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How to Make Beef Stew the Way Mama Used to Make It (My Favorite Slow Cooker Recipe)

Updated on March 26, 2012

How to Make Beef Stew

It is really quite simple to make beef stew, especially if you own a slow cooker and follow this easy beef stew recipe. Nothing could be more straightforward than quickly throwing together all the beef stew ingredients and then turning a switch on to LOW.

It is by far my favourite slow cooker recipe, because it reminds me of the stew that my Mum used to make for me; hearty, nutritious, and full of love! Many people think of beef stew as a meal best served during the winter time, but really it is a wonderful comfort food to make any time of the year.

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be prepared the night before and then left overnight in the fridge. This is really handy if you leave for work early or are short on time in the mornings. Simply throw all the beef stew ingredients together in the crock pot the night before you go to work, and then in the morning all you have to do is turn the slow cooker on and it will be ready and waiting for you when you get home.

I usually let it cook slowly on low for 7-8 hours, after which time the beef is deliciously tender and the chunky vegetables are perfectly done.

Slow Cooker or Crock Pot?

I should mention, in case you were wondering, that a "crock pot" and a "slow cooker" is one and the same thing. Actually, "Crock Pot" is a brand of slow cookers made by the Company Rival. So, as you'll see in the picture above, my slow cooker is indeed also a "Crock Pot".

As an example, searching for an "easy crock pot beef stew" recipe would be exactly the same as searching for an "easy slow cooker beef stew" recipe. I know that a lot of people get confused by this, so I thought I should clarify before proceeding with the recipe.

Beef Stew Ingredients

500g Stewing Beef, cubed

4 Tbsp All Purpose Flour

Salt and Pepper

1 Medium Onion, finely chopped

3 or 4 Carrots

1 or 2 Sticks of Celery

1 or 2 Parsnips

3 Cups Beef Stock

1/2 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

2 Bay Leaves (optional)

Easy Beef Stew Recipe

When making beef stew in the slow cooker, you can really add any combination of root vegetables or seasonings that you like. You could even add ale or guinness for extra richness. I prefer to keep this recipe nice and simple; it's just so "homemade" and all the basic flavors combine together during the cooking process to make a wonderfully scrumptious stew.

Of course, the freshest ingredients are always the best. When my Mum makes her original beef stew recipe on the stovetop, she uses fresh vegetables picked right out of her garden. I am very envious of her recent prize parsnip, which really puts my supermarket-bought parsnips to shame.



Assembling your beef stew ingredients and adding them to the slow cooker couldn't be simpler:

  • Season flour with salt and pepper and toss in bite-sized pieces of the beef to coat thoroughly.

  • Roughly chop celery, parsnip, carrot and any other root vegetables

  • Finely chop the onion (this is the only bit that needs any really work!)

  • Throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker (I don't even bother to brown the beef beforehand, just throw everything in!)

  • Add mustard, tomato puree, bay leaves if using, beef stock, and stir everything together.

That's it! Close the lid and walk away. Leave on low for 7-8 hours and enjoy the aromas of a simply delightful homemade stew. It will bubble away in the slow cooker quite contently until ready to eat.

You can either serve the beef stew as is, or perhaps with dumplings or homemade biscuits.


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