Beef Stew Crock Pot Recipe Notes
- Dont cut the cubes of beef too small or theyll fall apart before being able to soak up all the flavor from slow cooking all day.
- Brown the beef! Browning the beef before adding in all the other ingredients is key! Forming a nice crust on all the pieces of beef locks in flavor. This extra step is so worth it!
- You can peel your potatoes if you want, but for baby new potatoes, its not necessary. If they are on the extra large side, you might want to quarter them.
- Chicken broth can replace the beef broth if thats all you have, although the overall taste will not be as deep.
What Kind Of Meat To Use In Beef Stew
I recommend using a boneless chuck roast to make beef stew. You can also use beef stew meat, but the stew meat that you buy pre-cut at the grocery store is often lower quality and less tender than buying a larger cut of beef and cutting it into smaller pieces yourself.
Look for a boneless beef chuck roast that is about 2 pounds total. A little bit of fat marbled throughout the meat will add flavor, but you should cut off any excess fat when you cube the meat.
What Kind Of Red Wine To Use For Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Look for a dry red wine for Crock Pot beef stew such as:
- Cabernet sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
Tips: Use whatever dry or dry-ish red you have open. If you dont have any open, use something nice, but dont break the bank here. A 10 dollar bottle of red from Trader Joes or similar is great here!
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Tools For This Recipe
– Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.
- Kitchen tongs make it really easy to delicately handle the meat to place it into the pot for searing it and to remove it afterward.
- I have this Crock Pot which allows you to sear meat right on the stove-top. It also automatically switches to warm once the cooking time is up.
- Kitchen Bouquet Browning + Seasoning Sauce – Adds an even richer darker color.
Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe In Crock Pot
Why we love this crock pot beef stew so much is that its so easy to feed our family a home cooked meal. Just add all the ingredients in the slow cooker and the you return, the delicious aroma fills the house. Dinner is served and everyone will devour the amazing stew in minutes. Best of all, there will be leftovers for lunch or make it into a pot pie!
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What Type Of Beef Is Best For Slow Cooker Beef Stew
This homemade beef stew recipe is best when made with lean cuts of beef that dont contain as much fat. The longer the beef simmers and cooks, the more tender it will be thanks to the breakdown of connective tissue. You can learn more about why tougher meats are better for stews here. Tip: make sure you trim all the beef of excess fat before using!
Do You Need To Brown The Beef Before Putting It In The Slow Cooker
I basically kept Mom’s recipe the same, with one exception. Mom doesn’t usually brown the beef before adding the rest of the ingredients to the pot. You can certainly skip that step in my recipe too, but giving the meat a nice sear in the skillet first is an extra step that is well worth the time. It gives the beef a rich flavor and color that you wouldn’t otherwise get if you just tossed everything into the slow cooker at once.
Once the beef is browned, transfer the meat to the Crock Pot. Add all of the remaining ingredients , cover and cook on LOW for about 8 hours or on HIGH for about 4 hours. It’s done when the beef is fall-apart tender!
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Making Slow Cooker Beef Stew In Advance
If you want to make beef stew ahead of time, my suggestions are to get it to the point where everything is in the slow cooker, and youre about to slow cook it for 4 to 8 hours.
At that point, you can refrigerate it and then do the slow cooking the next day noting that itll take longer to slow cook because youre starting with very cold ingredients.
Alternatively, you can get everything in the slow cooker and then transport it to a destination.
For example, this is handy if youre going to someones house and are asked to bring a dish. You can help the hostess with other cooking, cleaning, and organizing during the 4 hours it slow cooks.
Ingredients In Slow Cooker Beef Stew
This easy slow cooker beef stew recipe is filled with savory flavors, hearty potatoes and veggies to make it filling and delicious. Heres what youll need to make it:
- Beef chuck: youll need about 3 pounds of beef chuck, which will end up about 2 1/2 pounds once you trim the excess fat off.
- Beef broth: you can use beef broth or beef bone broth in this recipe.
- Dry red wine: my recommendations are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.
- Tomato paste: youll use some tomato paste to help thicken the broth and to give it a nice tang of sweetness.
