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Beef Crockpot Stew - Easy Recipe for Beef Stew in a Crockpot

Updated on July 18, 2011

Easy and Delicious Beef Stew

I can never get a photo of my beef stew recipe. It's gone too fast around my house. Thanks, jspaw @flickr for the photo!
I can never get a photo of my beef stew recipe. It's gone too fast around my house. Thanks, jspaw @flickr for the photo!

Everyone Loves Beef Stew Slow Cooker Recipes

Beef crockpot stew is the perfect recipe for those frantic, busy days when you don't have time to cook. And nothing beats walking in your door after a long day and smelling the delicious aroma of crockpot beef stew waiting for you. Chop up some vegetables to make a salad (or better yet, make it the night before), add some crusty rolls, and supper is done!

Not to mention that beef stew crockpot recipes are healthy and filling. If you're on a budget, beef crockpot stew is a recipe that will help stretch your money. If you're a beginner cook, it's hard to mess up a crockpot beef stew recipe, or most slow cooker recipes, for that matter. So, whatever your reason for deciding to make beef crockpot stew, here is a cheap and easy slow cooker recipe. It is maybe the best crockpot beef stew I've eaten. Enjoy and save some for me!

Smaller 4 Qt Slow Cooker by Hamilton Beach

Ingredients for Beef Crockpot Stew

Makes enough for 8 servings

About 2 pounds beef stew meat
1 large onion
5 large potatoes
6 carrots
2-3 celery stalks
optional: corn, frozen or canned
optional: green peas, frozen or canned
optional: mushrooms, fresh or canned
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper (I prefer it, but you can use black)
1 tsp. paprika
2 bay leaves (This really is a must. It adds depth and lots of flavor.)
2-3 cloves garlic, your preference (I actually use 3, but I love garlic)
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (Secret ingredient- don't tell!)
3-4 c. beef broth (depends on how you like your beef stew- canned or homemade)
optional: 1/2 c. red wine (really makes it taste rich)

How to Make Crockpot Beef Stew

If you bought beef that wasn't cubed beef stew meat, cut up the beef into small cubes suitable for a stew. (And next time, remind yourself to buy beef stew meat already cut up. It saves time in the beef stew preparation and doesn't cost much more. Of course, if you're on a tight budget, buying cheaper cuts of beef and preparing them for your crockpot beef stew recipe makes sense.)

Next, chop up the onion, potatoes, carrots, and celery into uniform pieces small enough for beef stew. I cheat a bit and just throw in baby carrots instead of peeling and cutting up regular carrots. What can I say? I'm lazy and like recipes easy and quick as possible.

Place the beef stew meat, flour, salt and pepper into a large plastic baggie and seal it. Shake it enough to coat the beef stew cubes well with flour.

Add the onions, potatoes, carrots, and celery to the bottom of the slow cooker. Then add the meat. Next, add in everything else, except wine and any other optional ingredients listed that you choose.

If you want to add the corn, peas, or mushrooms, wait until about an hour before the beef stew is done before adding any of them. This will prevent them from being mushy.

If you are using the red wine in your crockpot beef stew, wait until the last 45 minutes or so before adding it.

That's it! In 8-10 hours, you will be welcomed by the smells of delicious beef crockpot stew. That's if you make your beef stew crockpot recipe on low. If you want your crockpot beef stew sooner, cook it in your slow cooker for 3-5 hours on high.

Be sure to remove the bay leaves from your crockpot beef stew before serving!

A Note on New Crock Pots and Slow Cookers

Note: All crockpots are different. If you haven't used your slow cooker yet, you should check your slow cooker recipe at the shortest recommended time to make sure your beef stew doesn't become overcooked.

With the old crock pots, which I sorely miss, this was never a problem. But new slow cookers definitely cook at a higher temperature. They will burn foods and/or dry them out if left unattended for too long. How do I know? I was making chicken in a slow cooker. I had to leave it longer than recommended because I couldn't get home. It ended up resembling jerky. Just warning you!

Options and Tips for Making Beef Stew in a Crockpot

Beef Stew Recipe Options:

A lot of people brown meat first before using it in a slow cooker recipe. It's more for appearance than taste. Meat cooked in a crock pot that hasn't been browned on the stove first can sometimes turn out looking gray. But it doesn't affect the taste, tenderness, or moistness at all. Personally, I usually don't. As mentioned before, I like easy slow cooker recipes. My family doesn't notice. But if I'm having company, sometimes I will brown the stew meat first before proceeding with the beef crockpot stew recipe.

You can also brown the onions before adding to your crockpot beef stew if you wish. The onions will have a sweeter, milder taste.

If you don't have a slow cooker, this easy beef stew recipe can be prepared on the stove on a low simmer. Be sure to stir it often so that it doesn't stick to the pot.

If you forgot beef broth, you can just use 2 or 3 beef bouillon cube cubes and water.

If you want your beef crockpot stew thicker than it turns out, just add about a tablespoon of cornstarch to maybe 1/4 cup of cold water. Mix well before adding to the crockpot beef stew. Stir into the beef stew. Let the beef stew cook for about half an hour longer in the slow cooker to thicken up the stew gravy.

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