Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

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  • Beef Stew is one of the most iconic comfort foods to make! This version has beef and vegetables in a lavish stew. Your whole family will love this easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe!

    bowl of beef stew with text overlay for facebook

    While traditional beef stew is common in the winter months, I like making it all year round. Slow cooker recipes are a life saver when it’s hot out, because I don’t need to turn on the oven to make dinner. Plus, they save me so much time on busy weeknights.

    What Type of Beef To Use

    Beef Stew used to be considered a peasant food. Made with the cheapest cuts of beef and cheap root vegetables. Today however, it has seen a revival to sophisticated and gourmet status.

    The beauty of a beef stew comes in the hours of simmering, which tenderizes even the most stubborn pieces of chuck. The slow cooker is the perfect place for this magical process, as is the pressure cooker, if you have one.

    However, I prefer to use a nice cut of beef from the get go. This makes my beef stew meat super tender with maximum beef flavor. Tender chunks of beef simmering in broth with a rich flavor and loaded with veggies makes for a great recipe any day of the week.

    You can prepare in the slow cooker, although it goes directly against my “10 minutes in the pot” rule because you will have to brown the meat, or prepare it in a Dutch oven on the stovetop.

    beef stew in a ladle

    Beef Stew Ingredients

    The ingredient list looks lengthy, but I assure it is mostly kitchen staples.

    • Beef – You can either use lean beef strip, chuck roast or stew beef cubes. Make sure the fat is trimmed and the meat is cut into cut into bite-size pieces.
    • Extra virgin olive oil – Although this is a slow cooker recipe, we do need to brown the meat first. This helps in that process.
    • Yukon gold potatoes – This is my favorite type of potato to use for this crockpot beef stew, but feel free to use red potatoes or russet potatoes if you prefer.
    • Fire-roasted tomatoes – You will find this in a can near the rest of the canned tomatoes. Some crock pot beef stew recipes call for tomato paste or tomato sauce, but I love the flavor that fire roasted tomatoes give.
    • Garlic – Fresh minced garlic provides the best flavor here.
    • Sweet onion – I kept my onions cut into larger pieces for a hearty, stew-like texture. Check this out to cut an onion without crying.
    • Red wine vinegar – We just need a touch, but it adds just enough acidity to your dish. Balsamic or apple cider also work. A small amount brightens the whole dish.
    • Worcestershire sauce – I use this stuff in everything! I love the flavor and it really rounds out the flavors of this stew. It’s robust, so a little goes a long way. Soy sauce can be substituted.
    • Bay leaves – A bay leaf provides so much flavor, but can be taken out before serving if you don’t want the leaf showing.
    • Oregano – I like to use fresh oregano for maximum flavor. Just make sure it is finely chopped.
    • Salt and pepper – More often than not, I reach for coarse Kosher salt when cooking. And freshly cracked black pepper tastes best for this slow-cooker beef stew recipe.
    • Smoked paprika – You can use regular paprika if that’s all you have. I just love the robust smoky flavor that smoked paprika provides.
    • Low Sodium Beef broth – The flavorful broth provides a good base for this classic beef stew recipe. I highly suggest using low sodium or homemade beef broth to control the saltiness.
    • Cornstarch – We need a way to thicken our easy beef stew recipe, and a cornstarch slurry is just the way to do it.
    overhead shot of bowl of slow cooker beef stew

    How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew

    1. Prep the meat. Dab the beef very dry, which will help with the process of browning.
    2. Brown the meat. In a large enameled pot or other large skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil. Add beef when hot, turning until outsides are brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. If needed, work in batches to not crowd the meat.
    3. Add remaining ingredients (except arrowroot). If preparing in a slow cooker, add all ingredients through beef broth. If using a Dutch oven, do the same but into the Dutch oven.
    4. Cook. For slow cooker, cook on high for 3 hours. For Dutch oven, simmer, covered for the same amount of time.
    5. Make cornstarch slurry. Skim the top of your stew for any fat drippings. Ladle out 1/2 cup of broth only and whisk with arrowroot or cornstarch. Stir into stew mixture and cook for an additional 10 minutes. If you desire a thicker stew, add more arrowroot.
    6. Serve. Ladle into bowl and garnish with Maldon sea salt and serve with a slice of crusty bread!
    collage of how to make slow cooker beef stew

    Variations

    • Try adding a cup of red wine for an extra layer of flavor. You can substitute it for one of the cups of beef broth.
    • You can add any veggies that tickle your fancy. Some options include: green beans, sweet potatoes, pearl onions or frozen peas.
    • Play around with the seasonings and fresh herbs. Fresh rosemary or Italian seasoning are great complements to the savory flavors of this hearty slow cooker beef stew.
    overhead shot of beef stew in slow cooker

    Storage and Freezing

    You can store any leftover beef stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Letting the flavors marinate overnight sometimes makes it taste better the next day!

    You can also store it in the freezer for up to three months.

    collage of slow cooker beef stew for pinterest

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    overhead shot of bowl of slow cooker beef stew with text overlay for pinterest
    straight on shot of slow cooker beef stew
    Print Recipe
    4.56 from 9 votes

    Slow Cooker Beef Stew

    Beef Stew is one of the most iconic comfort foods and this version features tender beef, onions, potatoes, fire roasted tomatoes in a rich herb filled stew. This recipe can be made in the slow cooker or Dutch oven.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time3 hrs
    Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
    Course: Main Course, Main Dish, Soup
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: best beef stew, slow cooker beef stew
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 371kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    • Blot beef dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
    • In a large enameled pot or other non-stick pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil. Add the beef when hot, turning until outsides are brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
    • Add the cooked beef, potatoes, broth, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, onion, oregano, vinegar, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and paprika to a slow cooker or large Dutch oven. Stir and cover.
    • For a slow cooker, cook on high for 3 hours. For Dutch oven, simmer on the absolute lowest heat your stove has covered.
    • Skim the top of your stew for any fat drippings. Ladle out 1/2 cup of broth only and whisk with the arrowroot or cornstarch. Stir into stew mixture and cook for an additional 10 minutes. If you desire a thicker stew, add more arrowroot.
    • Ladle into bowl and garnish with a flakey sea salt.
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 889mg | Potassium: 1150mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 17.7mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 8.2mg
    image of jessica formicola

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