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Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Embrace the cozy delight of a hearty and savory meal with this slow cooker beef stew. Infused with robust flavors from a medley of fresh vegetables and tender chunks of beef, this stew is a comforting classic that's easy to prepare, letting your slow cooker do the majority of the work. Perfect for chilly days or when you need a taste of home, this beef stew recipe is a crowd-pleaser.

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Photos of Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

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The ingredients for this recipe are commonly found in most households. However, one ingredient that you might need to pick up at the supermarket is a chuck roast. This cut of beef is ideal for slow-cooking methods as it becomes incredibly tender and full of flavor over time. You will also need Yukon potatoes, which are known for their smooth texture and buttery taste, making them perfect for stews.

Essential Ingredients for Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Chuck roast: The star of the show, providing rich, meaty flavor and tenderness when slow-cooked.

Kosher salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Black pepper: Adds a slight heat.

Yellow onion: Gives depth to the dish and sweetness when cooked.

Carrots: Add color, sweetness, and texture.

Yukon potatoes: They hold their shape well when cooked and have a creamy texture.

Beef broth: The base of the stew, adding a robust flavor.

Tomato paste: Concentrated tomato flavor, lends a bit of acidity to balance the dish.

Bay leaf: A classic herb for stews, releasing its flavor over the long cooking period.

Thyme: Adds a subtle, earthy flavor.

Garlic: Infuses the stew with a warm, aromatic flavor.

Worcestershire sauce: Gives a umami, slightly tangy taste.

Butter: Adds richness and helps thicken the stew.

Flour: Works with the butter to thicken the sauce.

One reader, Dame Lacey says:

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This slow cooker beef stew recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and the meat is incredibly tender. It's so convenient to prepare and the aroma is simply mouthwatering. I love coming home to a hearty, homemade meal ready to enjoy. It's a definite winner in my household!

Dame Lacey

Techniques Required for Making Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

How to brown the beef: Heat a skillet on high heat and brown the seasoned chuck roast on each side for 4 to 6 minutes until deeply browned.

How to cook the onions: In the same skillet, cook the onions for 3 minutes, stir, then cook for another 3 minutes until they are soft and translucent.

How to thicken the stew: In a small bowl, mix the butter and flour, then add it to the slow cooker and stir. Cook for an additional hour or until the stew thickens to your desired consistency.

How To Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Chuck roast is slow-cooked with potatoes, onions, carrots, and lots of herbs and spices to make this beef stew recipe. It’s a heartwarming stew recipe made especially for cold days.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 20 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 3lbchuck roast
  • 1tspkosher salt
  • ½tspblack pepper,coarse ground
  • 1yellow onion,chopped
  • 4carrots,cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 4yukon potatoes,chopped
  • 4cupsbeef broth
  • ¼cuptomato paste
  • 1bay leaf
  • 1tspthyme
  • 4cloves garlic,minced
  • 1tbspWorcestershire sauce
  • 2tbspbutter,unsalted
  • 2tbspflour

Instructions

  1. Preheat an aluminum slow cooker or cast iron skillet on high heat.

  2. Season the beef with half the salt and all the pepper.

  3. Add to the skillet and brown on each side for 4 to 6 minutes or until deeply browned on each side.

  4. Remove the beef from the pan and add in the onions.

  5. Cook the onions for 3 minutes, stir then cook another 3 minutes.

  6. Into the slow cooker add the onions, carrots, potatoes, broth, second half of the salt, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and Worcestershire sauce.

