Beef Stew -or- My First Battle With Garbanzo Bean Flour

21 Oct

The Monday after finding out about Tre’s allergy was the first time I found myself trying to think of a WCRS-free dinner that I could throw together quickly. The scale of the adjustment has been overshadowed by the fact that Tre and I are knee-deep in grad school and the time commitment there further complicates the care required to cook in this new fashion. I took a mental inventory of all the recipes I knew of and tried to think of something easy that we could have for the rest of the week… and I recalled recently cleaning out my crock pot.

Crock pot dishes were meant for this time of year when it starts to get cold and everyone’s schedules begin to get more complex. This type of cooking has been my go-to for simple, filling dishes that can be tupperwared and stored for meals throughout the week.

The first recipe I pulled, of course, required flour for pan searing the meat and thickening the sauce. My first opportunity to ease in the garbanzo bean flour had presented itself. And of course, I would quickly learn that garbanzo bean flour does not respond quite the same as wheat flour.

Beef Stew: Adapted from Wegmans’ Country-Style Beef Stew

Finished product waiting to cook overnight in the crock pot.

  • 2 lbs boneless beef cut for stew
  • Garbazno Bean Flour for Pan Searing
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 slices Turkey Bacon, cut in 1/4-inch strips
  • 2-1/2 cups baby carrots, whole
  • 4 celery sticks, cleaned and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 extra small yellow onions, whole, peeled with root side removed
  • 10-15 extra small red potatoes, cleaned
  • 6 Tbsp Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 4 cups Beef Culinary Stock
  • 1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
You’ll Need: 6-8 qt crock pot


  1. Dust beef with Garbanzo Bean flour.
  2. Heat oil on MEDIUM in large pan. Add beef; brown, turning to brown all sides, 8-10 min. Remove beef; place in crock pot. Add bacon to pan and cook until crisp; place in the crock pot. Discard all but 1 Tbsp drippings from pan.
  3. Add carrots, onion, and celery to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4-5 min. Whisk* the remaining Garbanzo Bean flour in 1 cup beef stock until dissolved. Be sure to break up clumps. Pour mixture into the pan with vegetables, stirring to loosen browned bits on bottom of pan. Cook 3-5 min, until liquid is reduced by one-third, to a syrupy consistency; bring to simmer.
  4. Pour broth mixture over beef in slow cooker. Add potatoes and whole tomatoes; stir slightly.
  5. Cover; cook on HIGH for 1 hour and switch to LOW for 6-9 hours.

As you can see, the Garbanzo Bean flour just kind of sits there.... I'll be mixing it outside the pan next time.

*I made the mistake of just adding the Garbanzo Bean flour right to the cooking vegetables and quickly realized that it didn’t break up and dissolve quite the same way as regular flour. I think it’s best to pull it aside and break it up by whisking in beef broth before adding. That said, it worked very well for pan searing the meat!

You can see this recipe was adapted to suit both Tre and my allergies. I subbed in turkey bacon for normal bacon and obviously gave the Garbanzo Bean flour a shot, although it played only a minor role. This gave me some useful insight into how Garbanzo Bean flour behaves, being protein based and less soluble than wheat flour. I’m glad I sampled it in a less-intensive dish before diving in to a more involved recipe using something I’ve never worked with before.

The stew came out awesome for being such an easy recipe to make and it fed Tre and I for almost a week! As my first deliberate WCRS-free dish, I’m pretty pleased!


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