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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This traditional Beef Stew is the best Slow Cooker recipe for Fall and Winter. It’s loaded with tender bites of juicy beef, golden potatoes, carrots, peas, red wine, onions, garlic, and a hearty beef broth. Serve it with warm biscuits, cornbread, or even over mashed potatoes.

Be sure to try my Crock Pot Roast recipe next!

A white bowl filled with Slow Cooker Beef Stew with a spoon in the background.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Who doesn’t love a hearty bowl of rich and flavorful beef stew. It’s such a traditional Fall and Winter comfort food. I’ve been working on slight variations of this recipe for years and I have to say, this version is definitely the best ever.

All of the ingredients in this recipe compliment each other so well, and the quantities of each are perfect, with no ingredient overpowering another.

Let’s get into everything you need to know. From the what cuts of beef to use, the best potatoes for stew,  pro tips, storage, and more:

How to Make It

See recipe card at bottom of post for ingredient quantities and full instructions

Cut meat into 1-inch cubes, discard any large pieces of fat. Fat marbleized into the meat is fine!

Season beef with pepper, garlic salt, and celery salt. Toss to coat. Sprinkle flour over the meat and toss again. Sear the meat in batches for 45 seconds per side and transfer to the Slow Cooker.

Coating beef in flour mixture and searing in a skillet to make Slow Cooker Beef Stew.

Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and soften the onions and garlic, scraping up any meat remnants up from the pot. Add a splash of wine to help loosen if necessary. Transfer to the Slow Cooker.

Seared Beef in a Slow Cooker next to sauteed onions in a pot.

Add all remaining ingredients except for the peas, corn starch, and 2 Tablespoons of cold butter. Heat on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, until the vegetables are softened and the potatoes are fork tender.

Add the peas during the last 15 minutes of cooking. To thicken, combine 1/4 cup cold water + 3 Tablespoons corn starch and slowly stir it into the broth. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Turn off heat and remove the bay leaves and rosemary stem. Add browning and seasoning sauce.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew before and after cooking.

Best Beef for Stew

  • Chuck roasts -The best option. It is preferred over other cuts because of the connective tissue, which makes it more tender. (Bonus: It’s also a less expensive cut than other types.)
  • Rump roasts
  • Bottom rounds

Best Potatoes to Use

Yukon Gold and Red Potatoes are best for stews as they have less starch content and hold up much better than russet potatoes, which tend to fall apart and break down into the stew.

Searing the Meat

Searing the beef adds a nice color, flavor, and texture for the stew, it also creates a nice base to soften up the onions and garlic. The remnants from the meat are loosened up with butter/wine and transferred to the Slow Cooker for the ultimate flavor base.

Sear just long enough to give the exterior a crisp texture, don’t cook it all the way through. 45 seconds per side is all it takes.

Can You Put Raw Beef in the Slow Cooker?

Yes. If you don’t have time to sear the meat, you can toss it in the flour mixture and place it right in the Slow Cooker along with the uncooked onions and garlic.

Red Wine Substitute

An equal amount of beef broth or red grape juice may be used instead of wine, along with 2 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar. The acidity helps to break down and tenderize the meat.

For an Irish twist on this recipe, use 1 cup of extra stout Guinness instead of wine.

Pro Tips

  • Handle the beef least amount possible for extra juicy, tender results. Otherwise you’ll cause juices to run right out of it which will make it tough.
  • Swirl in 2 Tablespoons of cold butter at the very end for a smooth, velvety finish. This is a technique that chefs use called “Monter au beurre”.
  • Optional ingredient additions include celery, green beans, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • Kitchen tongs make it really easy to delicately handle the meat to place it into the pot for searing it and to remove it afterward.
  • I have this Crock Pot which allows you to sear meat right on the stove-top. It also automatically switches to warm once the cooking time is up.
  • Kitchen Bouquet Browning + Seasoning Sauce (Optional)- Adds an even richer darker color.

What to Serve with Beef Stew

Try These Next

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A ladle scooping Beef Stew up from a Slow Cooker.

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A close up view of Slow Cooker Beef Stew with beef, potatoes, carrots, peas, and red wine.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

4.97 from 147 ratings
This traditional Beef Stew is loaded with tender bites of juicy beef, golden potatoes, carrots, peas, red wine, onions, garlic, and a hearty beef broth. It's the BEST Slow Cooker recipe for Fall and Winter.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 ½ pounds stew meat, see notes
  • 3-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cold butter, separated
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup high-quality cabernet sauvignon, merlot works as well. See notes.
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tsp better than bouillon, or 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 5 medium carrots, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • 1 lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large branch rosemary
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup Cold Water + 3 tablespoons Corn Starch, Optional
  • 2-3 drops Kitchen Bouquet Browning + Seasoning Sauce , (Optional)- Adds an even richer darker color.

