Slow Cooker Beef Stew

The best, old fashioned, classic, easy slow cooker beef stew recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Loaded with herbs, juicy beef, tender vegetables, lots of potatoes and hearty wine and beef broth.

Today’s meal is packed with hearty nutrition, and bursting with intense flavor. Use this to meal prep for lunches for the upcoming work week, or for a comforting dinner with family and friends. This Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup is another excellent variation of this stew!

Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew Served in White Bowl on Marble Background

How To Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe From Scratch?

  1. Coat meat– In flour.
  2. Saute beef– Until it’s browned and keep aside.
  3. Saute remaining ingredients– This includes onion and garlic.
  4. Deglaze pan– With some broth to the pan.
  5. Transfer ingredients to crockpot- This includes onion mixture, deglazed juices and browned meat.
  6. Add remaining ingredients- This includes broth, Merlot, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, beef bouillon cube, dried oregano, dried, thyme, dried parsley, ginger powder, paprika, salt, pepper, sprig of rosemary, bay leaves, potatoes.
  7. Cover and cook– Until meat is cooked through.
  8. Add remaining veggies– This includes frozen vegetables.
  9. Mix in thickening agent– Such as cornstarch slurry.
  10. Discard herbs– Remove bay leaves and rosemary stem.
  11. Add butter– And swirl it around.
  12. Enjoy!– Garnish with fresh parsley.

Easy Beef Stew Ingredients

Flour– All-purpose flour is best to coat the meat.

Meat– Use stew meat that’s cut into 1.5 inch cubes.

Fats– Unsalted butter is best, plus a little olive oil.

Vegetables– Finely chopped onion, diced potatoes, frozen vegetables like peas, carrots, and corn.

Broth– Low sodium beef broth is best.

Other flavor developers– Merlot or red wine or Cabernet Sauvignon, Worcestershire sauce,  tomato paste, beef bouillon cube.

Cornstarch– This is a great thickening agent.  

Stew Seasoning/ Spices

You can use pre-made blends or make your own. Adjust the quantities of any of these herbs and spices to suit your taste buds.

  • 1 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 4 cloves Garlic , Finely minced
  • Salt, To taste
  • Pepper, To taste
  • 1 sprig Rosemary , Fresh
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp Parsley, Fresh

Wine Substitute

You can substitute wine with another sweet and acidic flavor like pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, or grape juice. You can also just add the same amount of broth as a replacement.

What Sides To Serve With Stew?

Serve this stew alongside a salad:

  • Chopped salad
  • Bean salad
  • Green salad

It can also ber served alongside casseroles:

Serve it with pasta:

You can also serve it with bread (this is the classic choice):

  • Breadsticks
  • Dinner rolls
  • Garlic bread
  • Cornbread
  • Biscuits

Serve it alongside mashed veggies:

Easy Homemade Crockpot Stew in White Bowl on Marble Background

Variations for Old Fashioned Slow Cooker Stew?

Hamburger stew (ground beef stew)– Use ground beef in place of stew meat.

Irish Guiness stew– Add Guiness beer for another layer of flavor instead of red wine.

Stew and dumplings– Add dumplings in place of the potatoes in the stew.

Add other vegetables– Such as green beans, bell peppers, zucchini, sweet potatoes, or mushrooms.

Add pasta– Such as ditalini, elbow, or even bow tie noodles. Be sure to add them in the final 20 minutes to prevent them from getting over-cooked.

Add grains– Like quinoa, barley, or Israeli couscous.

Use other spices– I like to use classic Italian herbs like oregano, thyme and parsley but you can get creative and use Mexican seasoning or Cajun seasoning or any other seasoning blend of your choice.

Tips And Techniques

What is a good cut of meat for beef stew (beef stew meat)? You can get a chuck roast that has tons of flavor, but it a little more expensive than stew meat.

Do I have to brown meat for stew? Yes, I highly recommend it because it makes such a difference in texture and taste! However, if you are short on time, just dump everything in the crockpot and cook.

What is the difference between beef stew and beef soup? Soup are generally pureed into thick liquid form. Stew, almost always, has a chunky texture, heartiness, and is much thicker than soup.

Why is my stew tasteless? How to fix it? Add more seasoning, bouillon, bay leaves, or garlic.

How to make stew richer? Add umami, dried mushrooms, caramelize the onions, or us roasted garlic.

How do you fix tough stew meat? Why is my stew meat still tough in slow cooker? It may have boiled instead of being braised. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you can cook the meat on low heat for 7-8 hours. It may also need to cook longer if it is still tough.

Use low sodium broth and unsalted butter– Because it prevents this meal from becoming too salty.

What to do if stew is too thick?– Add some more broth or water thin it out.

Don’t omit the butter topping at the end- It’s a small quantity but it makes the overall dish so silky smooth.

Storage

Refrigerate- In a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Freeze– This can be frozen, without potatoes, for up to 2 months. The potatoes will not freeze well.

Reheat– In the microwave or on the stovetop.

More Slow Cooker Beef Recipes

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

The best, old fashioned, classic, easy slow cooker beef stew recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Loaded with herbs, juicy beef, tender vegetables, lots of potatoes and hearty wine and beef broth.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
  • 2.5 pounds Stew meat, Cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter, Unsalted
  • 1 cup Onion, Finely chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic , Finely minced
  • 4 cups Beef broth, Low sodium
  • 1/2 cup Merlot , Or Red wine Or Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 Beef bouillon cube, Or 1 tsp Better than bouillon, Low sodium
  • 1 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • Salt, To taste
  • Pepper, To taste
  • 1 sprig Rosemary , Fresh
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 3 Potatoes, Medium size, Diced into 1.5-2 inch cubes
  • 1.5 cups Frozen vegetables, I used a mixture of peas, carrots, corn
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch, Can add up to 3 tbsp cornstarch if you like it thicker, Flour can also be used instead
  • 2 tbsp Butter, Cold, Sliced, Unsalted
  • 1 tbsp Parsley, Fresh, For garnish

Instructions

  • Combine flour and stew meat in a Ziploc bag. Shake it around until meat is fully coated. You can add some salt and pepper too, if you like.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the floured beef and cook until beef is browned on all sides.
  • Transfer to crockpot.
  • Heat butter in the same pan and add onion and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until garlic is fragrant and onion is partially softened.
  • Add some of the broth to the pan and scrape up any brown bits from the beef.
  • Transfer this onion mixture to the crockpot too.
  • Add broth, Merlot, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, beef bouillon cube, dried oregano, dried, thyme, dried parsley, ginger powder, paprika, salt, pepper, sprig of rosemary, bay leaves, potatoes.
  • Mix until combined.
  • Cover and cook on Low heat for 7- 8 hours or on High heat for 3.5 -4 hours or until the potatoes are tender and beef is cooked through.
  • In the final 20 minutes, mix in frozen vegetables.
  • At the same time you are adding veggies, you can also add a thickening agent. To thicken stew: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2 tbsp of the stew broth to create a slurry. Slowly stir in this slurry into the stew. To prevent any cornstarch lumps from forming, be sure to keep gently stirring while you are pouring the slurry.
  • Discard bay leaves and sprig of rosemary stem.
  • Add butter on top and swirl it around. This makes the stew super smooth and luscious!
  • Garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Read all my tips above.
  • The stew will thicken a bit more as it cools.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave or stovetop. 

Nutrition

Calories: 553kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 53g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 132mg, Sodium: 526mg, Potassium: 1407mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2776IU, Vitamin C: 32mg, Calcium: 88mg, Iron: 6mg

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