- Worcestershire: the wonderful addition of Worcestershire gives this beef stew recipe an incredible savory umami flavor.
- Balsamic vinegar: helps to give the beef stew a little tang and sweetness.
- Fresh herbs: both garlic and thyme are used!
- Vegetables: onions, carrots, potatoes and peas are forever my favorite.
- Flour: this helps to thicken the stew once its done. You can use regular, whole wheat or gluten free all purpose flour.
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How To Make Beef Stew In The Crock Pot 2 Ways
8 HOURS ON LOW:HIGHLY RECOMMEND: Chuck is a tougher cut of meat. While it may be convenient to have supper on the table in 4 hours, your meat will not have enough time to break down, leaving it dry from seizing up and pushing the juices out. Cooking chuck stew meat on low makes all the difference!
4 HOURS ON HIGH: A convenient option for a last minute crockpot meal using a higher temperature for a shorter duration.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe
For all you meat-and-potatoes people, youre going to absolutely be in comfort food heaven with my slow cooker beef stew. However, this isnt just any meat and potatoes recipe.
Slow cooker beef stew has thick chunks of tender beef, buttery soft potatoes, mixed vegetables, and the stew broth is absolutely exquisite.
If one can call stew broth upscale, this stew is just that courtesy of the beef broth, red wine, Worcestershire and soy sauces.
The stew is seasoned and perfumed with herbs and spices including garlic, onions, rosemary, thyme, and smoked paprika.
During the slow cooking process all of these flavors marry to form a rich, deep, and hearty flavor profile that will impress your family, friends, and anyone who tries this beef stew.
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Vegetables For Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Not only do you have some flexibility in what vegetables you use in this beef stew recipe, you there is some flexibility in how long you cook them. My family strongly prefers our veggies on the more firm side. Because of this, I add my carrots and potatoes mid-way through the cooking time. This is totally a personal preference.
Also, see those nice, bright green peas? I thaw frozen peas and add them right before serving. I strongly dislike mushy dark green peas. They remind me of canned peas from my childhood. Thawed frozen peas will cook very quickly in your beef stew, so you can add them in a few minutes before serving if desired. Make sure they are thawed, if you add frozen peas to the beef stew crockpot, youre going to bring the temperature down quickly.
Tips For The Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Ive provided some tips already such as low and slow is my referred cooking method rather than cooking faster on the high heat setting.
Dont lift the lid of your slow cooker and check on the stew too often. Every time you do that, youre allowing heat to escape, and it will lengthen the cooking process. Leave it alone.
If youre cooking on high, I wouldnt even bother checking until at least 6 hours have passed since it simply wont be anywhere near done.
Red wine adds to the richness in flavor that classic beef stew has and unless you have very good reason, dont skip it.
If youve never heard of Kitchen Bouquet thats okay. Its been around forever although isnt terribly common other than maybe in your grandmothers kitchen.
Its optional in my slow cooker beef stew recipe, but if you add a few drops 10 minutes before serving, it adds a nice rich brown color and makes the overall stew look more appetizing. It does very slightly enhance the flavor as well. Keep it on hand for gravies and stews if you want to darken the color a bit.
Whats not optional is the butter in beef stew, especially at the end.
There are only 4 tablespoons used in the whole recipe, two of which are used when you brown the onion, and the remaining two tablespoons at the end. It really makes the stew broth silky smooth and lends such a comfort food touch.
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Ingredients For Slow Cooker Stew
Ingredients for this beef stew CrockPot recipe are beef chuck or stew beef, root vegetables like potatoes, carrots and fresh and peas or beans.
The best meat to make beef stew is chuck steak! Youll have to cut it into cubes yourself. Chuck is a tough, but full-flavored meat that comes from the shoulders and front end of the animal. It is perfect for Crock Pot Beef Stew or pot roast . It retains its rich, beefy flavor and becomes succulent and fork-tender under the low and slow heat of a crock pot.
Flavorful Slow Cooker Beef Stew: What really makes a stew a stew is the savory herbs, thickened beef broth and seasonings. To give the dish even more complexity, consider making CrockPot beef stew with red wine. Substitute a cup of a hearty dry wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for a cup of the beef broth and use it to deglaze the pan you used for browning the meat. You could add in some button mushrooms too.
