Crock pot beef stew doesn’t need to be fancy. You don’t have to use red wine – for that you can make my beef stew with red wine – and you need to be able to throw everything in the crock pot first thing in the morning and run out the door. That means that there’s no fancy vinegar, no odd ingredients that you don’t have in your pantry. This crock pot stew is simple, delicious and is the perfect stew for emergencies when you just don’t have the fancy ingredients or the time. Keep this recipe in your back pocket!
Beef Stew in the Crock Pot
Crock pots/slow cookers are meant for beef stew. Yes, there are other beef stews that you can make in a Dutch oven, and bake it in the oven, but the slow cooker is the way to go. Not only is safer to leave the house when you are using a crock pot (I don’t personally like leaving my oven on and leaving the house for hours, but after This is Us, maybe I should be re-thinking leaving my crock pot all day….haha) it uses less electricity and is more economical than running a large oven for 3-4 hours.
- The low setting on the crock pot is perfect for making beef stew, it will cook it low and slow all day.
- Get a true slow cooker. I don’t cook low and slow with my Instant Pot, even though I can. The instant pot heats from the bottom, not on all sides so you will inevitably end up with burnt food on the bottom. Use an actual crock pot.
- You must brown the beef before you add it into the crock pot. Browning stewing beef adds a depth of flavour to the meat.
- All you do after that is add in broth and your vegetables of choice and cook all day!
Crock Pot Beef Stew Common Q&A
What is stewing beef ? Is it the best beef for stew?
Stewing Beef is cubes of chuck/blade roast or even round roast that is absolutely the best beef to use in stew! Stewing beef has to be beef that become tender and more flavourful the longer you cook it. The grocery store butcher usually will trim the fat off and cut it into cubes before packaging it up – but this is more expensive per pound than it is to buy a chuck steak and trim it up yourself! Don’t feel bad if you grab the stewing meat package and go – I do this when I am in a rush as well.
Will my stewing beef be tough?
If your stewing beef is really tough, that means that you haven’t cooked it long enough. Stewing meat will break down slowly in the slow cooker all day long. If you rush the process and don’t cook it well enough, your stewing meat will be tough.
Can you overcook stewing meat?
Yes, you can! However thanks to the making stew in the slow cooker the odds of your stewing beef drying out are far less than when you make stew on the stove top or in the oven. I have never managed to overcook crock pot beef, just always make sure you have enough liquid and everything will be okay!
How do I thicken up beef stew?
You can coat the stewing beef in flour and then fry it up, the flour left on the beef will dissolve into the crock pot stew and help thicken it. I prefer to simply use cornstarch at the end, mixed in cold water and then whisk it in. You then keep whisking until the stew thickens!
This crock pot beef stew is very forgiving and is the perfect recipe for beginning and experienced cooks. Don’t have celery? Don’t even worry about it, I rarely have celery either! I also don’t liked it cooked, so when you see it in a recipe like this one it’s because I am taking a hit for my family who does like cooked celery. I just pick it out. I know. I’m terrible. Don’t have that many carrots? That’s fine. This stew is meant to be easy, fast and get a hot meal in your family’s bellies at the end of the day!
For some other delicious crock pot recipes try my:
- Mushroom Crock pot Cube Steak and Gravy
- Beer and Mushroom Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Classic Beef and Tomato Macaroni Soup
- Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
- Slow Cooker Italian Pot Roast and Peppers
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Crock pot Beef Stew
- 2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cubes beef bouillon crumbled
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cups hot water
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 large potatoes peeled and cubed
- 4 carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 stalks celery cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water
- In a large skillet cook the beef in oil over medium heat until browned. Place in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Dissolve the beef bouillon and Worcestershire sauce into the hot water and pour into the slow cooker. Stir in rosemary, parsley, garlic and pepper. Stir potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion into the slow cooker.
- Place the lid on top and cook for 6-8 hour on low, until the beef is tender and done.
- Once the stew is done, dissolve the cornstarch into the cold water and whisk rapidly into the hot stew. Cover and let it thicken for another 5-10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.