Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Story by Natalie
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
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The week between December 25th and January 1st is always an awkward one for me food wise. Christmas is over and New Year’s is just days away, and while I’m not quite ready to jump into those healthy-eating resolutions I feel overindulged in a big way. I desperately want to clean out my fridge and replace all leftover sweet and rich food with only vegetables and lean meats, but the fact is that it’s still freezing cold outside. A plate of crisp veggies just isn’t going to cut it for my family come mealtime and it’s for that very reason I am so excited to introduce TMP’s take on what we consider to be the perfect beef stew. This meal is the ideal in between dinner to serve this week while you aren’t quite ready to commit to your New Year's resolutions, while still being healthy enough to begin the cleanse of over-indulgence from the last few weeks.

...leaving tender meat that is so soaked with flavor it practically melts in your mouth.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Perfectly salty broth, fall apart meat, al dente vegetables, saucey potatoes...I’m not sure which is my favorite aspect of a good beef stew, but when put all together there is no question why this dish has stood the test of time. And while I promise I’m not here to dis on your grandma’s recipe, I would like to introduce you to what Holly and I consider to be a nearly perfect beef stew that doesn’t involve you staying home all day to baby sit it on the stove.  We recipe tested, took risks, and made notes to achieve a slow-cooker beef stew that is every bit as good as cooking it in a dutch oven (which is really saying a lot).

When trying this recipe in the slow-cooker the hardest flavor to achieve was that of the richness that is found when meat is slow braised in red wine. The red wine reduces to a sticky glaze, leaving tender meat that is so soaked with flavor it practically melts in your mouth. This flavor is key to a good stew and lucky for you we nailed it without a slow braise or dutch oven. How’d we do it? We reduced the wine with the meat drippings along with onions, celery, and carrots. Once the sauce thickened we stirred it into the broth giving the whole dish the desired flavor I love to brag about. Pretty smart right? I might have actually patted myself on the back for this one.

You’ve probably read in posts past that both Holly and I are food pushers, meaning if we think something is good we are committed to making sure you try it. This is one of those recipes that we will both be pushing for some time to come. Our hope is that you tear up whatever recipe card you had that told you how to make beef stew and fall in love with this recipe as much as we have, making it again and again on these cold winter nights and feeling really good about your mad kitchen skills in the process.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Serves 8


5 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 rib celery, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 large yellow onion, minced
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bottle light red wine
6 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 lb mushrooms, halved
1 lb green beans, trimmed and halved
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 in pieces
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3 in pieces


  1. Generously season meat with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron or heavy skillet over medium heat. Working in small batches brown all sides of meat until edges are just brown, but not cooked through. Add meat to slow cooker.
  2. In the same skillet used for the meat add onions, celery and carrots. If necessary add another tbsp of olive oil. Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring often. Add garlic to the medley and continue cooking until fragrant, about 2 more minutes. Once cooked add ½ bottle of red wine to the vegetable mixture and allow to simmer until reduced by half and slightly thickened. Add mixture to slow cooker along with the beef stock. 
  3. For softer vegetables add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs or high for 4 hours. Adjust salt as needed.
  4. For al dente vegetables (slightly firmer) add all ingredients except potatoes, carrots and green beans. When the stew has one hour left add the last ingredients, adjust salt as needed and continue cooking.