Best Beef For Slow Cooker Stew

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We’ve all had it: your best beef for slow cooker stew. It’s delicious, always tender and has that special flavor you just can’t seem to replicate. For me, it was pot roast. But what does make the best beef for slow cooker stews? If you love slow cooker recipes, get excited and read on! I have a list of the best beef for slow cooker stew that will make your cooking better than ever.

Slow-cooker beef stew

  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:20 mins
    • Cook:4 hrs
    • 4 hrs on high or 8 hrs on low
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

Cook beef stew in a slow cooker for really tender meat. Add button mushrooms or smoked paprika for extra flavour – it will be an instant family favourite

  • Freezable
NutrientUnit
kcal474
fat25g
saturates9g
carbs10g
sugars9g
fibre4g
protein48g
salt0.2g

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 3 carrots, halved and cut into chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ pack thyme
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cubes or stock pots
  • 900g beef for braising such as skirt, buy a whole piece and cut it yourself for bigger chunks or buy ready-diced
  • 2 tsp cornflour (optional)
  • ½ small bunch parsley, chopped
  • buttery mash, to serve (optional)

Method

  • STEP 1Fry the onion and celery in 1 tbsp oil over a low heat until they start to soften – about 5 mins. Add the carrots, bay and thyme, fry for 2 mins, stir in the purée and Worcestershire sauce, add 600ml boiling water, stir and tip everything into a slow cooker. Crumble over the stock cubes or add the stock pots and stir, then season with pepper (don’t add salt as the stock may be salty).
  • STEP 2Clean out the frying pan and fry the beef in the remaining oil in batches until it is well browned, then tip each batch into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hrs, or on high for 4 hrs.
  • STEP 3If you want to thicken the gravy, mix the cornflour with a splash of cold water to make a paste, then stir in 2 tbsp of the liquid from the slow cooker. Tip back into the slow cooker, stir and cook for a further 30 mins on high. Stir in the parsley and season again to taste. Serve with mash, if you like. Leave to cool before freezing.
RECIPE TIPS
QUICK HACK

If you are running short of time, you can put everything except the cornflour and parsley in a slow cooker without frying it first and simply switch it on. It won’t have quite the same depth of flavour, but you will still have a delicious beef stew.

SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW

Everyone’s favorite comforting beef stew made easily in the crockpot! The meat is SO TENDER and the stew is rich, chunky and hearty! 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew - Everyone's favorite comforting beef stew made easily in the crockpot! The meat is SO TENDER and the stew is rich, chunky and hearty!

We had another heat wave in LA again. And when I say heat wave, I mean it’s 95 degrees. In the beginning of October, of course.

Then it was 55 the next day. The following week, it was 98.

Still. You know I made this beef stew when it was in the high 90s, not when it was our one day of winter.

But fortunately for my slow cooker, I barely had to lift a finger. I just ate this piping hot bowl of comforting stew with the AC on my face.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew - Everyone's favorite comforting beef stew made easily in the crockpot! The meat is SO TENDER and the stew is rich, chunky and hearty!

SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW

yield:8 SERVINGS

prep time:15 MINUTES

cook time:8 HOURS 35 MINUTES

total time:8 HOURS 50 MINUTES

Everyone’s favorite comforting beef stew made easily in the crockpot! The meat is SO TENDER and the stew is rich, chunky and hearty!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 4 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Season beef with salt and pepper, to taste. Add beef to the skillet and cook until evenly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Place beef, potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire, thyme, rosemary, paprika, caraway seeds and bay leaves until well combined; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 1/2 cup stew broth. Stir in flour mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until thickened.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew before and after cooking.

This traditional Beef Stew is the best Slow Cooker recipe for Fall and Winter. It’s loaded with tender bites of juicy beef, golden potatoes, carrots, peas, red wine, onions, garlic, and a hearty beef broth. Serve it with warm biscuits, cornbread, or even over mashed potatoes.

A white bowl filled with Slow Cooker Beef Stew with a spoon in the background.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Who doesn’t love a hearty bowl of rich and flavorful beef stew. It’s such a traditional Fall and Winter comfort food. I’ve been working on slight variations of this recipe for years and I have to say, this version is definitely the best ever.

All of the ingredients in this recipe compliment each other so well, and the quantities of each are perfect, with no ingredient overpowering another.

Let’s get into everything you need to know. From the what cuts of beef to use, the best potatoes for stew,  pro tips, storage, and more:

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.

Coating beef in flour mixture and searing in a skillet to make Slow Cooker Beef Stew.

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.

Seared Beef in a Slow Cooker next to sauteed onions in a pot.

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.

Best Beef for Stew

  • Chuck roasts -The best option. It is preferred over other cuts because of the connective tissue, which makes it more tender. (Bonus: It’s also a less expensive cut than other types.)
  • Rump roasts
  • Bottom rounds

Best Potatoes to Use

Yukon Gold and Red Potatoes are best for stews as they have less starch content and hold up much better than russet potatoes, which tend to fall apart and break down into the stew.

Searing the Meat

Searing the beef adds a nice color, flavor, and texture for the stew, it also creates a nice base to soften up the onions and garlic. The remnants from the meat are loosened up with butter/wine and transferred to the Slow Cooker for the ultimate flavor base.

Sear just long enough to give the exterior a crisp texture, don’t cook it all the way through. 45 seconds per side is all it takes.

Can You Put Raw Beef in the Slow Cooker?

Yes. If you don’t have time to sear the meat, you can toss it in the flour mixture and place it right in the Slow Cooker along with the uncooked onions and garlic.

Red Wine Substitute

An equal amount of beef broth or red grape juice may be used instead of wine, along with 2 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar. The acidity helps to break down and tenderize the meat.

For an Irish twist on this recipe, use 1 cup of extra stout Guinness instead of wine.

PRO TIPS

  • Handle the beef least amount possible for extra juicy, tender results. Otherwise you’ll cause juices to run right out of it which will make it tough.
  • Swirl in 2 Tablespoons of cold butter at the very end for a smooth, velvety finish. This is a technique that chefs use called “Monter au beurre”.
  • Optional ingredient additions include celery, green beans, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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