my dad so he could have them for lunch tomorrow and he tasted it and ate half of it. The only thing I did differently was 1). My garl was dried up so I used powder, 2)I didn't have any tomoatoes so I used a can of diced. 3)it was soupy so the last hour I added a roux (2 tbs butter and 2 tbls flour in fry pan-then added a cup of the stew juices to it) )to thicken it up. It was delish and never will I say, "What!? Cinnamon in stew?"

Erin said...

This sounds like a portuguese stew that we ate when I was a child. The stew that I remember was called sopas (spelling may be wrong) and from what I recall was pronounced something like "soapish". I don't remember seeing potatoes, but there may have been. It was served in a bowl - first item into the bowl was a thick crusty slice of french bread, or it may have been sourdough, mint leaves on the bread and the sopas poured over the top. Delicious! Can't wait to try it in the crock pot - my mouth waters thinking of it!

Ruby said...

Hello - I've just recently found your blog and have shared it with some friends who are unable to enjoy gluten products. Thank you from them as well as myself.

I'll be trying this beef stew. Sounds wonderful.

I seldom buy stewing beef. I prowl the meat counter at the grocery store and snap up any steaks on sale and freeze them as for this use. I just throw in the whole frozen steak (or 2) and stew away. The meat easily chunks up later.

suz said...

I made this yesterday with venison steaks and it was so good my husband was speechless, reduced to groans of satisfaction. We loved the complex flavor created by the spices. Thanks for the recipe - it's now tagged as a favorite!

Sarah J said...

Super good. Just wish I had read the note by the salt closer. 2T was WAY too much. Otherwise I love it!

Kate R. said...

I made this yesterday! So tasty! I added a bit of red wine to it as well.

Kiki said...

Made this on the weekend, but instead of using potatoes and carrots, I used kohlrabi and sunchokes. Very delicious - the spices really made this different from traditional stews.

kelly said...

Is this from the Azcore Islands as in Portugal? My grandmother would make something similar with mint leaves and day old french bread. Yummy

anon said...

Both My Parents and my husband's parents are from the Azores Islands, and yes they are in Portugal. In Portuguese it is called Sopa De Carne(Soup of Beef) They serve it at the "Holy Spirit Festas". You take stale HARD French bread, slice it, put it in a bowl, throw a sprig of mint on the bread and ladle the soup over the top. YUM!! You don't have to use tomatoes, most don't, but they also throw in chopped cabbage that is YUMMY as well. You can add chicken instead of beef to this recipe and make a Canja de Galina (Chicken Stew).

Elaine Laskowski said...

This is in my crock pot right now, ccking overnight so it will be ready for tomorrow. We work overnight and eat our dinner early and sleep during the day. Can't wait to. Taste this.....

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