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Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Stew

2 lbs boneless chuck cut into cubes
¼ cup flour
1 large yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3-4 Yukon gold potatoes cut into chunks
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups beef broth
1 large bay leaf (if you want)
½ cup red wine (if you want)

  • Coat beef with flour and brown in frying pan. I like to mix light olive oil with a dash of extra virgin.  The light olive oil is good for sautéing and the extra virgin gives it body.
  • Once the meat is brown, add it to the slow cooker
  • Brown the garlic, and onion in the beef drippings until light brown.
  • Pour a tsp of the broth into the frying pan and scrape the drippings and add to the slow cooker.
  • Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker. Set on high for 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours.
  • Serve with biscuits and/or mashed potatoes or if you’re adventurous, you’ll try the Stuffed Arepas (cheese stuffed corn cakes)

This next recipe is from my forthcoming book ON THE LINE (new hardcover in March)

Stuffed Arepas

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 cups precooked corn meal (Marsarepa) (Goya makes it)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon soft butter divided
  • 12 slices mozzarella cheese


  • In a medium bowl mix the Marsarepa, water, salt and butter. Knead with your hands for about 3 minutes moistening your hands with water as you work.
  • Form 6 small balls with the dough. Place each ball between 2 plastic bags or parchment paper and with a flat pot cover flatten to about ⅓ inch. The arepas should be about 5” in diameter.
  • Add the butter to a nonstick pan over medium heat. Place the arepas in the pan, and cook about 3 minutes on each side, until a crust forms or until they are golden brown.
  • Split the arepas using a knife as you would do with an English muffin and stuff with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese.
  • Place the stuffed arepas back on the skillet over medium high heat and cook 2 minutes on each side or until the cheese is melted and serve immediately.