Slow-Cooker Onion, Leek and Potato Stew with Sausage

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So this all started from a post I made on my personal Facebook page. Technically this isn’t “Southern Cuisine,” but I had so many people request the recipe I figured the best place to put it would be here.

I made this in a 6.5 quart slow-cooker. If yours is smaller, you’ll probably have to adjust things down for size. Given the fullness of my particular cooker, I’d say that it would be a pretty tight squeeze to fit it all in a 5 quart.

Slow-Cooker Onion, Leek and Potato Stew with Sausage

1.5lbs Yellow Potatoes, skin on, cut into a large dice

1 Large Yellow Onion, roughly chopped

3 Leeks, tops removed, chopped

1.5lbs Cased Smoked Sausage, cut in one inch pieces

2 cups Chicken Broth

1tbsp Salted Butter (for beurre manié)

1tbsp All Purpose Flour (for beurre manié)

2 Dried Bay Leaves

1tsp Dried Thyme Leaves

1tsp Dried Parsley Flakes

1/2tsp Dried Ground Sage

1/2tsp Dried Garlic Powder

Total cook time will be 8 hours on the “low” setting. Once the prep work is out of the way the next big step will be layering the ingredients in the slow cooker and letting it do the hard work. We will have to come back twice during the cooking process. Once at the 4 hour mark to stir, and then again at 6 hour mark to add our beurre manié and stir for the last time. (Don’t know what a beurre manié is? We’ll get there.)

The layering:

Place the potatoes on the bottom, and try your best to get them all in a single layer. On top of that, add the leeks, dried herbs and dried garlic. Next go the onions, and on top of them, the sausage. Once that’s all in, pour in your chicken broth. The results should look something like this:

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Turn your slow-cooker on low, and walk away.

At the 4 hour mark, we need to stir. But only the onions, leeks and sausage. Try to leave the potatoes undisturbed on the bottom.

In the interim, lets talk about the beurre manié we’ll need in 2 hours. A beurre manié is a mixture of flour and butter that’s used to thicken soups or stews. (Think roux, but without the cooking-ahead part.) In this case, we’re actually going to treat it like any other ingredient and cook it along with the other items in the pot. So, we’ll need to give it sufficient time to cook to get any “raw flour taste” out of the finished product. To make one, combine equal parts (in this case 1tbsp each) of flour and butter until you get a dough-like paste. We’ll then take this paste and incorporate it a bit at a time into our stew just before the next stir.

I’ve included an image below to give you an idea of what a beurre manié looks like.

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Beurre manié” by Alec VuijlstekeFlickr: Beurre manié. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Once we hit the 6 hour mark, the onions and leeks will have released quite a bit of liquid (see image below,) so this will be the perfect time to add that beurre manié and let it do it’s work.

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It’s best to do this sparingly, while focusing on getting it to dissolve completely in the liquid. Take the paste and dab in a little bit at a time until you’ve got it all in. Don’t add a new piece of paste until the other has melted away. Try not to knock all of your other ingredients around too much while you’re doing all this, either. Everything has had time to soften a bit now, so stirring too vigorously could turn it all in to mush.

Once you’ve gotten all the beurre manié in, give the pot, including the potatoes, one good stir. Try to fold the potatoes out of the bottom without tearing the softer or smaller bits to pieces.

And that’s all she wrote on this one! Come back in two hours, fish out the bay leaves, and you should have a fairly thick stew that looks similar to this:

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Thanks for reading!

TST

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