SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW
One of my personal favorite Fall/Winter dinner recipes is Beef Stew with homemade bread. I crave it during the cold months! No matter how many different beef stew recipes I try making, I always come back to this easy & simple beef stew made in the crock pot.
You really can't go wrong. Throw some stuff in the slow cooker and 8-10 hours later it's ready when you are. The thing I love most about beef stew is that the longer it's in the slow cooker the better. This is definitely not one of those recipes where you can throw it in a few hours before dinner and turn it on high, and hope it cooks in time.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED FOR BEEF STEW?
1 lb Beef Stew Meat- I always buy the lean stuff so I can just dump it right into the slow cooker.
Red Potatoes- These are preferred as they have good flavor and hold up well to the cook time. But feel free to use russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes.
Carrots & Celery- Don't slice these guys too thin. Beef stew is supposed to be chunky.
Onion - I always use sweet onion which is why the recipe calls for a sweet onion, but yes, any onion will work. Yellow or white onions are good options.
Garlic- So many options here! I always use the garlic paste from the tube. Mince your own garlic or use chopped garlic from a jar. Just makes sure that whatever you use, that it's equal to 2 garlic cloves.
Beef Broth- For best results use full-salt beef broth NOT the 50% reduced sodium beef broth.
V8 Juice- May seem odd but trust me, it's the secret ingredient! You can buy a jug of this or they sell them in small cans in the juice aisle of the grocery store.
Frozen Corn & Frozen Peas- Frozen is best for this beef stew. Plus, you only need ½ cup so why open a can of peas and only use ½ cup? Stick with the frozen 🙂
HOW TO MAKE BEEF STEW IN THE CROCK POT
Start by chopping and peeling all the vegetables. Carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes. You don't want them in small chunks because the stew cooks for 8 hours, cut into larger chunks so that they will be tender but not mushy at the end of the cook time. I aim to cut the potatoes and vegetables the same size as the stew meat chunks.
Add all those chopped vegetables, the stew meat (beef chunks), seasonings, v8 juice, beef broth, and a little bit of water. Set it on low heat and set the timer for 8 hours. Please do not try and cook this on high. It won't work! You want low and slow.
After the cook time mix in a cornstarch and water slurry, and frozen corn & peas. Cover with lid and let it cook for about 30 minutes longer.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR MAKING SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW
- Make sure to not cut the carrots and potatoes too small. This beef stew has a long cook time so you want those vegetable chunks to be able to hold up to the heat. You also don't want to cut them too big. I aim to cut them about the same size as the stew meat pieces.
- To make life easier, buy the package of lean beef stew meat. That way you don't have to spend the time (and extra dishes!) cutting off the gross pieces of fat that hang off the pieces.
- Please use the real, full-salt beef broth! You may be tempted to use the reduced-sodium, but for the best flavor use the full salt broth.
- Red potatoes are the preferred potato for this beef stew recipe. They have a better flavor to them and they hold up nicely to the cook time. Feel free to peel the skin off or leave the skin on. I always peel the potatoes because I don't like the skin pieces in my beef stew.
TRY THESE OTHER COMFORT FOOD SLOW COOKER RECIPES
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- 1 lb lean beef stew meat
- 2 red potatoes, peeled and chunked large
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 celery, sliced
- 1 sweet onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
- 1 ½ cups V8 Vegetable Juice
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Ingredients to add later
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Combine stew meat, potatoes, carrots, celery, sweet onion, garlic, beef broth, V8 juice, water and seasonings into the slow cooker.
- Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.
- At 1 hour left to cook, add in the frozen corn and peas. Mix together the cornstarch and cold water in small bowl and add to the slow cooker. Stir everything together, cover with lid and let cook the remaining 1 hour. ** If you are not home and can't add the stuff 1 hour before the cook time is done. Simply add the other ingredients after the cook time is over, cover with the lid, and let it cook for about 30 minutes to help thicken the stew up and soften the frozen vegetables.
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