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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 complement 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.
  • This recipe is in The Cozy Cookbook on page 47!

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.

  • Spice Rack– This is the one I have, it’s a snap to measure out your seasonings quickly and easily. (Big time saver.)
  • Measuring Spoons To measure out the seasonings.
  • Pinch Bowls– I measure out my seasonings ahead of time and add them to these small bowls so they’re ready to go when it’s time to add them.
  • Garlic Twister it’s much more flavorful to mince fresh garlic. This twister does it in seconds and is easy to clean and store.
  • Soup Bowls(I love these!)
  • 16 oz. storage containers – I use these to store/freeze my soups. They have 8 oz. sizes as well. They’re stackable, leak proof, and dishwasher/microwave safe.

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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Leave a review, I love hearing your feedback! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

4.98 from 484 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

  • 2 ½ pounds stew meat, see notes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 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 chunks, about 1-inch
  • 1 lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup Cold Water + 3 tablespoons Corn Starch, Optional
  • 2-3 drops Gravy Master, (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. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary stem.
  • 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. 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 Gravy Master 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.

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 addition: Celery, green beans, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.

This recipe is in The Cozy Cookbook on page 47!

Nutritional information is an estimate and is per serving. This recipe makes 6 servings.

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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1,339 comments on “Slow Cooker Beef Stew”

  1. This is my first time cooking a slow cooker beef stew. So far, this recipe is the best. Full of flavor and the whole house is so aromatic. My picky bf loves this beef stew. It’s a keeper and for sure this will become a regular in our menu.

    • I’m so happy it was such a success Markie, sounds like you nailed it! I know what you mean about that cozy house smell, it’s the best! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and review!💖

  2. I never leave comments, but I feel the need to– Follow this recipe AS IS! I thought I was this cooking super genius who knew better and put all my vegetables in with 4-5 hours to spare, thinking adding them too early would make them mushy and cooking them on low in the crock pot that long would make them perfect. Nope! They were far too toothsome.

    I made the recipe the next week all over again, putting the veggies in at the very beginning, just like this chef says. Delicious! She knows what she’s talking about! That being said, I liked her idea of red wine vinegar, so I added a little bit at the end to give it a nice little zip. The gravy was delicious. Lots of umami and the cabernet gave it a nice, full-bodied flavor. My only issue was the thickness– I doubled the corn starch in the slurry, but it still came out a little watery. Any thoughts?

    Thanks so much for an awesome recipe– I am definitely putting this into the rotation. It’s especially good for when it’s HOT outside, because the slow cooker doesn’t heat up the whole kitchen!

    • Hi Ada! I am sooo happy that you loved this stew!! Thank you for cautioning others about your experience with putting in the veggies later! 🙂 You can totally trust that my recipes are fully tested and won’t steer you wrong- though I understand the hesitation with the veggies and the timing! 🙂 I love that you appreciated the flavors going on here! As far as the thickness goes, it may thicken more over higher heat as that activates the cornstarch better, so if you cook it on low, maybe flip it to high toward the end before you put the cornstarch in. Since this recipe cooks in the crock pot, it won’t thicken as much as if left to simmer on the stove top just because of the condensation. But the end result in the flavor is so worth it! Thank you again for the wonderful review, I SO appreciate it!! -Stephanie

  3. Amazing, added 2 table spoons of red wine vinegar instead of wine, turned out Devine!

  4. Thanks so much for this outstanding recipe and instructions! I made this today (with some minor modifications) and is was GREAT! I added more potatoes, kernel corn, and a cup of celery. I left the wine out…

  5. Yes, I know it is nearly summer and stews are hearty fall and winter dishes, but that didn’t stop me from preparing this stew. It is absolutely the best stew I have ever made and the best I’ve eaten since my mom made her beef stew many years ago, of course with no recipe! We added extra minced garlic and a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar to the red wine (we aren’t wine drinkers and were just a tad short of having the cup called for in the recipe). This recipe is definitely a keeper — for anytime of year.

    • I’m soooo with you Eileen, even the middle of summer doesn’t stop me from making a good stew! Thanks so much for the great comments and for taking the time to leave a review!😃

  6. Seriously this recipe is incredible. I didn’t think I really cared for stew but I’m a stew lover now! The only changes I made were to omit celery salt and rosemary because I didn’t have any. Must’ve missed getting bit by a vampire because I can’t eat garlic anymore, so left that out. But I did add mushrooms. The slurry at the end makes all the difference. It’s so thick and hearty. I’ve made it twice in 2 weeks because my family can’t get enough of it. Thanks for the recipe!

    • lol, that’s so funny about the garlic, I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t eat it! I’m so happy you liked the stew so much Michele! It’s funny, my husband wasn’t much of a stew fan either until I made him this. Thanks so much for the wonderful review Michele!💖

  7. Made this for my pastor, so I
    left out the wine! Really good! This will be my go-to beef stew recipe from now on!

  8. I feel compelled to write this review as my very picky 7 year old is scarfing her bowl as I type.  This stew is amazing!! Will definitely be adding to my rotation.  Thank you!!!

    • That is the best news! A rave review from a very picky 7-year-old is as good as it gets! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, you made my day!! -Stephanie

  9. Very good recipe, but a little too salty as is. The second time I made it, I used low-sodium broth, fresh celery instead of celery salt, and garlic powder instead of garlic salt. I also cut the meat into bigger pieces so they didn’t break apart as much. With these minor tweaks, it’s a 5-star recipe. 

    • I’m very happy that you enjoyed it! No one can pin-point one’s salt preferences, but my recipes replicate restaurant-style dishes, which are well seasoned. Melt in your mouth, tender meat is also the goal here, (i.e. easily breaks apart). But I’m glad that you can alter to your personal preference! 🙂

      • This is my second time making this dish and it is just delicious! It makes the whole house smell amazinggggg and just gets you so excited for it to be done. I definitely recommend following the instructions to sear the meat first because it makes a big difference in texture. So excited to try with sweet potatoes next time for a fun twist! 

      • I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying this one Morgan! Serving with sweet potatoes would be the ultimate comfort food!💖 Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

      • Loved it! Followed exactly. Per your tip, I added the Kitchen Bouquet which is one of my kitchen staples too. I also appreciate the additional recipe links. I’m going to try the buttermilk biscuit recipe next!

      • I’m so happy that it was a hit Beverly!! Thank you so much for sharing how it came out, you’re the best! Have a great weekend! ❤️

  10. I know this recipe has been around a while and already has a ton of good reviews, but I feel compelled to add another. This is a fantastic recipe! I make stew for my family several times a year but this one got more raves than most. I like a thick “gravy” so I used double the corn starch and water at the end. 

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