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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


  • 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!

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