Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew made with chuck roast, Yukon potatoes and carrots for a rich beef stew that is perfect for the cold weather.
Slow cooker meals are so popular and with good reason. There is less time with school and holidays and the weather is so cold everyone wants food that is hearty and comforting. This Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew is the best of all worlds.
Serving suggestion? Just like Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup, you can enjoy this meal with Crusty French Bread Rolls or Garlic Bread and a side salad (a nice lemon/olive oil dressing would be great to cut through all the hearty flavors here). The Beef Stew is great for bread dipping.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Meal prepping this recipe is 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 in the remaining ingredients.
- Cook on low for 8 hours.
It will cook all day while you’re gone, and when you get home you have the most amazing smell going through your kitchen.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Brown your beef! This recipe uses a chuck roast, seared it well on both sides, then trimmed and cut it into 2-3 inch chunks.
One of the easiest and most delicious ingredients in this stew: Yukon Potatoes! They’re buttery and rich and won’t fall apart after a long day of cooking. You also don’t need to peel these potatoes which will cut down significantly on the work you have to do before cooking.
This recipe browns the beef in a cast iron skillet to get a GOOD crust on both sides with plenty of kosher salt and black pepper. If you have a slow cooker with an aluminum insert, brown the beef in this make this a one pot meal. It also saves all the browned flavor that stays in the pan for your stew.
If not using a base use beef stock instead of broth, and it’s even more important to get a good sear on the meat, then deglaze the pan with the stock to make sure all the beef flavor comes with it.
Instead of crushed or diced tomatoes we use tomato paste, the concentration of flavors without adding additional liquid makes for a more flavorful stew.
In a stew you aren’t looking for the consistency to be that of a soup, so minimizing added liquids is helpful. If using canned tomatoes instead of paste drain the can.
To thicken beef stew you can either mix equal parts of flour/butter together and add it to the last hour of cooking or you can simply mash 3 or 4 chunks of the potatoes well and mix it into the stew for a natural thickener.
Instead of four cups of beef broth add in 3 cups of broth and one cup of red wine and follow the rest of the recipe as written.
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Best Meat for Beef Stew
Chuck Roast: This is the most old-fashioned and classic cut of meat for most pot roasts or beef stews. Use this as a replacement for most recipes that actually call for stew meat because chuck roasts are typically well-marbled, just be sure when buying the meat you look for more even fat distribution.
Stew Meat: This is the easiest way to go, not expensive cut of meat because it is pre-cut. This is generally not high quality though and is usually extra cuts left over that the butcher is looking to sell off. Avoid this cut in the grocery store if possible.
Ribeye: If you want to impress your guests and you are cooking this during the holidays, you may find a ribeye roast is on sale. During the holiday season it usually sells for a VERY low price (comparable sometimes to chuck). When it does, get a 4 inch thick cut and use it to make the best roasts and stews with it, because it will be a luxurious treat with the most tender beef you’ve ever eaten.
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Tools Used to Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Food Flipper: This tool flips the chuck roast easily. You can use this tool EVERY time you cook something that requires flipping, it is amazing.
Slow Cooker: This recipe was made in this slow cooker. This slow cooker is great for how programmable it is. Plus the locking lid makes it a breeze for making a dish that needs to travel.
Aluminum Insert Slow Cooker: You brown the meat in the insert without losing a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.
Cast Iron Skillet: If you don’t have a slow cooker with a stovetop friendly
insert, this is the most used pan in our kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Beef Base: You’ll never buy boxes of broth because if you keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon on hand.
How to Store Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Serve: You should never leave meat out for more than 2 hours after cooking it.
- Store: Once the soup has cooled down to room temperature, put it in an airtight container to store it in the fridge. It will keep well for 2-3 days.
- Freeze: You can also freeze Slow Cooker Beef Stew Soup for up to 3 months. Keep it in a freezer bag or other airtight container, and let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating it in a dutch oven on the stovetop.
- 3 pound chuck roast , boneless
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- 4 carrots , peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
- 4 Yukon potatoes , cut into 2 inch chunks
- 4 cups beef broth *
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , unsalted
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Preheat a large skillet or aluminum slow cooker insert on high heat.
- Season the beef with half the salt and all the pepper.
- Add to the skillet and brown on each side for 4-6 minutes or until deeply browned on each side.
- Remove the beef from the pan and add in the onions.
- Cut the beef into 2-3 inch chunks and add it to the slow cooker.
- Cook the onions for 3 minutes, stir then cook another 3 minutes.
- Into the slow cooker add the onions, carrots, potatoes, broth, second half of the salt, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and Worcestershire sauce.
- Stir all the ingredients until well mixed and cook on low for 7 hours.
- In a small bowl mix the butter and flour and add it to the slow cooker and stir.
- Cook an additional hour or until thickened.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.