When the weather turns chilly and you’re craving a hearty, comforting meal, nothing beats a bowl of slow cooker beef stew. This classic dish is not only delicious but also incredibly easy to prepare. With just a few simple steps, you can have a flavorful and tender stew that’s perfect for any day of the week. Here’s how to make the ultimate slow cooker beef stew.

1. Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine (optional, for richer flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 cup frozen peas (optional, added at the end)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

Prepare the Beef

Start by seasoning the beef stew meat with salt and pepper. Dredge the meat in flour, shaking off any excess. This step helps to thicken the stew later on and adds a nice crust to the beef.

Sear the Beef

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Sear the beef until it’s browned on all sides. This step locks in the flavor and gives the stew a rich, deep taste. Transfer the browned beef to the slow cooker.

Deglaze the Pan

After searing the beef, deglaze the skillet with the red wine (if using) or a bit of beef broth. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan – these are packed with flavor. Pour this mixture into the slow cooker over the beef.

Add the Vegetables

Add the garlic, onion, carrots, potatoes, and celery to the slow cooker. These vegetables will soften and absorb the beef’s flavors as they cook, making the stew hearty and satisfying.

Season and Slow Cook

Stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary. Give everything a good stir to combine. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 7-8 hours, or until the beef and vegetables are tender. For a quicker option, you can cook on high for 4-5 hours.

Finish the Stew

About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the frozen peas (if using) and let them cook through. Remove the bay leaves and taste the stew, adjusting the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve

Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread or over a bed of mashed potatoes for an extra comforting meal.

Tips for the Best Beef Stew

  • Choosing the Right Meat: Opt for beef chuck or a similar cut that has good marbling. This ensures the meat becomes tender and flavorful during the long cooking process.
  • Layering Flavors: Browning the meat and deglazing the pan adds depth to the stew. Don’t skip these steps!
  • Adjusting Consistency: If the stew is too thick, add a bit more beef broth. If it’s too thin, you can thicken it by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with cold water and stirring it into the stew during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

With its tender beef, hearty vegetables, and rich broth, it’s sure to become a family favorite. Plus, the convenience of the slow cooker makes it an easy choice for busy days. Try this recipe the next time you need a cozy and satisfying dinner, and enjoy the delicious results!

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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