This classic beef stew recipe is made in the slow cooker. It’s packed with all of the traditional ingredients such as beef, carrots, potatoes, herbs, and beef stock. It’s perfect for anytime of the year, but especially fall and winter!
Hey cousins! It’s been super cold out here in the Pacific Northwest, and I’ve definitely been putting my slow cooker to use. One recipe that has been in heavy rotation is my easy slow-cooker beef stew. My family can not get enough of this old-fashioned slow cooker beef stew recipe. I love making it because it’s super easy, and of course, I make sure that it’s easy on the pockets (because ain’t nobody got time to be paying an arm & leg on no beef stew!). I keep my beef stew easy with basic ingredients, but it’s packed with a lot of flavor. This isn’t one of those slow cooker beef stew with red wine recipes. It’s one of those country-style thick beef stew recipes that your Grandma would make on a cold winter day and serve with homemade southern-style cornbread. It hits the spot every time and doesn’t miss. Are you ready to get into this big pot of comfort? Well, let’s head into the kitchen and get to cooking!
What Gives Beef Stew the Best Flavor?
To be honest, it’s a combination of ingredients! You’re going to want a super flavorful beef stew, so let’s start off by talking about what gives beef stew the best flavor.
- Beef Stock: You’re definitely going to need some beef stock for this recipe, and do not substitute it with beef broth. Since beef stock is made primarily from beef scraps such as beef bones, it’s packed with tons of flavor. The kind of flavor that just can’t be substituted by anything else.
- Spices & Herbs: When making this easy slow cooker beef stew, I use my Rosamae Seasoning Salt as my main seasoning. Unlike other seasoning salts, Rosamae Seasoning Salt is a blend of coarse salt, garlic, onion, thyme, pepper, and more. Using my Rosamae Seasoning Salt adds a ton of flavor and prevents me from having to gather up a ton of spices because everything is in one bottle. I also use Herbes De Provence, which is my “secret” ingredient.
- Vegetables: fresh celery and carrots are used for this recipe. Not just for looks but for the flavor as well! The sweetness from the carrots creates a balance between the other flavors. The celery has a mild yet strong flavor that compliments the carrots, meat, and potatoes. I use chopped onion and minced garlic as well.
- Tomato paste: This sweet and salty ingredient adds flavor as well as color to the beef stew.
Beef Stew Recipe Tips and FAQs
What kind of potatoes to use in beef stew?
Well, cousins, you have options. I use russet potatoes because they are inexpensive, and I always have them on hand. Russet potatoes tend to get mushy if you cook them too long. Therefore, I add them in during the last hour of cooking the stew. You can also use golden or red potatoes for this stew.
What kind of beef should I use for my slow cooker beef stew?
I like to keep it on the less expensive side when I make beef stew; therefore, I usually use chuck roast. I simply buy the chuck roast and cut it into 1-inch cubes. When I’m feeling fancy ( and don’t mind spending more) I use beef oxtails or brisket for my beef stews. However, those are much more expensive, so I don’t use those ingredients often.
Do you have to brown beef before slow cooking?
When I make this slow cooker beef stew, I like to brown the meat before adding it into the slow cooker. I do this for several reasons. Reason number one is to create texture. The searing of the meat prior to adding it into the slow cooker definitely adds texture to the beef. It also adds a nice color to it, which I love, so that is another reason why I do it. Last, but not least, when you brown the meat before adding it to the slow cooker, it helps lock in the juices of the meat. This helps the beef stay nice and tender while cooking in the slow cooker.
Can I put raw beef straight into a slow cooker?
Yes, you can put raw beef straight into the slow cooker if you’d like. Is it going to cook throughout? Absolutely! Will it taste just as good as it would if you had browned it prior? No, it won’t. As mentioned above, browning the meat prior to adding it to the slow cooker helps lock in the juices. Therefore, if you skip the process, the beef may not be as tender as you’d like it to be.
What liquids do you put in beef stew?
When making beef stew, you don’t have to add a ton of liquids to the pot. I personally only add beef stock when I make my easy slow cooker beef stew. However, some people like to add red wine or even beer to their stew. This is usually the case when it comes to beef chili as well.
What is the secret to tender beef stew?
I know that It’s going to sound like I’m repeating myself, but if that’s what I got to do to get my point across, then so be it! If you want tender beef stew, be sure to brown — actually — sear the meat before adding it to your slow cooker pot. This step will definitely keep the beef tender while cooking. Also, cook the stew low and slow. Don’t rush the cooking process. I cook this easy slow cooker beef stew for 8 hours on low in the slow cooker. Yes, it may take a lot of time, but the finished product is always worth it.
How to Store Leftover Beef Stew
You can place your beef stew leftovers in food storage containers and place them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze leftovers in freezer bags or food storage containers for several months in the freezer!
What to Serve with Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew
More Slow Cooker Recipes
If you love slow cooker recipes, be sure to try these out as well!
- Best Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
- Slow Cooker Pork Pozole Recipe
- Slow Cooker Jambalaya
- Slow Cooker Smothered Roast
- Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew
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Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe
- 2 ½ lb beef chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1 – 2 inch chunks
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tsp Rosamae Seasonings Seasoning Salt
- 1 tsp herbes de provence
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 6 TBSP tomato paste
- 5 large russet potatoes peeled and sliced
- 3 medium carrots peeled and sliced
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 64 oz beef stock
- Add the flour and seasoning salt into a large zip bag.1/3 cup all purpose flour, 3 tsp Rosamae Seasonings Seasoning Salt
- Toss in the cubed beef and shake the bag until the beef cubes are well coated.2 ½ lb beef chuck roast
- Drizzle in 2-3 tbsp of olive oil into a large skillet, then place it over medium high heat.2-3 tbsp olive oil
- Once the oil is hot, add in the beef and cook until it’s nice and browned on all sides.
- Transfer the meat to a slow cooker.
- Next, add the tomato paste, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, herbes de provence, and beef stock.1 tsp herbes de provence, 1 medium yellow onion, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 6 TBSP tomato paste, 3 medium carrots, 2 ribs celery, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 64 oz beef stock
- Stir until everything is well combined.
- Cook on low for 8 hours. ADD THE POTATOES DURING THE LAST HOUR OF COOKING!5 large russet potatoes
- Do a taste test, and add more seasoning salt if needed
- Serve, and enjoy with cornbread!