  7. Cut the beef into 2 to 3-inch chunks and add it to the slow cooker.

  8. Stir all the ingredients until well mixed and cook on Low for 7 hours.

  9. In a small bowl, mix the butter and flour and add it to the slow cooker and stir.

  10. Cook for 1 more hour or until thickened.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 386.60kcal
  • Fat: 12.32g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.54g
  • Trans Fat: 0.54g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5.32g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.22g
  • Carbohydrates: 28.70g
  • Fiber: 3.96g
  • Sugar: 4.83g
  • Protein: 41.69g
  • Cholesterol: 116.49mg
  • Sodium: 713.45mg
  • Calcium: 67.53mg
  • Potassium: 1589.34mg
  • Iron: 6.28mg
  • Vitamin A: 290.95µg
  • Vitamin C: 26.68mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Perfecting Slow Cooker Beef Stew

When browning the beef, make sure the skillet is really hot before adding the meat. This will ensure a nice, deep brown crust forms, which adds a lot of flavor to the stew. Also, don't overcrowd the pan. If necessary, brown the beef in batches. Overcrowding can cause the meat to steam rather than brown, which can affect the overall flavor of your stew.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Beef Stew in a Slow Cooker

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables and measure out ingredients the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use pre-cut vegetables: Consider using pre-cut vegetables to save time on prep work.

Slow cooker liners: Use slow cooker liners for easy cleanup and to save time on washing the pot.

Invest in a good knife: A sharp knife can make chopping and prepping ingredients much quicker and more efficient.

Multi-task: While the stew is cooking, use the time to prepare other dishes or complete other tasks to maximize productivity in the kitchen.

Substitute Ingredients For Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

  • 3 lb chuck roast - Substitute with beef brisket: Beef brisket is a flavorful cut of beef that becomes tender and delicious when slow-cooked, making it a great alternative to chuck roast in beef stew.

  • 4 carrots - Substitute with parsnips: Parsnips have a similar texture and sweetness to carrots, making them a suitable replacement in the stew while adding a slightly different flavor profile.

  • 4 yukon potatoes - Substitute with red potatoes: Red potatoes hold their shape well during slow cooking and have a creamy texture, making them a good substitute for Yukon potatoes in the stew.

  • 4 cups beef broth - Substitute with mushroom broth: Mushroom broth adds a rich, savory flavor similar to beef broth and works well as a vegetarian alternative in the stew.

  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce - Substitute with soy sauce: Soy sauce provides a similar depth of flavor and umami richness to the stew, making it a suitable substitute for Worcestershire sauce.

  • 2 tbsp butter - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can be used as a healthier alternative to butter for sautéing the onions and garlic, adding a rich flavor to the stew.

Presentation Tips for Serving Beef Stew

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the slow cooker beef stew, carefully arrange the tender chunks of beef and colorful vegetables in an artful and visually appealing manner on the plate. Pay attention to the balance of colors and textures to create an enticing presentation.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle the finished dish with freshly chopped parsley or thyme to add a pop of color and a touch of freshness. The vibrant green hues will contrast beautifully with the rich, hearty stew, enhancing its visual appeal.

  3. Use high-quality serving ware: Opt for elegant, high-quality serving platters and bowls to showcase the slow cooker beef stew. The right serving ware can elevate the overall dining experience and convey a sense of sophistication.

  4. Incorporate edible flowers: Consider adorning the dish with delicate, edible flowers such as chive blossoms or nasturtiums for a stunning and unexpected visual element. The edible flowers will add a touch of elegance to the presentation.

  5. Create a focal point: Arrange the beef stew in a way that creates a focal point on the plate, drawing the eye to the heart of the dish. This can be achieved by strategically placing the beef and vegetables to command attention and create a visually captivating presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Slow Cooker Beef Stew

