Crockpot beef stew recipe
If you love a good, hearty beef stew recipe that doesn’t require hours of prep time, our crockpot beef stew recipe is perfect for you. The crockpot will cook the stew to perfection, making the meat wonderfully tender and the broth complex and mouth-wateringly good.
Crockpot Recipe for Beef Stew
Crockpots are the perfect kitchen tool to use when you want to make an easy meal that is still full of flavor. The majority of slow cooker recipes require you to simply add ingredients to the pot, stir and turn the cooker on only to come back hours later to a perfectly cooked meal. The crockpot cooks the ingredients over a low, steady heat for hours, developing layers of flavor with very little work. This is the perfect appliance for stew!
The low and slow method of cooking is the ideal way to cook beef stew, in particular. The long cooking process lets the beef tenderize without becoming dry or tough. Cooking slowly also allows the flavors of the onions and carrots to grow stronger and melt into the beef, making an amazing stew. So, if you are looking for a super easy, incredibly delicious way to make beef stew, get out your crockpot and start making this recipe!
How to Make Beef Stew in A Crockpot
Making beef stew in your slow cooker could not be any easier. In fact, it may be one of the easiest recipes we have ever made and requires very little prep time. Here is a quick look at how to make this beef stew using your crockpot:
- Season the beef with a little salt and ground black pepper and then sear in a skillet until it has browned. This will take about 4-5 minutes cook time on each side.
- Transfer the beef to the crockpot and add the pre cut potatoes, carrots, onion and tomato juice. Season as desired with salt, pepper, a bay leaf or even a few extra cups beef broth. Red wine is a great addition at this step as well!
- Cover and cook on high for about 6-8 hours time or until the potatoes are soft and fork-tender. Start checking after about 6 hours of time has passed.
- Season as desired then serve straight out of the crockpot!
Four simple steps and just a few ingredients and you will be enjoying an amazing slow cooker beef stew with almost no effort required. You will have this stew recipe memorized quickly as it is guaranteed to be a recipe you make often!
Healthy Beef Stew Recipe
While you already know that our beef stew recipe is easy thanks to the crock pot method of cooking, but did you know that this slow cooker beef stew recipe is also quite healthy? Take a look at all the veggies that we have added into our recipe:
- Carrots cut to perfection
- Onions chopped finely
- Potatoes diced into beautiful chunks
While carrots, potatoes and onion are our main vegetables, you can definitely add more to increase the nutritional content of this recipe. Take a look at other stew recipes or this about beef stew recipes you have enjoyed in the past for vegetable inspiration. You can always simply add more carrots, cut extra red potatoes or hope a few more onions to make a few easy, healthy additions without spending too much more time on vegetable prep! (Remember to always use a sharp chef’s knife to chop the ingredients as a good knife will save time and make cooking prep easier. )
In addition, choose a beef that is low in saturated fat. Most stew meat has little fat as it is so this shouldn’t be too hard to do! A few pounds beef that is love in saturated fat is also good to have on hand for other recipe and it will even freeze well! When the crockpot beef stew meats cook, it will tenderize as well so there is no need for lots of fat anyway.
Creative Crock Pot Beef Stew
Our recipe is designed to be simple and easy while still providing you with a lot of flavor. However, everyone likes their beef stew, slow cooker style, a little differently and you may want to make a few additions or changes to the recipe to suit your personal taste. Here are some ideas on how to change the recipe to make it your own:
- Use a few cups beef broth in place of tomato juice.
- Add a splash of red wine to the slow cooker before you cover and cook the recipe. You can also add red wine to the saute pan with the beef stew meat as it browns to add direct flavor to the chuck roast.
- Add olive oil to the saute pan when you sear the chuck roast meat (or whatever kind of beef stew meat you choose to use) to make the outside of the meat even crispier. Browning the meat more will add more flavor to the stew recipe.
- Toss the chopped beef chuck in a few tablespoons of flour before you saute it. Adding flour will help thicken the stew as it cooks. Once the beef has seared in the pan with the flour, add about a cup or two of the tomato juice to the pan and use a spatula to scrape the flour and beef from the bottom of the pan then add that “gravy” into the crock pot when you add the other ingredients
- Add more chopped vegetables to the stew recipe. Mushrooms, celery, peppers, more carrots, potatoes or any other ingredients you find delicious in a regular beef stew. Add the ingredients you choose into the crock pot before you cover and cook!
