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Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles

Flavorful beef stew, loaded with vegetables, seasoned with herbs and balsamic vinegar, and served over cornbread waffles, makes for a fun and effortless slow cooker meal!

Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles | FiveHeartHome.comDo you ever get stuck in a rut when it comes to dinner menu planning? I have to admit that I do. Making those tried and true recipes is often just easier than trying something new. There’s little thought required in cooking an old standby, since I practically have it memorized, and there’s no question as to how kiddos will react to their dinner offerings, since I already know.

Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles | FiveHeartHome.comBeef stew is one of those meals for me. It involves quick and easy prep and does the rest of work on its own in the crock pot. It incorporates lots of veggies, which is always a win. And I can predict which kid will clean her plate, which kid will pick out all of the green beans, and which kid will do his best to avoid the carrots.

Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles | FiveHeartHome.comBut the downside? It’s kind of boring. So I recently decided to take my favorite beef stew recipe and jazz it up a bit, lending depth of flavor with extra dried herbs, balsamic vinegar, and tomato paste.

The results? Ordinary, predictable beef stew got a little kick! And to make if even more exciting (or at least as exciting as one can get when referring to beef stew), I decided to bake up my typical cornbread muffins in the form of cornbread waffles instead.

Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles | FiveHeartHome.comI don’t know about you, but I pretty much can’t eat beef stew without first crumbling cornbread into it. But cornbread waffles? Well, not only are they fun to eat, and not only do they serve to soak up the juices of the stew, but they also bake up in no time.

Think about it…standard cornbread, baked in a pan or skillet or muffin tin, takes anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes to bake. But what if you’re in a hurry?

Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles | FiveHeartHome.comWell, first you pull your Homemade Cornbread Mix out of the pantry and mix it up in a flash. And then you pour your batter into the waffle iron, which results in piping hot cornbread in mere minutes. And then your family oohs and aahs over waffles for dinner. Because waffles make any meal more fun, right? Right.

Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles | FiveHeartHome.comWinter’s not over yet, so there’s plenty of time left to whip up a pot of hearty, comforting beef stew. And don’t forget the cornbread waffles! This meal will warm up your toes and it’s good for your soul…and what more can you ask of a dinner than that?

Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles

6 to 8 servings

Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles

Flavorful beef stew, loaded with vegetables, seasoned with herbs and balsamic vinegar, and served over cornbread waffles, makes for a fun and effortless slow cooker meal!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Salt, to taste (optional)
  • Cornbread Waffles (prepared with Homemade Cornbread Mix and cooked in a waffle iron)

Directions

  1. Place meat in the bottom of large slow cooker. Top with garlic and sprinkle with dried herbs, bay leaves, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour beef broth over meat, and add balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, potatoes, carrots, green beans, corn, and peas to crock pot. Give everything a stir and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.
  2. About an hour before serving, use a fork to stir cornstarch into 3 tablespoons of water and pour in crock pot, stirring to distribute. Replace lid and allow broth to thicken slightly as stew finishes cooking. Season with salt, if needed, and additional pepper, to taste.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

Instead of beef broth, I typically use water plus Organic Better Than Bouillon Beef Base.

Additional salt may be unnecessary in this recipe depending on how salty your beef broth is.

If you have fresh parsley, you may add 1/4 cup or more in the last hour of cooking time (in lieu of using dried parsley earlier in the recipe).

http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/02/12/slow-cooker-balsamic-herb-beef-stew-with-cornbread-waffles/

Other make-your-own mixes and pantry staples…

(Click on the photo to be taken to the recipe)

Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix ~ make it in bulk for a quick pot of chili any time of year without the preservatives of store-bought mix | FiveHeartHome.com

Homemade-Taco-Seasoning-by-Five-Heart-Home_700px

Homemade Cornbread Mix ~ tastes better than store bought mix and avoids the artificial ingredients | FiveHeartHome.com

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix ~ just add butter, eggs, and vanilla for fresh cookies in a flash! | {Five Heart Home}

Best Ever BBQ Sauce | {Five Heart Home}

{5-Minute, 5-Ingredient} Homemade Caramel Sauce ~ a jar of this makes a perfect gift! | {Five Heart Home}

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

This post may be linked up to House of Rose, 4 Little Fergusons, and these fabulous parties!

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Comments

  1. Yum! This makes me wish I had a waffle maker! And I agree, new recipes are so much harder to get my kids to enjoy. It seems like every night we sit down for dinner, my 5 year old son asks, “have we had this before?” If I say “no” he immediately says, “I don’t like it.”

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      They definitely find comfort in what’s already familiar to them, don’t they, Kathy? ;) Glad to know I’m not the only one who struggles with this!

      And since you don’t have a waffle maker, I wonder if you could make cornbread pancakes instead? I guess that might be a little weird, but just a thought… ;)

      Happy Valentine’s Day!

  2. Never heard of waffles with beef stew but it certainly looks good! Brilliant!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Melanie! This was my first time to try this particular combo. I’ve made cornbread in the waffle maker to accompany chili before, but I thought it would be equally tasty with beef stew. :) Hope you enjoy it if you get to try it!

  3. Yum! This looks delicious and with the cornbread waffles- I bet it’s amazing! Pinned and I can’t wait to try this:)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks for the sweet comment and the pin, Shannon! Beef stew just isn’t complete for me without cornbread, and this was such a fun way to include it. :)

  4. What a fun idea Samantha, I love it! I need to get my head outside of the box and use my waffle maker for something other than waffles. :) I can’t wait to try this!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Lisa! I hear you…I’m just now starting to use my waffle maker for things other than waffles…and it really is a handy and versatile appliance in doing so! I appreciate you stopping by! :)

  5. And you are officially a genius! If only I had a waffle maker…but I needed to tell what a great idea I thought you had…thanks for posting it on Mandy’s Recipe Box. One day, I WILL have a waffle maker and I WILL try cornbread waffles and chilli and I WILL think back to your blog. Thanks!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Christine! I hope you enjoy your cornbread waffles once you get a waffle maker! I’m brainstorming what else I can eat them with aside from chili and beef stew… ;)

      • Hmm, how about a twist on Mexican Albondigas Soup…serve the albondigas on top of the waffle and a bowl of the broth next to the waffles?
        And for some reason my brain won’t let me not share the idea of sweetening up the cornbread and making honey butter ice cream or honey pecan (which would be slightly buttery)I love honey and butter on cornbread…I wonder if that idea is too weird…

        • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

          Yum, Christine…I like the way you think! And I particularly admire your dessert-like ideas for these cornbread waffles! Treating them like a sopapilla might be good, too?

  6. Oopsy! Maybe it was from the Recipe Critic’s link up:p

  7. GREAT idea to serve this over waffles…such a fun way to liven up beef stew!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Cathy! My kids really got a kick out of this one…it takes “breakfast for dinner” to a whole new level. ;)

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