  • Aluminum slow cooker or cast iron skillet: These are ideal for browning the chuck roast before adding it to the slow cooker, enhancing the flavor and texture of the meat.
  • Skillet: Used for browning the chuck roast and sautéing the onions before transferring them to the slow cooker.
  • Slow cooker: This is the main cooking vessel for the beef stew, allowing for long, slow cooking to tenderize the meat and meld the flavors of the ingredients.
  • Small bowl: Used for mixing the butter and flour to create a thickening agent for the stew.
  • Tongs: Essential for flipping and handling the chuck roast while browning it in the skillet.
  • Knife: Used for cutting the chuck roast into chunks and preparing the vegetables.
  • Cutting board: Provides a stable surface for cutting and preparing the vegetables and chuck roast.
  • Measuring spoons: Used for accurately measuring the salt, pepper, thyme, and other seasonings.
  • Measuring cup: Essential for measuring the beef broth and tomato paste.
  • Stirring spoon: Used for mixing the ingredients in the slow cooker and incorporating the thickening agent.
  • Whisk: Used to thoroughly combine the butter and flour for the thickening agent.
  • Spatula: Useful for scraping any browned bits from the skillet when sautéing the onions.
  • Garlic press: If available, this tool can be used to easily crush and mince the garlic cloves for the stew.

Storing and Freezing Instructions for Slow Cooker Beef Stew

  • Let the beef stew cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming and diluting the flavors.

  • Transfer the cooled stew to an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. If using a container, leave about an inch of headspace to allow for expansion during freezing.

  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents. Beef stew can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

  • When ready to reheat, thaw the frozen stew overnight in the refrigerator. You can also thaw it in the microwave using the defrost setting.

  • Reheat the thawed stew in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. You may need to add a little beef broth or water to thin out the consistency if it has thickened during storage.

  • For best results, consume the reheated stew within 2 days. Do not refreeze previously frozen stew, as this can affect the texture and quality of the meat and vegetables.

How To Reheat Leftover Beef Stew

  • Reheat the beef stew in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. This method allows you to control the heat and ensure even reheating without overcooking the vegetables or meat.

  • If you're short on time, you can reheat the beef stew in the microwave. Transfer the desired portion to a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with a damp paper towel, and heat in 1-minute intervals, stirring between each interval, until heated through. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the meat to become tough and the vegetables to turn mushy.

  • For a hands-off approach, reheat the beef stew in a slow cooker. Transfer the stew to the slow cooker, cover, and heat on low for 1-2 hours or until heated through. This method is particularly useful if you have a large quantity of stew to reheat.

  • If you want to add a crispy element to your leftover beef stew, try reheating it in the oven. Transfer the stew to an oven-safe dish, cover with a lid or foil, and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. In the last 5 minutes of reheating, remove the lid or foil and sprinkle some shredded cheese or breadcrumbs on top for a delicious, crispy crust.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to stir the beef stew occasionally to ensure even heat distribution and prevent scorching. Also, add a splash of beef broth or water if the stew appears too thick or dry after reheating.

Interesting Fact About Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Beef stew is a classic comfort food that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is believed that the dish originated in the Middle Ages when tough cuts of meat were slow-cooked to tender perfection. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, creating a rich and hearty stew that warms the soul. This timeless recipe has been passed down through generations, evolving with different regional variations. Whether it's served with crusty bread or over a bed of mashed potatoes, beef stew continues to be a beloved dish in many households around the world.

Is Making Beef Stew in a Slow Cooker Cost-Effective?

This slow cooker beef stew recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. The use of affordable ingredients such as chuck roast, onions, carrots, and potatoes makes it a budget-friendly option. The long cooking time allows the flavors to develop, making it a hearty and satisfying meal. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20, making it an economical choice. Overall Verdict: 9/10.

Is Slow Cooker Beef Stew Healthy or Unhealthy?

The slow cooker beef stew recipe is a hearty and comforting dish, but it may not be the healthiest option due to a few factors:

  • The recipe uses a significant amount of beef, which is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Consuming too much saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease and other health issues.
  • The recipe calls for a considerable amount of beef broth, which can be high in sodium. Excessive sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems.
  • The recipe includes potatoes, which are high in carbohydrates. While carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet, consuming too many can lead to weight gain and other health issues, especially for those with diabetes or insulin resistance.

