This slow cooker Apple Cider Beef Stew is a set it & forget it meal. A creamy, thick brown gravy base with beef broth and apple cider, chunky vegetables and fall-apart beef that cooks in the slow cooker all day. The apple cider adds some sweetness and is a nice twist to traditional beef stew.
Apple Cider Beef Stew Recipe
This hearty and delicious apple cider beef stew is like classic beef stew but with a slightly sweet apple cider base. The rich, creamy brown gravy base with beef broth and tomato sauce makes this beef stew stand out from the rest.
I also love that you can prepare this in the morning and have dinner all ready in the evening. The longer stew cooks in the crock pot, the better! The beef gets fall apart tender and the chunky vegetables soften up.
What You'll Need
You will need a slow cooker, some convenient ingredients like a gravy packet, fresh vegetables, and of course beef stew meat. Easy to prepare with some prep work chopping the vegetables.
- Beef Stew Meat - You will need 1.5 pounds of beef stew meat. I like to get the lean beef stew meat for this recipe.
- Carrots - One cup of peeled and sliced carrots. You can half some baby carrots or thick slice some carrots.
- Frozen Peas
- Yukon Gold Potatoes - Leave these pretty chunky so they don't soften to mush in the slow cooker. You can peel the potatoes or leave the peel on.
- Onion Soup Seasoning Packet
- Brown Gravy Mix Packet
- Tomato Sauce
- Beef Broth - It's best to use regular beef broth and not reduced-sodium.
- Apple Cider
- Cornstarch + Water - To help thicken the stew to a rich, thick broth.
How to Make Apple Cider Beef Stew
This stew takes some prep work chopping the veggies, and then it cooks in the slow cooker all day. It's a set it & forget it crock pot recipe.
Cut Veggies : Chop the celery, carrots, and potatoes.
Slow Cooker : Add the stew meat, chopped vegetables, onion seasoning, gravy mix, tomato sauce, beef broth, and apple cider into the slow cooker.
Cook : Cook on LOW heat for 8 hours.
Serve : Combine the cornstarch and water and stir until dissolved. Stir into the stew to help thicken it before serving.
Tips For Success
A few of my tips to make this recipe a success for your family!
- Low Heat : For any stew recipe, it's best to cook it on LOW heat for several hours (8 hours). Low and slow is the way you cook stew. Minimum of 8 hours for the cook time, any sooner and the beef may not be fall apart tender.
- Beef Broth : Because of the longer cook time you need the full salt, regular beef broth in this recipe. Of course you can use the reduced sodium beef broth but you may want to check the stew before serving for taste and add salt if needed.
- Chunky Vegetables : You want to keep the potatoes and carrots pretty chunky, like in large bite-sized chunks, so they don't turn to mush while cooking.
- Apple Cider : If you cannot find apple cider then use apple juice. For best taste use apple cider in this recipe. During the Fall you can easily find it and usually year-round you can find it in the juice aisle of the grocery store.
Serving Suggestions For Beef Stew
Stew is always best served with some bread. I always make my one hour soft & buttery rolls.
You can also make some homemade French bread, buy some rolls or bread, or buy some frozen rolls that are cook n' serve.
Can I Freeze Apple Cider Beef Stew?
Yes you can! Cook the stew according to the recipe and let leftovers cool to room temperature. Store the stew in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to eat the frozen stew, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and cook it on the stove top. You may have to add some additional beef broth and/or apple cider when reheating.
More Slow Cooker Recipes You'll Love
Crockpot Chili : A hearty chili with some surprise ingredients like cocoa powder (best chili ingredient!) and three different kinds of beans.
Easy Swedish Meatballs : With some easy ingredients like cream of mushroom soup, a gravy packet, and frozen meatballs these Swedish meatballs are so easy to throw together and loved by all.
Creamy Chicken Stew : A chicken version of a classic stew recipe. So creamy and delicious with chunks of chicken, potato, and vegetables.
Slow Cooker Apple Cider Beef Stew
- 1½ lbs beef stew meat
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1½ cups yukon gold potatoes (cut into large bite-sized chunks)
- 1 packet onion soup seasoning mix
- 1 packet brown gravy mix
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
- 1½ cups apple cider
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup cold water
- Combine the beef stew meat, carrots, celery, peas, potatoes, onion soup seasoning mix, brown gravy mix, tomato sauce, beef broth, and apple cider into the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on LOW heat for 8 hours.
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water. Pour into stew and stir to combine. Cook on high for 15 minutes to thicken the stew.
- Add additional salt & pepper as desired. Serve & enjoy!