Cast Iron

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

February  5, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

I like my beef stew to have a flavorful tomato base and lots of vegetables. This stew does take most of the day to cook, but apart from chopping the vegetables and searing the beef, there is very little work involved. If you don't have a slow cooker, you can cook this in a dutch oven. I'd use a 350 degree F. oven and cook it for 2 1/2-3 hours. —WinnieAb

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into cubes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for serving
  • 28 oz. can organic diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups beef or chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • course sea salt to taste
  1. Heat the butter in a large cast-iron skillet. Add the beef and cook for several minutes so that it is seared on all sides. Set aside.
  2. Add the beef to a 5 qt. slow cooker, layering it in with the vegetables and herbs. Mix the spices with the balsamic vinegar and pour this in, along with the diced tomatoes and enough stock to cover the meat and vegetables.
  3. Cook on high for 1-2 hours and then reduce the heat to low. Cook for another 6 hours, until the meat is very tender. Discard the bay leaves.
  4. Serve individual bowls of stew garnished with additional fresh parsley and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Judith Peres
    Judith Peres
  • Sara Moe
    Sara Moe
  • WinnieAb
  • tburns01
I grew up in a restaurant family (my parents owned the now closed Quilted Giraffe in NYC) and I've always loved to cook. My interest in the connection between food and health led me to pursue a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine. I don't practice medicine anymore; I have a blog called Healthy Green Kitchen that I started in May of 2009 and I wrote a book called One Simple Change that will be published in January, 2014. I live in upstate New York with my family and many pets.

4 Reviews

Judith P. December 10, 2019
Heavens, we were pleased with the results! And with a 3.5 qt cooker, no less. After browning and removing the meat, I tossed pearl onions (rather than a chopped big'un), garlic, carrots, parsnips and turnips in for a touch of browning as well. Once they were in shape, I removed them to deglaze for the goodness in the bottom of the pot with red wine, which was added to the slow cooker. I didn't really want it to be too smoky-tasting a stew, so I substituted regular paprika for the smoked paprika. I did add a couple tablespoons of tomato paste, stirring it in to the balsamic vinegar/spice mixture first. I halved a handful of little yellow Dutch potatoes and roasted them in olive oil and rosemary until they were beginning to brown a bit; and then added them to the stew for its final hour+ or so. Our son was ecstatic to have a little stew stash to bring home with him. We had a drizzly weekend on our hands, and with some Italian bread and light salad, just a great weekend dinner, thank you!
Sara M. January 17, 2016
This is one of the best stews I have ever made. It has a delightful smoky spice to it. I did almost double the paprika and chipotle, and I also used 4 fresh bay leaves. The tomato paste amount I used was closer to 4 oz. I cooked it in the oven for 2:45.
tburns01 November 7, 2014
I made this stew per the recipe & thought it was Ho hum & rather boring. It smelled great in the slow cooker but lacked depth & was too watery. It was better the 2nd day but still boring. I won't be making this again.
WinnieAb February 6, 2010
I also added 3 oz. of organic tomato paste...forgot to put it in the ingredients list above.