During the cold days of winter, a steaming bowl of comfort is on my meal plan multiple times a week. Slow cooked meat and vegetables make my heart sing. Today let’s discuss classic homemade beef stew. Growing up I loved my mother’s simmered beef stew cooked on top of the stove for hours. I personally prefer to use a crock pot for ease, but beef stew can be made in the oven, on the stove, or in a slow cooker.
It’s easy to make with a savory flavor. This one pot meal is also hearty and inexpensive. Cheaper cuts of beef are usually used and root vegetables are inexpensive and plentiful. The most popular cut of meat used for stew is chuck. You may also use a variety of roasts like bottom round, round tip, top round, and pot roast. Remove excess fat and cut into chunks. Don’t try to cook stew in a hurry as the meat will be tough. Slow cooking is what makes the meat tender and melt-in-your mouth beef.
Using a crock pot, there are 2 ways to make beef stew. The easier way is to place all ingredients in a crock pot at one time. Mix the ingredients and add the lid. Cook on low for 7 to 9 hours depending on your slow cooker. You can cook on high for 6 to 7 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart.
For the more flavorful approach with a crockpot, you must first brown the meat and vegetables and deglaze the pan before adding to the cooker. Follow the directions below for a classic beef stew flavor.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Use organic when available. Serves 6
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- 2 lb beef chuck roast, fat removed and cut into 2 to 3 inch chunks
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour
- 1 onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 large potatoes chopped into small chunks
- 2 medium carrots chopped or 1 large chopped
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup red wine or replace with beef broth
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 Bay leaf
- fresh herbs to garnish optional
- Season beef with salt and pepper
- Heat olive oil in large pan over medium high heat
- Sprinkle flour over meat and toss to coat all sides
- Brown beef in oil on both sides for about 3 to 4 minutes; you do not need to cook meat thoroughly
- Remove beef to a plate
- Add onion, garlic, and carrots to pan
- Stir occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes
- Remove vegetables to bottom of slow cooker
- Add 1 cup beef broth and 1 cup red wine to pan and stir the bottom of the skillet for 1 minute to deglaze and collect all the flavors
- Add the potatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce to crock pot
- Add meat to cooker and stir
- Pour sauce from skillet over everything in crock pot
- Add lid and cook for 7 hours
- Check if meat is tender
- Add frozen green peas for last 20 minutes cooking
- If stew sauce is too thin, add 2 tsp corn starch to 1/2 cup of sauce
- Stir corn starch and sauce solution into slow cooker to thicken and cook for last 20 minutes
- Remove bay leaf and serve with brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes or cornbread
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