Slow Cooker Beef Stew is the ultimate set it and forget it comfort meal! Tender beef with potatoes, carrots and peas in an irresistible thick and rich broth.
Best Beef Stew Slow Cooker Recipe
Beef stew was one of my all time favorite comfort foods growing up and because I love to get a little nostalgic, I decided to make a slow cooker version to share with you. Who doesn’t love to prepare their dinner in the morning and slow cook it all day?
Whether you work or would just rather be doing something else rather than stand in the kitchen prepping dinner, this is the perfect recipe for you. The best part is you end up with the tastiest stew with moist tender tasty beef!
IT’S SIMPLY AMAZING and perfect for Sunday night dinners. Serve with my easy Focaccia Bread Recipe, Copycat Little Caesars Breadsticks or a slice of toasted French bread for a great way to warm up during cold winter nights.
This beef stew is the best Slow Cooker recipe! It’s loaded with tender bites of juicy beef, golden potatoes, carrots, peas, red wine, onions, garlic, and a hearty broth. Trust me when I say… you have to try this recipe!
All of the ingredients in this recipe complement one another so well and the quantities of each are perfect, with no ingredient overpowering another. The combination of herbs creates an amazing flavor and depth!
What is the Best Meat to Use for Beef Stew?
The best meat to use to make beef stew is beef chuck. You’ll have to cut it into cubes yourself. Chuck is a tough, but flavorful cut that comes from the shoulders and front end. It is perfect for slow cooker beef stew or pot roast!
Once it has been slow cooked it has the most tender melt in your mouth texture. You can also use store bought ‘beef stewing’ meat that comes pre-cut but the texture is a bit different.
Can I Meal Prep Beef Stew?
Meal prepping this recipe is so easy and makes the perfect weeknight meal. To prepare, simply:
- Brown the beef in cubes.
- While beef is browning cut the carrots and potatoes.
- Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker (except the peas and flour).
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
It will cook all day while you’re gone, and when you get home you’ll have the most amazing smell going through your kitchen!
What is in Beef Stew?
This easy slow cooker beef stew recipe is filled with savory flavors, hearty potatoes and veggies to make it filling and delicious. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Beef Chuck – as noted above the best cut of beef to use for beef stew is beef chuck. However, you can also use beef stewing meat that is sold pre-cut in grocery stores.
- Beef Broth – you can use store bought or homemade beef broth. You can even bump up the nutrition level by using beef bone broth!
- Red Wine – my recommendations are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Or you can omit the wine and substitute for beef broth.
- Tomato Paste – tomato paste helps thicken the broth and to give it a nice tang of sweetness.
- Worcestershire Sauce – the wonderful addition of Worcestershire gives this beef stew recipe an incredible savory umami flavor.
- Red Wine Vinegar – helps to give the stew a little tang and sweetness.
- Fresh Herbs – garlic, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme are used for enhancing flavor and depth.
- Vegetables – onions, carrots, potatoes and peas are forever my favorite, but I also like to add celery and pearl onions sometimes.
- Flour – I love a really chunky thick stew. Flour is used to thicken the stew at the very end if needed. This can be omitted to keep the stew gluten free.
- Butter – swirl in 2 tablespoons of cold butter at the very end for a smooth, velvety finish. This is a technique that chefs’ use called “Monter au beurre”.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page
Brown the Beef and Prepare the Stew Base
1 Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add the beef, season with salt and pepper and brown in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan or else the meat will not evenly brown. This should take about 5 minute per batch of meat. Transfer to a large 6 or 8-quart slow cooker.
2 Next add in beef broth, dry red wine (or sub additional broth), tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir together gently with the beef until just combined.
3 Add in the garlic, onion, carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. I prefer to cook this low and slow so that the beef gets really tender and the flavors have time to meld together.
Thicken the Stew
1 Once the cooking time is complete, if you prefer a thicker stew, remove 1 cup of broth from the slow cooker and transfer to a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the 1/4 cup of flour until there are no lumps. Add the mixture to the slow cooker and stir gently to combine.
2 Add the frozen frozen peas to the slow cooker and cook uncovered on HIGH for 10-15 minutes until beef stew thicken up.
3 Swirl in the cold butter until evenly combined.
4 Remove the bay leaves.
Tips For the Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew!
- Sear your beef beforehand. This is important! Browning the beef in a skillet will bring out even more flavor.
- Cook it on low. While many slow cooker recipes can be made on high for 3-4 hours, I highly recommend cooking this beef stew on low for the full 7-8 hours. This will ensure that the beef gets nice and tender.
- Don’t Skip the Butter! Swirl in 2 Tablespoons of cold butter at the very end for a smooth, velvety finish. This is a technique that chefs’ use called “Monter au beurre”
- Handle the beef the least amount possible for extra juicy, tender results. Otherwise you’ll cause juices to run right out of it which will make it tough. Don’t over stir the stew!
- Optional Vegetable Additions – celery, green beans, pearl onions, parsnips, mushrooms and sweet potatoes.
How to Store and Freeze Beef Stew
- How do I store beef stew? Store leftover beef stew in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Simply reheat in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop.
- Can I freeze beef stew? You sure can! To freeze, let the stew cool completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight then microwave in for 2 minutes (stirring after each 30 second interval) or reheat stovetop in a pot on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until warmed through.
What to Serve with Beef Stew
Fresh baked bread is the prefect side to compliment beef stew.
- Crazy Bread (Little Caesars Copycat) – the ultimate bread stick! Light and airy bread soaked in garlic butter, topped with parmesan cheese… I’m drooling just writing this. These are a must try!
- Focaccia – a flat oven-baked Italian bread similar in style and texture to pizza. It is one of the easiest and most delicious breads! Get creative and make beautiful focaccia art!
- Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Bread – the perfect side dish to your stew with a bit of heat and cheesy goodness. Not only is this recipe quick to put together, it is incredibly delicious and moist!
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.
Best Beef Stew (Slow Cooker Recipe)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 inch pieces (about 2 1/2 pounds when done)
- Salt and pepper
- 3 1/2 cups beef broth, or beef bone broth
- 1/2 cup dry red wine, or sub extra beef broth
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp pepper, or to taste
- 6 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 yellow onion, large, cut into chunks
- 4 carrots, large , or 5 medium, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch diagonal slices
- 4 large Yukon gold potatoes , or red potatoes, diced into ½ inch cubes
- 1/4 cup flour, optional for thicker stew at the end of cooking
- 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 tbsp butter, cold
- Parsley, to garnish
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet and place over medium high heat. Add beef, season with salt and pepper and brown in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan or else the meat will not evenly brown. This should take about 5 minute per batch of meat. Transfer to large 6 or 8-quart slow cooker.
- Next add in beef broth, dry red wine or sub additional broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir together gently with the beef until just combined.
- Add in the garlic, onion, carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. I prefer to cook this low and slow so that the beef gets really tender and the flavors have time to meld together.
- Once the cooking time is complete, if you prefer a thicker stew, remove 1 cup of broth from the slow cooker and transfer to a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the 1/4 cup of flour until there are no lumps. Add the mixture to the slow cooker and stir gently to combine.
- Add the frozen frozen peas to the slow cooker and cook uncovered on HIGH for 10-15 minutes until beef stew thicken up.
- Swirl in the cold butter until evenly combined.