- Add seasonings either at the beginning of the cooking time or the end. Herbs like a bay leaf, a teaspoon of dried basil or dried thyme are best when added at the beginning of the cooking process along with the other ingredients before you cover and cook the stew. Seasonings like a teaspoon of salt and pepper are best added at the end. Taste the stew and add or adjust the salt and pepper or other herbs, like dried thyme, to fit your taste.
With so many options, this slow cooker beef stew is truly a perfect, easy recipe for anyone. Cooking stew has never been more easy or more simple to customize!
All stew recipes are a little different so you may have questions about how to make our recipe in particular. We have answered some of the most commonly asked recipe questions below. Hopefully these will guide you and make cooking our easy slow cooker beef stew very simple!
Can you put raw beef in slow cooker?
You definitely can put raw beef in the crock pot for this recipe. When you brown the meat in a skillet beforehand, you caramelize the beef which will add flavor to your slow cooker beef stew. However, you can opt to skip this step and make the recipe even more easy. The beef stew meat will still be completely cooked and tender when the cooking process is complete.
How do you make beef stew meat tender?
Beef stew meat is typically a more firm cut of beef. However, using a tougher piece of stew meat is a good thing! Since the stew recipe is made in a crock pot, the meat will be cooking for a long time which will break down the proteins in the meat, making the beef very tender. The longer the cooking process, the more tender the beef will become! Seasoning the meat with salt and pepper before you sear it in the skillet will also help to tenderize the meat. Salt, pepper and a long cooking time are all essential to make beef stew meat tender in this recipe.
How can I thicken my beef stew?
There are a few ways you can thicken your beef stew. First, you can add about a 1/4 cup of flour, tossing the beef with the 1/4 cup of flour before you place it in the skillet to brown. The flour will stick to the beef and then, when all the ingredients are put in the crock pot, the flour will cook and thicken the broth. You may even want to deglaze the skillet with some red wine (about 1/4 cup will do!) to loosen up some of the cooked flour and beef pieces in the pan, pouring the red wine sauce into the slow cooker as well.
You can also thicken the beef stew later on in the cooking process. About an hour before the beef stew is done cooking, take some of the liquid out of the crock pot and whisk it together with a 1/4 cup flour or a few teaspoons of corn starch. Add this mix back into the crock pot and stir the ingredients together. Cover the crock pot and continue to cook for the remaining time. This will help thicken the beef stew broth.
We know that this recipe is one that you are going to make all the time. Stew, slow cooker beef stew specifically, is always a wonderful dinner recipe to make when the weather turns cold or when you want something hearty and comforting without having to spend hours cooking in the kitchen. So get out your potatoes, get that onion chopped, season your beef with salt, pepper and maybe toss in a bay leaf and some red wine if you’d like then let your crock pot do the work!
Check your beef stew in the crockpot a few hours later and you will be amazed by how the ingredients came together so wonderfully. It’s amazing how delicious a little beef chuck some potatoes, carrots and onion can be. Cooking a perfect crockpot beef stew has never been more easy! Enjoy!
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Start this stew in the morning and come back at dinner time to find a yummy dinner, ready to enjoy!
- 2lb. beef roast cut into small chunks (about 2 inch pieces)
- 1lb. bag of carrots (peeled and diced)
- 8–10 medium size potatoes (peeled and diced)
- 2 small yellow onions (peeled and diced)
- 64oz of tomato juice
- sea salt + black pepper (to taste)
- Cook beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once meat starts to brown, add in chopped onion, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes or until meat is browned.
- Transfer beef into a large crockpot then add carrots and potatoes in along with more salt and pepper. Cover the meat and vegetables with tomato juice.
- Cook on high for 6-8 hours or until the potatoes and carrots are done. Serve with toppings of choice.
After about 6 hours, we like to take a sturdy spoon and stir everything around. It makes the meat, carrots and potatoes fall apart into more of a stew-like texture.
- Season the beef meat with salt, pepper and a teaspoon or two of flour before you saute it in the skillet. Salt pepper and flour will not only add flavor, but also help to thicken the broth of the crockpot beef stew. You can choose to skip the flour but salt and pepper are a must!
- Always use fresh ingredients anytime possible and chop the ingredients right before you are ready to add them to the crock pot. Onion, chopped and added fresh are more pungent and have more flavor than those that were not cut right before cooking. So chop those potatoes, carrots and onions and then immediately add them to the crock pot! Your beef stew will taste best this way.
- Cooking length may vary depending on the crock pot you have. Check the potatoes, carrots and beef for doneness after about 6 hours on the high setting. The potatoes and carrots should be fork tender which means a fork easily goes through the potatoes or carrots. The beef should flake apart when touched with a fork and the meat should also have no pink in the center.