Best Beef Stew Recipe For Slow Cooker Or Crockpot
Beef Stew in the Crock Pot: Fall Classic
At this time of year, soups and stews are a must for me because I love the ability to add so many good-for-you vegetables and enjoy the delicate aromas that slow-cooking lend the house. Nothing feels better or cozier on a fall evening than having your meal all ready for you too via the wonderful invention call the crock-pot!
Add a tossed green salad and a loaf of crusty bread (why not dig out the bread maker and make a loaf) or dinner rolls and you've got a lovely meal. Maybe add a cobbler for dessert and it is even a more elegant meal for guests!
Experiment with other vegetables and make the stew YOUR classic. I love tweaking stew or soup recipes to what I have at hand.
Photo Credit: Flickr Lickr
Recipe for Beef Stew in the Crock Pot
- 1 lb. beef (round steak, stewing beef, even part of a pot roast chunked)
- 1 medium onion chopped (or substitute shallots or baby onions)
- 4-5 stalks of celery
- 5-6 red potatoes (I leave skins on but you may peel) OR use Yukon gold potatoes - large chunk chopped
- 6 or so medium carrots peeled and large chunk chopped
- 1 quart beef broth (and additional water)
- Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- Red wine (1/2 cup) if desired as part of other liquid
- Frozen peas (add at the very end) - optional
- Mushrooms (add near the end) - optional
- Corn kernels - optional
- Few chunks of sweet potato - optional
- Olive oil or no-calorie cooking spray for browning beef
- Flour for dredging beef - optional
- Flour for thickening towards the end - optional
- Spices (I use tarragon and marjoram a lot but also rosemary and thyme are rich in flavor)
- Braise beef (chunked/cubed) in saucepan in a teaspoon or so of olive oil (or cooking spray) - if desired dredge the beef in flour, salt and pepper. I just brown the beef chunks to set them but it works both with flour dredging or without.
- If desired, remove beef, add onion and celery to the pan and just toss them for about 5 minutes to soften a bit.
- Place the carrots and potatoes in the bottom of the crock-pot, add the onions and celery.
- Add the meat on top of the vegetables (you want the heavier thicker vegetables to stay DOWN inside the liquid to make sure they cook through).
- Sprinkle with herbs desired and salt/pepper.
- Next mix your red wine if used, your quart of beef broth (or equivalent mix of water and bouillon), the Worcestershire sauce and pour over all.
- I add water with bouillion or more broth to about 3/4 of the way up so that there will be plenty of delicious broth (if extra later on, I save it and use it for gravies, etc).
- Cover and cook on LOW setting for 8 hours (or until desired doneness is reached).
- NOTE: If you lift the lid off the crockpot, allow 20 minutes for it to get back to its original temperature - each time!
- Towards the end of cooking (an hour or so before it will be done) add mushrooms if using.
- Add peas and/or corn kernels at the tail end of cooking as they do not require recooking or much cooking.
- If a thicker stew is desired, mix 1 tablespoon of flour at a time with cold water in a covered container, shake and then pour into the stew. Add this an hour at least before cooking end time, stir in and allow to thicken.
- Another good vegetable to add is parsnips but again, be creative! I have used frozen mushrooms and fresh mushrooms with equal results. I have also added small chunks of butternut squash that made a delicious variety!
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