The olives are delicious but the stew is so much more. Thanks to the browned meat, garlic, capers, fresh herbs, and a healthy dose of balsamic vinegar, this stew explodes with flavor! It does take some browning prior to throwing it in the crockpot but I think it's worth the extra step to get the maximum flavor.
With the weather turning chilly, this is a belly warming meal you'll enjoy coming home to.
Mediterranean Beef Stew w/Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
1-2 T olive oil
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 onion, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
2 lbs. trimmed and diced chuck steak, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 cup beef stock
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 can black olives, cut in half or fourth
1/2 cup garlic cloves, cut in thin slices
2 T finely chopped fresh rosemary (or use 1 T dried cracked rosemary)
2 T finely chopped fresh parsley (or use 1 T dried parsley)
1 T capers (or more)
fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste
Heat small amount of olive oil in heavy frying pan, add mushrooms and saute several minutes, until starting to brown. Add mushrooms to slow cooker. Add a little more oil, then saute diced onions about 5 minutes, or until starting to brown. Add mushrooms to slow cooker. Add a little more oil again, then add diced beef and brown well, about 10-15 minutes. Don't rush the browning step. Add beef to the slow cooker.
Add 1 cup beef stock to the pan and simmer a few minutes until slightly reduced, scraping off all browned bits, then add that stock to the slow cooker. Add diced tomatoes and juice, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, olives, garlic, rosemary, parsley, capers, and a little black pepper. Stir gently to combine, then put lid on Crockpot and cook 6-8 hours on low. Season to taste with salt and more fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.
Source: Kalyn's Kitchen