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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.
  • 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.

  • 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

4.98 from 456 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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1,251 comments on “Slow Cooker Beef Stew”

  1. Slam dunk!!!!!!!  Definitely a hit in our house and I have made many versions! This is a keeper 
    Thank you !!!
    Slight changes – I put tomato paste in sauté onions for few minutes to enhance flavor and cooked wine in skillet couple of minutes. 
    Can’t wait to try many of your other recipes!!!😊

  2. I love this recipe but I do it in a Ninja Foodie 
    I pressure cook the browned meat for 20 minutes in the liquid ingredients then add veggies for another 5 minutes of pressure cooking. It is amazing! 

  3. Yep. 5 stars is exactly right. LOVE IT!
    MY KIDS LOVE IT! MY FIANCEE LOVES IT AND MY HOUSE LOVES IT TOO! lol So much flavor and I did my own thing with it because I was lacking a couple ingredients. Thank God not the most important ones. Thank you😘

  4. Thank you for an excellent Valentine’s Day meal for myself. A couple weeks ago I was having a hankering for some good beef stew something I have not had since my wife passed several years ago so I of course did a google search and one of the first ones I saw was yours. Seeing your photo with your smile lead me to believe I had come to the right place and upon reading some of the back story to your qualifications told me to go ahead and give it a try. Since a couple things such as the meat and wine were not something I had in stock I did some shopping and when ready it was nearing Valentines Day and since I really don’t celebrate it any more I decided to treat myself this year and so I threw it together and had it for dinner last night. Although my daughter and 6 year old grandson live with me she did not have any but he did and gave it a thumbs up asking for seconds. I had hoped to make the biscuits you have last night but did not have the time so I just now took them out of the oven but saw I made a mistake when mixing them up. Because I was not paying close attention while mixing them I thought I saw 2 tablespoons of honey in the mix not 2 teaspoons. I did just grab one now hot out of the oven and it is fine, maybe a little too sweet but it’s not a problem. Once again thank you for a good recipe to keep and use.

    • Hi Steve! Thanks so much for the wonderful comments, I’m so happy you found this recipe and even more happy you found me! Thanks so much for your support and I can’t wait for you to keep cooking!💗

  5. What is the serving size?

  6. Could mushrooms be added? If so, when

    • Hi Janet! While you can add them in the beginning, I prefer to sauté them on the side and then stir them in at the end. This is the best way to retain the best color, texture, and flavor! 🙂 They can be cooked ahead of time and stored in an airtight container overnight to stir in at the end as well.

  7. This was so delish!!!  I had to cook an extra hour because the veggies were “firm” after 8 hours on low. Next time I will cook 2 hours high, 6 hours low.  I also used beef broth I had already opened—half that and half water.  Beef was melt in your mouth!!  Will make it again. 

  8. So good.  Best beef stew, savory and flavorful.

  9. I made this recipe tonight. It’s fantastic. The amazing part is I didn’t need to add any extra seasoning (like salt) to the beef stew once it was fully cooked. That’s never happened to me before. I subbed sweet potato for regular potato and it worked out great! This recipe is a keeper!

  10. This was delicious! I tried the red wine version 2 weeks ago and loved it. Tomorrow, my son and I are trying the Irish version and we’re super excited. Thank you for sharing this recipe. 

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