Best Beef For Stew Slow Cooker


What cut of beef is best beef for stew slow cooker? People often wonder what kind of beef to use for stew. Many experts recommend lean cuts, but I’m a fan of using the fattier and tougher cuts. This can result in very tender and juicy cuts that are perfect for stew. Use the beef and vegetables on this printable slow cooker recipe card to make your favorite stew. Slow cooking makes the meat so tender and delicious!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Hearty slow cooker beef stew, loaded with vegetables, super tender meat, and packed with incredible flavor. Dig into classic comfort food after a long day, this crock pot recipe is family dinner perfection!

Other slow cooker recipes we love include this slow cooker pot roast and homemade applesauce – the house smells amazing when those cook all day!

close up of tender fall apart beef in stew gravy

I took my unbelievable classic beef stew recipe (<< seriously the best beef stew ever – MAKE IT!), tweaked several ingredients and converted it to the crock pot and this slow cooker beef stew was born. It’s so delicious!

That’s saying a lot, since I’m not a huge crock pot lover. But this recipe is great – the vegetables are tender, but not mushy and the flavor is totally there. Not bland at all, like so many slow cooker recipes tend to be. Whomp whomp.

overhead beef stew in crock pot with ladle

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need!

  • Meat – beef chuck roast
  • Veggies – baby new potatoes, carrots, peas, onion, and garlic
  • Seasonings – thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, mustard seeds, bay leaves, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper
  • Liquids – low sodium beef broth, vegetable juice (like V8), Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste
  • Other – extra-virgin olive oil to sauté the meat and flour (or cornstarch) to thicken the gravy
slow cooker beef stew in bowl with spoon

How to Make Beef Stew in Slow Cooker

It’s really easy to make this beef stew crock pot recipe! Here’s a brief rundown of steps. (Scroll down for the detailed printable.)

  1. Warm olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Season beef with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and brown all over.
  3. Place beef, potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic into a greased 6-quart slow cooker.
  4. Whisk together the liquids and seasonings until well combined; pour over the the beef and vegetables.
  5. Toss in bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat until meat is super tender and falling apart at the touch.
  7. During the last 5 minutes, stir in the peas.
  8. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprig.
  9. Serve immediately in bowls, garnished with parsley and enjoy!

How long to cook beef stew in slow cooker? This recipe calls for 7-8 hours on low and then an additional 30 minutes if you’re thickening the broth. While you can cook on high for 3-4 hours, I do not recommend it. Low and slow is the way to go to achieve tender, fall-apart meat and deep flavors!

How to thicken a beef stew in slow cooker? If you want the liquid to be more like a gravy, you’ll create a slurry. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup stew broth until combined and smooth. Slowly stir the mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until thickened.

4 picture collage of slow cooker beef stew ingredients

Beef Stew Crock Pot Recipe Notes

  • Don’t cut the cubes of beef too small or they’ll 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, it’s not necessary. If they are on the extra large side, you might want to quarter them.
  • Chicken broth can replace the beef broth if that’s all you have, although the overall taste will not be as deep.

Storing Leftovers

Stews are so good the next day, so make sure you save enough to have leftovers for lunch!

How long does beef stew last? Allow stew to cool completely, then transfer to airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can I freeze beef stew? Yes, you can freeze beef stew (although the vegetables tend to get softer and break down into smaller pieces after thawing.) Make sure to leave a 1/4-1/2 inch gap in the container to allow for expansion. Stored properly, it will keep in the freezer up to 3 months. If you know in advance you’ll want to freeze the stew, wait to thicken it until you reheat it.

Mom’s Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Mom’s best ever slow cooker beef stew cooked to perfection with dry red wine, garlic, fresh herbs and tender potatoes and carrots. This easy beef stew recipe is just like the classic one you grew up with and makes a delicious, protein-packed dinner the whole family will love!







beef stew ingredients in a slow cooker

Can you believe that this slow cooker beef stew is the first beef recipe on Ambitious Kitchen?! Truth be told, we didn’t grow up eating a lot of beef. My mom preferred a plant forward diet, but of course, always made my brother and I plenty of comfort foods that included chicken and fish.

However, during the winter months, I remember her making a deliciously cozy, tender beef stew that was rich, savory and packed with nourishing carrots, potatoes and peas. On the side, she’d serve a honey cornbread that we’d use to soak up all of the savory broth.

slow cooker beef stew in two bowls with spoons and bread on the side

Why I love this beef stew

My mom’s best ever beef stew was one of my favorite comfort foods growing up and because I love to get a little nostalgic on you, I decided to make a slow cooker version for the blog.