However, the recipe also includes some healthy ingredients, such as:

  • Carrots and onions, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Garlic and thyme, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Use a leaner cut of beef, such as sirloin or round roast, to reduce the amount of saturated fat.
  • Reduce the amount of beef and increase the proportion of vegetables to make the stew more nutrient-dense and lower in calories.
  • Use low-sodium beef broth or replace some of the broth with water to reduce the sodium content.
  • Include a variety of colorful vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or green beans, to increase the vitamin and mineral content of the stew.
  • Replace some or all of the potatoes with other root vegetables, such as turnips or parsnips, which are lower in carbohydrates.
  • Use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour to thicken the stew, as it contains more fiber and nutrients.

By making these adjustments, you can create a more balanced and nutritious version of the slow cooker beef stew that still retains its comforting and satisfying qualities.

Editor's Opinion on This Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

The slow cooker beef stew recipe is a classic and comforting dish that is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of tender chuck roast, hearty vegetables, and flavorful seasonings creates a rich and satisfying stew. The method of browning the beef before slow cooking adds depth of flavor, while the addition of tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce enhances the savory profile. The final touch of a butter and flour mixture thickens the stew to perfection. This recipe is a surefire way to impress your guests and warm their hearts with its delicious and comforting flavors.

Enhance Your Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and chives, topped with a dollop of butter.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Crispy roasted Brussels sprouts drizzled with balsamic glaze and sprinkled with toasted almonds.
Garlic Bread: Warm, buttery garlic bread with a golden crust and a sprinkle of fresh parsley for a pop of color.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Enjoy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Creamy Chicken Alfredo: This creamy and indulgent pasta dish is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of tender chicken and rich alfredo sauce will leave you wanting more.
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad: This healthy and colorful salad is packed with roasted vegetables and protein-rich quinoa. It's a great option for a light and satisfying meal.
Apple Cinnamon Crisp: Warm and comforting, this apple cinnamon crisp is a delightful dessert option. The sweet and tart apples paired with the crunchy topping make for a perfect treat.

Appetizer and Dessert Suggestions for a Beef Stew Dinner

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Caprese Skewers: Impress your guests with these colorful and refreshing caprese skewers, featuring juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for an extra burst of flavor.
Desserts:
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, rich chocolate lava cake that oozes with warm, gooey chocolate when you cut into it. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and richness.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm, comforting flavors of a homemade apple crisp, with tender, cinnamon-spiced apples topped with a crunchy oat and brown sugar crumble. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of caramel swirl ice cream for a delightful treat.

Why trust this Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe:

This slow cooker beef stew recipe guarantees tender, succulent chuck roast infused with rich flavors from onions, carrots, and potatoes. The savory broth, enhanced by beef broth, tomato paste, and worcestershire sauce, creates a luscious base. The addition of thyme and garlic elevates the aroma and taste. The meticulous process of browning the meat and sautéing the onions ensures a depth of flavor. Trust in the expertise behind this recipe for a hearty, comforting beef stew that will undoubtedly impress your taste buds.

Share your thoughts on this delicious Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
FAQ:
Can I use a different cut of beef for this stew?
Yes, you can use other cuts of beef such as stewing beef, brisket, or round roast. Just ensure the meat is well-marbled and suitable for slow cooking.
Can I skip the browning step for the beef?
While you can skip the browning step, I highly recommend it as it adds depth of flavor to the stew. However, if you're short on time, you can skip this step.
Can I cook this stew on high heat instead of low for a shorter time?
I recommend cooking the stew on low heat for the full duration as it allows the flavors to develop and the meat to become tender. Cooking on high heat may result in tougher meat and less flavorful stew.
Can I add other vegetables to the stew?
Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables such as celery, parsnips, or mushrooms to customize the stew to your liking.
Can I make this stew ahead of time and reheat it later?
Yes, this stew actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. Simply store it in the refrigerator and reheat it gently on the stove or in the microwave when you're ready to enjoy it.

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