Instructions

  • Cut meat into 1-inch cubes, discard any large pieces of fat. Fat marbleized into the meat is fine!
  • Sprinkle beef with black pepper, garlic salt, and celery salt. Toss to coat. Sprinkle flour over the meat and toss again.
  • Heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat in batches, don’t overcrowd the pan). Brown on each side for 45 seconds. Add more oil if needed. Transfer to slow cooker.
  • Reduce heat to medium and melt 1 Tablespoon butter. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Use a silicone spatula to clean the bottom of the pan, removing any brown remnants. This will give the soup lots of good flavor. If necessary, add a splash of wine to help loosen it. Transfer the onions/garlic mixture to the slow cooker.
  • Add all remaining ingredients except for the peas, corn starch mixture, and 2 tablespoons of cold butter.
  • Cook on low for 7 ½ to 8 hours or high for 3½ to 4 hours, until the vegetables are softened and the potatoes are fork tender.
  • Add the peas during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  • Optional: To thicken, combine ¼ cup COLD water with 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch. Slowly add it to the stew, stirring to incorporate. It will continue to thicken upon standing.
  • Turn off the heat. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary stem. Swirl in 2 tablespoons of cold butter for a smooth, velvety finish. This is a technique that chefs use called “Monter au Beurre”.
    Optional: Add 3 drops of Kitchen Bouquet for an even darker color.

Notes

Storage
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Best cuts of Beef for Stew
• Chuck roasts (the best option)
• Rump roasts
• Bottom rounds
You can also season and sear a whole roast for about 8 minutes total, and then cut it into cubes. This results in less moisture loss, but there is also less surface area to season and add a seared texture to.

Note 2: Red Wine Substitute
An equal amount of beef broth or red grape juice may be used instead of wine, along with 2 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar. The acidity helps to break down and tenderize the meat.
For an Irish twist on this recipe, use 1 cup of extra stout Guinness instead of wine.

Optional ingredient additions
Celery, green beans, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.

 

Nutrition

Calories: 507kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 49g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 132mg, Sodium: 1035mg, Potassium: 1377mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 658IU, Vitamin C: 41mg, Calcium: 93mg, Iron: 6mg
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427 comments on “Slow Cooker Beef Stew”

  1. I only have russet potatoes. Should I cook separately and add them at the end to avoid breakdown? What would you advise? Thanks!

  2. Hey! I loved your recipe. Can you please add how many grams are the nutrition for?

  3. I’m making this tomorrow!! But they didn’t have fresh rosemary at the store. I have dried rosemary leaves. Wondering how much to put in?

  4. This is amazing!  Made it exactly as the recipe says!  Absolutely Perfect!  Thank you so much!  Finally, a recipe that is as wonderful as the comments indicated!  

    • Yayyy! I’m so happy to hear such great comments Michele! I’m actually thinking I might make this on this snowy day in NH. Thanks so much for the great review!❤️

  5. This was my first time to try this and it came out perfect.
    Followed your recipe to the letter. Served with homemade cornbread.
    This will be my go to meal in the coming winter months .
    I would rate this 10 stars if available.

    Can’t wait to try your Baby Back Ribs Recipe

    • Thanks so much for the great comments and review!😃 Definitely the perfect recipe for the winter. This is always my first recipe in the fall when I feel like the cold weather has officially arrived. So cozy!

  6. Excellent stew recipe for a cold snowy day! Love it!!

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed it Karen! This is such a cozy one. It’s usually the first stew I make when the weather starts to get cold. Thanks so much for the great review!😍

  7. Delicious!! Used the red wine vinegar instead of merlot because we didn’t have any! Still so yummy! Will definitely use the wine time! Going into our meal rotation. 👍🏼

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed the beef stew Veronica! I love how comforting this recipe is. I always make this on our first chilly fall day here in NH. Thanks so much for the great review!😍

  8. Delicious! This is my new favorite stew recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Delicious! Except for the butter at the end, I followed the recipe exactly. Thank you for sharing.

  10. This was the best beef stew recipe ever. I did add a little Maneshevitz wine and brown sugar. It tasted so ridiculously good. I served it over wide noodles.

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