And mmmmm hmmm hunny IT IS AMAZING. Perfect for Sunday night dinners, impressing your partner, serving with cornbread or a slice of toasted french bread and warming up during those cold winter nights. Trust me when I say: you need it!

What is beef stew?

Traditional beef stew is basically tender beef simmered in beef broth with potatoes, fresh herbs and a variety of veggies like carrots, celery & onion. We’re jazzing this beef stew recipe up with dry red wine and Worcestershire sauce for extra delicious flavor.

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 don’t 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 hereTip: make sure you trim all the beef of excess fat before using!

potatoes, carrots and onions on a cutting board with a knife

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. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Beef chuck: you’ll 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: you’ll 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 it’s done. You can use regular, whole wheat or gluten free all purpose flour.

Can I make it without wine?

Sure! Feel free to skip the dry red wine and just use more beef broth.

How to make beef stew in the slow cooker

Making this slow cooker beef stew is easier than you think!

  1. Prepare your beef. First, you’ll need to trim the beef of excess fat. After that you’ll saute the beef in a skillet until seared (you don’t need to cook it all the way); browning the meat just helps to create additional flavor so please don’t skip it.
  2. Add the liquids. Pour your beef broth, dry red wine, tomato paste, worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, thyme and salt and pepper into the bowl of your slow cooker. Stir together with the beef until combined.
  3. Veg it up. Next stir in the garlic, onion, carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. The longer it cooks, the better and more tender the stew will be.
  4. Thicken it. Once the stew is done, you’ll add in the flour and the peas and cook uncovered for another 15 minutes until the stew thickens up. If it’s too thick for your liking, just add a splash of beef broth!
  5. Enjoy! Serve with cornbread, crackers or biscuits. Enjoy a big bowl of deliciousness.
easy crock pot beef stew in a crock pot

Tips for making the best beef stew

  • Sear your beef beforehand. This is important! Browning the beef in a skillet beforehand will bring out even more flavor.
  • Cook it on low. While many slow cooker recipes can be made on high for 3-4 hours, I highly recommend cooking this beef stew on low for the full 7-8 hours. This will ensure that the beef gets nice and tender.
  • Thicken your stew properly. When it’s time to add your flour to thicken the beef stew, remove 1 cup of beef broth from the slow cooker and add it to a bowl. You’ll then whisk in ¼ cup flour until there aren’t any lumps, add back to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Be sure you don’t add flour straight to the slow cooker as it will become lumpy.
the best ever slow cooker beef stew in a bowl with bread

Storing & freezing tips

  • To store: store any leftover crock pot beef stew in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Simply reheat in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop.
  • To freeze: let the beef stew cool completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the slow cooker beef stew thaw in the refrigerator overnight before heating it in the microwave or on the stovetop.

CrockPot Beef Stew

CrockPot Beef Stew is one of my all-time favorite slow cooker meals. It’s filling and delicious with tender chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes and peas (or green beans). When it comes to satisfying comfort food, slow cooker Beef Stew is the ultimate!

To complete the meal, all you really need to do is add in a side of easy buttermilk biscuits or corn bread muffins slathered with butter. Or, serve it with a substantial homemade bread for dipping in the gravy. Everyone will be in heaven!

Crock Pot Beef stew served in a bowl

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! You’ll 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 (a similar texture to pork shoulder which is used to make Crock Pot Pulled Pork). 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.

Ingredients for Crock Pot Beef stew ready to be cooked in the slow cooker

How to Make Beef Stew in Crock Pot

While we love to make a classic stove top beef stew, this easy slow cooker recipe can be left cooking while you go about your day! Crock Pot beef stew comes together in just a few simple steps and the beef gets so tender.

  1. Toss the beef in the flour-garlic powder mixture to coat, and brown in olive oil in batches. Don’t crowd the pan. (You can skip this step but the browning adds great flavor to the stew).
  2. Sauté the onion in the same pan (use a of broth or red wine to help deglaze and add any brown bits to your crock pot).
  3. Add everything to the slow cooker (I use a 6qt crock pot) and cook until the beef is tender. Stir in peas before serving.

How Long to Cook Beef Stew in Crock Pot: Crock Pot beef stew is a set-it-and-forget-it kind of meal. Cook it on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8-9 until the meat is tender. You can leave it on warm for an additional hour or so if needed.

To Thicken Beef Stew in the Crock Pot: I use a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cornstarch and water) and add it in at the end. Allow it to cook about 10 minutes after adding the slurry to get rid of any starchy flavor.

Crock Pot Beef stew being ladeled out of a slow cooker

We serve beef stew with some crusty bread or homemade dinner rolls for the perfect meal!

Leftover CrockPot Beef Stew

Leftovers will keep about 3-4 days in the fridge.

Can you Freeze Beef Stew: You’ll 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

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