Slow Cooker

Crockpot Beef Stew

June 10, 2021
4 Stars
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food Stylist: Amelia Rampe. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
Author Notes

To make beef stew in the Crockpot, the one thing you need is a bit of time. But in many ways that is the usefulness of this recipe, and all slow-cooker meals. Too often we don't make the distinction between food that takes a long time to cook and food that takes a long time to prep. Sure, there's a bit of searing in the first step here, but after that, it's basically a dump, set, and forget situation. This means that, in the morning before work, you can prep the ingredients (beef chuck roast, or whatever stew meat you like; root vegetables like carrots and potatoes; mushrooms and pearl onions; beef broth; and a few other aromatics), set it all for 8 hours in the Crock-Pot, and have dinner waiting for you when you come home.

This slow-cooker beef stew recipe does not have a slurry of thickened corn starch—for good reason: The chuck roast chunks, again, have already been floured, which helps thicken the stew a little later, but also it's the looser, cleaner-tasting gravy that works well with a side of white rice versus the usual heavy, dense mashed potato pairing. That said, feel free to serve this beef stew with whatever you like, and add whatever vegetables you prefer. Instead of carrots and potatoes, try parsnips and turnips. And if you are used to the thicker gravy, just add a slurry of broth and corn starch in the last 30 minutes of cooking, or stir in a bit more flour at the end.

This recipe is really just a blueprint, so try not to stress about it. The nature of a stew is that there are no rules—only personal taste. —Max McDonough

Test Kitchen Notes

This slow-cooker recipe is part of our Set It & Forget It series. —The Editors

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 8 hours
  • Serves 4
  • 1 pound beef chuck roast, cut into large chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for coating beef
  • Olive oil, for searing beef
  • 3 to 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 stick celery, cut into chunks
  • 12 or so pearl onions, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup halved cremini mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
  • 2 to 3 potatoes, cut into chunks
In This Recipe
  1. Season beef generously with salt and pepper, then coat in flour. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high and sear beef on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Add carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, garlic, and mushrooms to slow cooker, as well. Season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Add broth and stir together gently.
  3. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until potatoes are tender and beef is fall-apart succulent. Adjust seasonings and gravy consistency as desired (see Author Notes above). Serve over rice and garnish with parsley.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stan Zippan
    Stan Zippan
  • Judith Peres
    Judith Peres
  • Rebekah Carver
    Rebekah Carver
  • Dani

8 Reviews

Dani December 18, 2021
I made this tonight and was disappointed. I was really wanting to love this since it’s just put it together and get on with your day. My beef turned out really dry. When I was putting this together, I thought it wasn’t enough broth. I added a bit more, thinking that the veggies would release some liquid. In the end, I got really dry beef which was a shame since I paid more for good beef. I’m going to stick to my stove top version which never disappoints. Always tender, even with cheap meat.
Ashley December 18, 2019
I'm so excited to make this recipe! Could this recipe be altered to make in an instant pot?
Rena R. October 13, 2020
I just made it in the Instant pot, high pressure for 35 minutes, natural release for 10 minutes and it came out perfect!
Stan Z. December 11, 2019
I don't have a slow-cooker. How can this recipe be converted to using a stock pot?
Basil B. December 13, 2019
While you could cover the stock pot, heat to almost boiling, then a very low simmer for same amount of time, have had an easier time with dutch oven or large cast iron skillet. Do prep via recipe, then cover and put in 225 degree oven for 4-5 hours. Just don't open more than once or twice (lets heat out). At least that's worked for me.
Esthi October 13, 2020
is that 225 degrees Fahrenheit or Celcius?
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!
Rebekah C. December 9, 2019
There are no potatoes in the ingredient list but there are in the instructions. How many potatoes do you use?