Spiced Braised Beef and Sweet Potatoes

Great slow cooker recipe for a cold day.  This was a little twist on beef stew that we liked a lot – I turned down the heat on it by cutting the cayenne in half, so you could easily adjust however you like.  Made a lot – leftovers even better the next day.  This came from Real Simple, and though it suggested serving over couscous, we actually skipped that, just ate it as a stew, and it was great that way.

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  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into chunks
  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • kosher salt
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 cups baby spinach (1 1/2 ounces)

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the beef, potatoes, tomatoes (and their juices), onion, apricots, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water.

Cook, covered, until the meat is tender, on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Add the chickpeas to the slow cooker and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach. Serve with the couscous and sprinkle with the almonds.

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