Warm up to a bowl of hearty Crock-Pot Beef Stew. Tender beef is simmered away in the slow cooker with carrots, onions, celery in a full of flavor stew. You really cannot go wrong with this classic beef stew recipe!
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
We had our first snow of 2016 the other day. It wasn’t a lot of snow, a dusting really that covered my rose bushes and herb garden with a light blanket of snow. It was pretty.
This is not the earliest I have seen snow in my 13 years living in Wyoming. August 25th a few years ago holds that record. And that snow was a huge dumping blizzard of wet snow that clung to all the tree branches. Tree branches which had not even begun to turn autumn colors yet. The wet heavy snow broke a ton of branches and the frost immediately killed all the leaves on the trees and they just fell off. No pretty oranges and reds, just soggy olive green dead leaves to rake up.
And it is not the latest we have seen snow either. Last year our first snow held off until the day after Halloween. The kids were ecstatic to be able to trick-or-treat without puffy winter jackets and snow pants.
But that first snow of the year always makes me want to pull out the crock-pot and put on something warm and hearty.
For me cold weather equal comfort food. Soups, stews and chili, that is what cold weather makes me want to cook.
Without fail the minute the temperatures drop my husband will text me from work and
beg ask me to make something warm and comforting for dinner that night.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and this may not be true in every relationship but it has a ring of truth with my husband and I. Almost 20 years married and the man still loves my cooking!
On this cold and snowy day I decided that a nice hearty beef stew would be the perfect dinner to feed my husband and our crew.
This recipe is actually quite easy. The prep work just involves cutting up your veggies and browning the meat really quickly.
I know some folks balk at browning meat on the stove-top in some recipes. But I really feel that this little extra step really adds a depth of flavor to your final stew. You can omit the browning the meat step if you really want to but I encourage you to not skip it and enjoy the flavor it adds.
I buy pre-cut beef stew meat from the grocery store but you can of course cut up your own roast beef into cubes. I cut my own stew meat whenever there is an awesome sale on roast beef.
Then everything else is just tossed in the slow cooker and let to simmer away all day until dinner time.
We like to serve our beef stew with some nice rolls and side salad. And everyone walks away from the family table with bellies full and a smile on their face. 🙂
Crock-Pot Beef Stew Recipe
- 2 pounds Beef Stew Meat ((trimmed of excess fat))
- 2 cups Diced Potatoes ((about 3 medium potatoes))
- 2 cups Diced Carrots ((about 4 – 5 medium carrots))
- 1 cup Diced Celery ((about 2 – 3 ribs of celery))
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
- 3 cloves Garlic ((finely minced))
- 1 cup Low Sodium Beef Broth ((canned or homemade))
- ½ cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- ¼ teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 envelope French Onion Soup Mix ((see notes for homemade version))
- 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour ((or gluten-free flour if you are on a gluten free diet))
- ¼ cup Water
- Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil and then spread the beef stew meat in the hot pan in a single layer and let it brown for 4 to 5 minutes. Using tongs flip the meat over and brown on the other side.
- Place the browned beef in a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.
- Add the minced garlic and the red wine vinegar to the hot pan and deglaze the pan quickly scraping up the browned bits from the pan (this is where the flavor lies). And pour the deglazing liquid and garlic over the meat in the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker (vegetables, beef broth, tomato paste, pepper and French onion soup mix) and stir everything together.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
- During the last half of cooking create a thickening slurry by stirring together the flour (or gluten free flour or cornstarch if using) and water in a small bowl or cup until there are no lumps in your slurry. Stir slurry into simmering beef stew and let it cook the final half hour before serving.
- 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium beef bouillon granules
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container.
- One recipe equals 1 envelope of store bought onion soup mix.
- Feel free to double (or triple, etc, this recipe to make sure you have more on hand).
- Dried mix is best used within 1 year of making for the best flavor. After that the flavor may diminish but the mix is still perfectly safe to use.