Best Ever Slow Cooker Beef Stew Ingredients:
Simple ingredients make this quick throw together for a wonderful family meal.
- Beef Chuck: Cut the beef into the same sized chunks for even cooking.
- Carrots: Use large carrots and cut them up instead of baby carrots. They bring more flavor.
- Baby Potatoes: If you cant find baby potatoes, cutting up golden or yellow potatoes will also work.
- Garlic: Fresh Garlic will bring more depth to the recipe than jarred garlic.
- Beef Broth: You can use beef bouillon dissolved in 3 cups hot water as well.
- Tomato Paste: Adds a nice richness to the broth.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Helps bring out that nice meaty flavor.
- Italian Seasoning: Its the perfect combination of spices for this tasty dish.
- Salt & Pepper: Add to taste.
- Flour: Makes the broth nice and rich and thick
- Peas: Brings color and nice brightness to the stew.
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Beef Stew Reader Tips & Questions
What cut of beef is in beef stew? The front shoulder, also called the chuck, is my preferred cut of meat to use. It has a nice portion of fat marbling that results in more juice and moisture. It requires a low, slow cooking temperature for a longer period of time to break down the collagen and fat. This method will produce juicy fork tender meat. Another inexpensive yet good option, when cooked slow and low, is the round and a rump .
When do I add the potatoes to the slow cooker? The potatoes are added at the start. Because potatoes are dense, they will need time to soften and will hold up while slow cooking. On the other hand, celery should be added towards the end.
Can I use beef stew meat? I prefer to cut my own stew meat using a chuck roast. Not only will you save money by cutting your own stew meat, but youll also control how much fat and connective tissue vs meat youre using. Cooked just right, the collagen-rich portions will add a richness to each bite of tender slow cooked beef, without a mouthful of unwanted textures. However, crockpots vary greatly. I have three myself and they pretty much all cook differently.
What can I serve with stew? A crusty loaf of french bread or baguette with a little butter is my favorite addition. Bread is perfect for soaking up the extra stew gravy. For more slow cooker recipes, try this Brown Sugar Crock Pot Spiral Ham, Mississippi Pot Roast recipe, or this Easy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast.
How To Make It
See recipe card at bottom of post for ingredient quantities and full instructions
Cut meat into 1-inch cubes, discard any large pieces of fat. Fat marbleized into the meat is fine!
Season beef with pepper, garlic salt, and celery salt. Toss to coat. Sprinkle flour over the meat and toss again. Sear the meat in batches for 45 seconds per side and transfer to the Slow Cooker.
Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and soften the onions and garlic, scraping up any meat remnants up from the pot. Add a splash of wine to help loosen if necessary. Transfer to the Slow Cooker.
Add all remaining ingredients except for the peas, corn starch, and 2 Tablespoons of cold butter. Heat on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, until the vegetables are softened and the potatoes are fork tender.
Add the peas during the last 15 minutes of cooking. To thicken, combine 1/4 cup cold water + 3 Tablespoons corn starch and slowly stir it into the broth. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Turn off heat and remove the bay leaves and rosemary stem. Add browning and seasoning sauce.
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What To Serve With This Beef Stew Recipe
- warm soft bread soaks up the juice nicely
- toasted bread is nice too if you like crispy bread
- Make a sandwich out of it using a soft hoagie loaf bread
- serve it on top of rice, couscous, quinoa or your favorite grain.
- Pasta is always a great way to add the stew on top of. From spaghetti to macaroni or your favorite pasta is delicious.
This slow cooker split pea soup looks fantastic! This recipe was originally published in 2019 and re-published in 2020 with updated video.
Faq And Tips For Making The Best Beef Stew In The Slow Cooker
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Leftover Crockpot Beef Stew
Leftovers will keep about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Can you Freeze Beef Stew: Youll also be happy to know CrockPot Beef Stew freezes really well, so make plenty for those quick-fix meal nights. Leave about an inch of headspace for expansion in plastic containers, and your stew will keep for four months in the freezer.
How To Make Beef Stew In The Slow Cooker
Making this slow cooker beef stew is easier than you think!
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