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This hearty Crockpot Beef Stew recipe is loaded with carrots, celery, potatoes, and juicy pieces of beef in a rich red wine-tomato broth. A comforting dinner to enjoy all winter long, and it’s so easy when it simmers in your slow cooker.
An Easy Beef Stew Recipe
When the weather gets colder, it’s time for soups and stews. And in my book, the best meals are ones that are big on flavor and low on time and energy. This crockpot recipe for hearty beef stew certainly fits the bill. It’s bursting with veggies, tender pieces of beef, and herby flavors from a savory broth. This is the kind of family-friendly dinner that will fill your house with such delicious aromas, everyone will be asking when dinner will be ready.
This beef stew also happens to be a great make-ahead recipe. It also freezes well if you’re planning ahead or end up with leftovers. So add this recipe to your weeknight rotation this winter, and you won’t be disappointed!
The ingredients for this crockpot stew add rich, deep flavors with pops of sweetness. The result is a colorful bowl that’s full of tender and juicy beef with fresh veggies and a savory broth. Here’s what you need to make this recipe:
- Olive oil. You can use your favroite cooking oil, like avocado or canola if you prefer.
- Stew meat. This is an inexpensive cut of beef that benefits from long, slow cooking. It will become juicy, soft and delicous in your slow cooker.
- Soy sauce. If you’re gluten-free, use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce.
- Red wine. Use dry red wine. Or for an alcohol-free version, substitute the wine with more broth.
- Tomato paste. This adds a nice umami note to the broth.
- Chicken broth. Beef or vegetable will also work. For best results, choose low-sodium or make your own.
- Cornstarch. This is my go-to gluten-free thickener for soups and sauces.
- Potaotes. I recommend russet potatoes, which will hold their shape well during cooking.
- Rosemary. Use fresh if you can. If not, add 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary.
- Thyme. Likewise, I recommend fresh. But in a pinch, you can use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.
How to Make Crockpot Beef Stew
The steps to make this rich and savory crockpot stew are straightforward. After quickly browning the meat to develop a nice sear and flavor, you’ll add the liquid ingredients to make the broth and combine everything in your slow cooker for a hands-off cook.
Follow these steps to bring the dish together:
Sear the meat: Start by heating the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the stew meat, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, and sear until all of the sides are browned and crisp. Transfer the meat to a crockpot when you’re done, then drain the fat out of the pan.
Deglaze the pot: Add the red wine, tomato paste, and soy sauce to the skillet that cooked the meat. Stir up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and cook the mixture for three minutes.
Make a slurry: In a separate bowl, combine the chicken broth and cornstarch. Add this mixture to the wine mixture in the pot. Cook for another two minutes, then pour the contents of the pot into the crockpot with the meat.
Add the remaining ingredients: Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
Cook: Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. When the meat is tender and the broth is flavorful, serve the stew hot topped with fresh minced parsley.
Tips for Success
Before you make this stew, here are my best tips to make sure your stew comes out perfectly:
- Cut the meat and vegetables into evenly sized pieces. This way, they cook at the same rate. Bite-sized is best so it’s easy to eat the stew with a spoon.
- If you’d rather cook the soup for longer, you can use the low setting for 6 to 8 hours.
- If you’d like to add more vegetables, choose other hearty veggies like parsnips, celeriac or leeks. These won’t fall apart in the slow cooker.
- For the best flavor, use homemade broth. You can use chicken, beef, or vegetable broth for this recipe.
Since this beef stew is such an easy hands-off recipe, you’ll have time to make some tasty side dishes to serve with it. Here are some of my favorite dishes to make while the beef stew is cooking in the slow cooker:
- Easy Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Greek Salad
- Gluten Free Dinner Rolls
Store leftover beef stew in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to four days. Reheat the soup in a pot on the stove over medium heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
Can I Freeze Beef Stew?
Certainly! You can freeze the beef stew once it’s fully cooled. Place the stew in an airtight container and keep it in the freezer for up to three months. Before serving, defrost the soup in the fridge overnight. Then reheat the stew on the stove until it’s heated through.
What size Crockpot do I need?
A super-basic 4-quart slow cooker will work just fine for this recipe. However, if you want to have more features like a timer to switch it to a Keep Warm setting after the cooking time is done, you can get a larger programmable model.
Crockpot Beef Stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1- 1 ½ pounds stew meat
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (gluten free, if needed)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, removed from stems
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Parsley for garnish
- In a medium sized pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the stew meat and cook until browned on each side. Drain the fat from the pan and place browned meat into crockpot.
- Add the red wine, tomato paste, and soy sauce to the pan, stirring to release leftover browned bits of stew meat. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch in a separate bowl and then add it to the red wine slurry. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Pour the contents of the pan into the crockpot.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary sprig, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper to the crockpot. Gently stir.
- Cover the crockpot and cook on High for 3-4 hours or Low for 6-8 hours.
- Serve warm topped with fresh parsley.