Slow Cooker Beef Stew is the most comforting and easy dish to throw together this fall and winter. Tender, juicy, flavorful meat with carrots and potatoes is a meal that is not only delicious but is also nutrient dense. Add this dump-and-go recipe to your meal rotation because everyone is sure to love it!
This Slow Cooker Beef Stew is pretty much the meal of the season! This is comforting, hearty, cozy, rustic, homey, incredibly easy… you need this in your life! For more comforting fall meals, try my Baked Ziti with Sweet Italian Sausage, Beef and Barley Soup, and Baked Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti Squash.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
This Beef Stew is going to be on repeat all fall and winter long in our home. I love how easy it is to just toss in the slow cooker and let it do its magic. It takes me less than 5 minutes to throw everything in the pot and it tastes amazing!
Serve it with some crusty bread to soak up every last yummy drop of broth and you’ve got a meal the family will love!
How to make Beef Stew:
- Place all the vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker pot. Place the beef on top.
- Mix together the broth, tomato sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the beef. Sprinkle the beef with additional salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours.
- Serve and enjoy! I recommend some crusty artisan bread to soak up every last drop of broth.
Do I need to brown the meat?
N-O! This stew requires no extra pans and steps of browning the meat. By putting the meat on the top and NOT lifting the lid while cooking you’ll get delicious results.
What is the Best Beef Stew Meat?
Most stores sell beef already trimmed and cut into chunks and labeled as “stew meat”. This meat is usually chuck or round. Both of these cuts are tough but become tender and flavorful as they are slowly cooked in liquid like in a stew.
If you are looking for a leaner meat, select beef round (bottom and eye). For a little more tender and flavorful meat, select chuck (shoulder, leg, or butt).
If you buy large roast, cut it up into 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch pieces and trim off excess fat.
How to make stew meat tender?
Two words: LOW and SLOW. Chuck meat is a tough meat so it needs time to break down and become tender. Rushing this process by cooking it at too high of heat can lead to a tough and chewy texture. Cooking in the slow cooker on high is still fine but if you have the time, cooking on LOW results in the best results.
How big to cut vegetables for stew?
Since the meat in stew need to cook for a long time to become tender the vegetables need to be large enough that they don’t turn to mush but not too big that they are still hard.
- Carrots– You can use baby carrots that are 1/2 inch in diameter or peel and slice large carrots into 1/2 inch rounds.
- Celery– Stalks should be cut into 1 inch pieces.
- Potatoes– Use baby potatoes that are 1 inch in diameter and 1 1/2 to 2 inches in length. You can also cut larger potatoes into 1 inch pieces. (I buy The Little Potato Company potatoes at Costco and used only the yellow potatoes in this but you can also use the red.)
What potatoes are best for stew?
Yukon or red potatoes are best for stews. They have a waxy texture due to lower starch levels and hold their shape after cooking unlike russet potatoes. These potatoes also have thinner skin which is more appetizing.
Can I double the recipe?
YES! This recipe can feed 4-5 adults but if you’re feeding 6 or more, I suggest you double the recipe. Just make sure you use a 6-quart slow cooker so it all fits. Also, plan to cook it for the longer end of the suggested time range and possible longer depending on how powerful your cooker is.
I made this recipe in my 6-quart Crock-Pot and you can see there is plenty of room to double the recipe.
LOOKING FOR MORE HEARTY BEEF MEALS? CHECK OUT THESE:
- Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup is so easy to make and probably my favorite soup for the fall because it’s flavorful, healthy, and fills me up.
- Beef Pot Roast is perfect for a nice Sunday dinner that requires minimal work.
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are simple yet flavorful. Such a great meal for a cold and rainy day.
- Instant Pot Sloppy Joes will take you back to your childhood days.
- Easy Beef, Spinach, and Cheese Manicotti is such a yummy pasta dish that is dinner party worthy.
- Mississippi Pot Roast is a juicy roast that is sure to impress.
- Salisbury Steak and with Mushroom Gravy is a comfort food favorite that’s quick and easy to make.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS STEW:
- Slow Cooker– This is very similar to the one I use but it has the addition of a lockable lid which is awesome for when you are transporting food for a party or potluck, especially soup.
- Knife Set– I got this when I got married almost 8 years ago. I use them multiple times a day and they’re still going strong!
- Cutting board– I love having various sizes of cutting boards and these are awesome because they won’t slip and slide around on the counter.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- 1 1/2 pounds stew meat, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 1/2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
- 2 cups carrots
- 3 ribs celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 sweet onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups beef broth
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Place potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the meat on top.
- Mix the beef broth, tomato sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper together and pour over the meat. Sprinkle more salt and pepper over the meat, add the bay leaves, and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours until meat is tender and vegetables are fork tender.