This is the classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew that you grew up with! Tender cubes of beef, potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery bathe in a luxurious seasoned broth.
Somewhere in everyone's childhood, there is a memory of mom making the classic slow cooker beef stew for dinner. If not, I'm sorry to say your mom probably didn't love you. I'm sorry to be the one who had to break that news to you, but the signs were there. I think this meal is even more quintessentially American than apple pie and baseball. It is the busy mom's original one pot wonder.
Beef stew is the perfect hearty American meal to serve a family on a chilly evening. Not only will this simple meal stick to your ribs (what does that even mean?), it contains the entree and sides all in one dish. Oh, and that broth! Is there anything better than sopping up the broth with freshly baked bread?
Though you can use any type of stew meat, chuck roast is the ideal cut for beef stew. Not only is this cheaper cut of meat easier on your wallet, but it contains a little more fat than most other cuts. This fat melts out of the beef during the long cooking time and blends itself with the beef stock to create a luxurious broth. Adding a little flour to the slow cooker gives an extra boost to thickening the broth. If you are looking for a little healthier beef stew feel free to substitute a leaner cut like rump/round roast.
Any classic beef stew needs to contain beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery. Beyond this, the ingredient list is relatively simple, with a handful of additions added to highlight these flavors.
I recommend using a 5 or 6 quart crock pot for this recipe. I never purchase overly fancy slow cookers. Instead, I simply want one with a high, low, and keep warm setting. As an added bonus I like if they have a locking lid for transporting food to events.
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Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- 2 lbs chuck roast
- 3 cups beef stock
- 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes (approx 3 medium potatoes)
- 5 carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (approx 1 1/2 tsp of leaves)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Chop beef and vegetables into bite-sized pieces, roughly 1" cubes.
- Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours, or until beef is tender. Alternatively, you can cook on low 8-10 hours.
- Taste for salt and adjust as needed.
- Serve in bowls with rustic bread for dipping.
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