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How to Make Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker

Updated on October 1, 2012
Slow cooker beef stew
Slow cooker beef stew | Source
Cast your vote for slow cooker beef stew

I love my slow cooker! I use it almost every week the year 'round. It produces some of my family's favorite meals. I make chili and chicken with dumplings and various soups all year but mostly do my roasts and stews in the fall/winter months. I decided it was about time to make a slow cooker beef stew again. It has been a while since I made it and it is always a favorite for my husband.

This is the first time I have tried using a sweet potato instead of white potatoes. I know sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A and fiber. I am trying to widen my children's palettes somewhat, and sweet potatoes were a favorite of both of my children when they ate baby food. They are not exposed to them very much now beyond the holidays, so I thought I would try to work them into a stew.

Most stews that I have made over the years have the stew meat dredged in flour. As I get older, I am paying attention to food more and starting to try and make more healthy choices than I used to make. I decided to dump the flour out of my new stew recipe completely. I will not add it to thicken the stew later either.

I have been looking quite a bit online lately at Paleo eating. I am just learning about it and am not sure I can fully convert, however, I know the Paleo diet recommends choosing sweet potatoes over white potatoes. So, I do have another underlying reason for adding a sweet potato to my stew.

The flavors that this recipe brings together and creates are truly lively. It is a very satisfying, yet not too heavy, beef stew. It leaves a great, savory flavor on your palette, enticing you to come back for more. I hope you enjoy this stew as much as my family does!

beef stew, cooking away, one of my favorite smells!
beef stew, cooking away, one of my favorite smells! | Source
the spices for the stew
the spices for the stew | Source
mmmm stew
mmmm stew | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 5 hours
Ready in: 5 hours 20 min
Yields: serves six

Ingredients

  • 1 - 2 lbs beef stew meat, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 bag baby carrots, I also pulled some out of my garden to use
  • 1 - 2 red onions, quartered
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into 1 in pieces
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup white zinfandel wine
  • 1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 - 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 2 C water

Making slow cooker beef stew

  1. Place the carrots into the slow cooker. I used half a bag of baby carrots and added three more of my home grown carrots. I did wash and peel my garden carrots and then cut them into about 1 inch pieces. Also, wash the sweet potato, cut the ends off and cube it into about 1 inch cubes. Add this to the slow cooker.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet (I always use a cast iron skillet) to medium heat. Brown the stew meat in it, turning the pieces to brown on all sides. Before transferring the meat the slow cooker, add onions to the skillet and cook them until they are softened. Once the meat is browned, you can drain it and then transfer it to the slow cooker.
  3. Once the onions are softened, add them to the slow cooker. Then add the white zinfandel to the skillet and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the meat remnants out. I add the sea salt, ground pepper, garlic, garlic powder, rosemary, thyme and paprika to the wine in the pan. I also add one beef bouillon cube to the pan and dissolve it into the wine. This blends all the spices together more evenly.
  4. Pour the wine over the ingredients in the slow cooker. Add two cups of water and cover. Cook on low 4-6 hrs. I usually cook the first hour on high and then cook 2-3 hours on low. The high setting on the slow cooker cooks at about twice the rate of the low setting. It all depends on what time I start the stew if I use the high setting or not. Dish out a serving, let cool and enjoy!

Comments

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    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Looks delicious! Beef stew is such a classic that I often forget about. Voted up!

    • Marketing Merit profile image

      C L Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      That looks absolutely lush!

      My only criticism is that there are no dumplings!

      Shame on you Amberld! ;) How can you possibly have beef stew without dumplings?!

      Is it because you're eliminating flour?

      Weather's getting colder so will give this recipe a go in my slow cooker.

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      yes, I know it is a crime not to have dumplings or some sort of great bread with this stew! Yes, I am trying to do the Whole30 diet this month (which will help reset my metabolism), so no grains for me right now. Feel free to add them to the dish though for yourself! And, just as a side note to this recipe, the sweet potato breaks down if you keep cooking and it really helps thicken up the broth. This stew has a sumptuous taste and really is pretty satisfying, even without dumplings! have a great day and thank you for checking out my recipe!

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      Thank you Farmer Rachel for checking out my recipe! It is such a classic dish that I love and I figured it was about time to make it again. The sweet potato really makes this stew have a wonderful sweet flavor, of course the carrots help some, also! Hope you make this soon and love it, too!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love the sweet potato instead of the whole potato. You have a delicious recipe here and a great idea for a slow cooker.

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      Thank you so much for checking out my recipe teaches! I think the sweet potato makes this stew super tasty. It's very savory and almost gives the broth a smooth, velvety feeling, kinda like butternut squash soup but better! hope you enjoy this if you try it!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      This is great! Now I'll use my slow cooker more efficiently! Thanks for this! Sharing this lovely hub.

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 4 years ago from Northern California

      Sounds like mom's beef stew. It is fall here in N. California and this sounds like a good idea for cooler weather. Thanks so much!

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      Fall is definitely in the air here, too, in Wisconsin! I just took a drive into Madison for some errands and I think we are past peak with the colors, we probably have 70% of leaves left. Beautiful day for a drive, though! I really hope you like my stew, thank you for checking out my recipe!

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      Thank you so much for checking out my recipe! I hope you enjoy the stew, I absolutely love the sweet potato flavor in it and will continue using them in my stews/roasts.

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