Slow Cooker Beef Stew is a winter weather dream meal, even if you live in Texas. Throw everything in your crock pot and come home to a warm bowl of delicious.
Winter meals are my absolute favorite thing to prepare, especially easy ones where you throw everything in the crock pot. I always keep beef stew ingredients on hand, storing the beef in my freezer. Everything else is just the usual soup veggies plus broth, spices, and of course, wine (which is optional).
The difference between beef soup and beef stew is two-fold.
- Flour – be sure to dredge the meat in flour before searing it. This will make the stew thicker in the end. (You may also want to add a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it even more.)
- Wine – an optional ingredient, but it gives the stew a richer taste than a regular soup.
Here’s a list of the simple veggies I always keep on hand.
- potatoes – any variety will work
For this recipe, I used stew meat, which is just a roast that is already cut into bite-sized pieces. I’ve also used a whole roast and cut it up myself, or just cook it and shred afterward. Either method works and both are perfectly acceptable for this recipe.
I know that the instant pot is the current rage right now. Basically, it’s the reverse of a slow cooker because it cooks everything super quick. I’m still in test mode on the instant pot, but I actually love an all day, slow cooked stew.
The smells…aaahhhh. My mom made a ton of soups in her slow cooker, so I naturally associate the smells with her cooking. The BEST.
Try this soup recipe next: Leftover Ham and White Bean Soup
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Slow Cooker Beef Stew
For the stew meat:
- 2 pounds beef stew meat - in chunks (or just cut up a chuck roast)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the stew:
- 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 large onion - chopped
- 4 large carrots - chopped
- 4 large celery stalks - chopped
- 2 pounds yellow potatoes (or any variety) - chopped
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 cup red wine (something you like to drink) - optional
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- water - if needed to cover the stew
- 3 whole bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro - to serve
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, Italian Seasoning, thyme leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss the beef chunks in and mix with hands until it is well coated with flour mixture.
- In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Add 1/2 the stew meat and sear on one side for 1-2 minutes. Flip and sear on the other. Remove to slow cooker and repeat with remaining half of the stew meat.
- Put pan back on stove and add tomato paste and a 1/2 cup of beef broth. Stir around to get all the brown bits moving around. Add onion and sauté for a couple of minutes. Pour over the meat in the slow cooker.
- Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, beef broth, red wine, Worcestershire Sauce, bay leaves, and additional salt and pepper. Add additional water if needed to fully cover the vegetables.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 7-8 hours.
- Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro.
- Instead of stew meat, you could buy a whole roast and cut it up into chunks, or cook whole, and shred later.
- Red wine is optional.
- To thicken the stew even more, mix together a slurry of water and cornstarch, and let the stew simmer some more.
- Leftovers taste even better, and will last in your refrigerator for up to four days.