Desiring a classic beef stew that skips the wine? Dive into this recipe! Our Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe Without Wine is a treasure trove of rich flavors and tender meat ingredients that will surely tantalize your taste buds. With just a few steps, you can add all your ingredients into the pot and let the slow cooker work its magic, browning the meat to perfection and combining everything into a deliciously braised sauce.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe
When life gets busy, it's recipes like this delicious beef stew that come to the rescue. The beauty of this stew lies in its timeless recipe that brings out the richness of the meat, melding it with flavors that only get better with time. Whether you're a fan of slow-cooked dishes or swift 30-minute recipes, this beef stew recipe won't disappoint.
Imagine tender chunks of browned meat, soft potatoes, and carrots cooked slowly in a pot, soaking up a rich sauce that's bursting with flavor. That's what this recipe offers. The magic begins when you add these ingredients into the slow cooker, and the aroma that fills your kitchen as it cooks is simply irresistible.
What sets this recipe apart is its sheer simplicity. Spend just a few minutes preparing the ingredients, toss them into your slow cooker, and let the cooker slowly braise everything to perfection. The outcome is a pot of stew that's brimming with classic flavors, making it the perfect dish to serve and enjoy on any occasion.
What is Beef Stew?
Beef stew is a classic recipe where meat, veggies, potatoes, and carrots are mixed with herbs and broth. In the past, this delicious dish would be cooked in an oven for hours, making the meat tender and full of flavor. But with our busy lives, who has that much time to wait? That's where the slow cooker comes in. You can add all the ingredients in the morning, set the time, and let it cook. By dinner, you'll have a pot full of rich, tasty stew to serve and enjoy. It's an easy way to get that slow-cooked taste without the wait!
How to Make Crock Pot Beef Stew
Start by heating vegetable oil in a skillet or heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until it shimmers, showing it's ready for cooking.
Next, add finely chopped yellow onions and minced garlic to the hot oil. Sauté them until the onions become translucent. Once they're at this stage, mix in some Worcestershire sauce, stirring occasionally to blend its flavor with the onions and garlic.
In a separate bowl or zip-lock bag, place some flour. Add black pepper & salt. Put the beef pieces into the flour mixture, making sure each piece gets a good coating. This will not only enhance the flavor but will also help thicken the stew as it cooks.
Using the same skillet where you sautéed the onions and garlic, add the flour-coated beef pieces. Brown the chunks of beef in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. Once each batch is nicely browned on all sides, move the meat over to your crock pot.
Don't waste the flavorful bits and juices left in the skillet. Pour a small amount of beef broth or water into the skillet to help lift and dissolve those tasty remnants. This process is called deglazing. Once you've captured all that flavor, pour the mixture into the crock pot.
It's now time to add the rest of the ingredients. Stir everything in the crock pot to make sure the ingredients combine well.
Finally, cover your crock pot with its lid and set it to a low setting. Allow the stew to cook and simmer for about 8-10 hours. The slow cooking process will make the beef tender and let the flavors meld beautifully.
Once your stew is ready, stir well, serve hot, and enjoy the comforting taste of your homemade beef stew.
What Type of Beef is Best for This Stew?
For slow cooker beef stew, it's ideal to use cuts of beef that benefit from long, slow cooking to break down connective tissues and become tender. The best choices are:
Chuck Roast (also known as Chuck Shoulder or Beef Chuck Pot Roast): This is one of the most popular choices for beef stew due to its rich marbling, which results in a tender and flavorful stew after slow cooking.
Bottom Round Roast (also known as Rump Roast): A leaner option but still suitable for slow cooking.
Stew Meat: Often available pre-cut at the grocery store, this is usually chuck or another tough cut that's been diced into bite size pieces.
When choosing beef for stew, it's essential to look for cuts with good marbling (the white flecks of fat within the meat) because this fat will melt during slow cooking, adding flavor and ensuring the meat remains juicy and tender. Avoid leaner cuts like sirloin or tenderloin for stew, as they can become dry when cooked for extended periods.
What are the Best Potatoes to Use?
When selecting potatoes for stew, you'll want to choose varieties that can hold their shape during the long cooking process and not disintegrate. Here are some of the best potatoes for stews:
Yukon Gold: These have a slightly waxy texture and a buttery flavor. They hold their shape relatively well in stews and soups.
Red Potatoes: Their waxy texture makes them ideal for stews as they maintain their shape and don't become too mushy.
Fingerling Potatoes: These are smaller and waxy, and their size can be advantageous if you prefer whole potatoes in your stew.
Russet Potatoes: While they're typically used for baking and frying due to their starchy content, they can be used in stews if you don't mind a softer texture. They might break down a bit more than waxy potatoes, which can thicken the stew's broth.
When preparing potatoes for stew, it's also a good practice to cut them into even-sized pieces to ensure uniform cooking. While some people prefer to peel their potatoes, leaving the skin on can add extra flavor, nutrients, and texture to the stew.
Can You Add Raw Beef to the Slow Cooker?
Absolutely! Placing raw beef in the slow cooker is common practice. Doing so ensures the meat becomes incredibly tender, almost to the point of falling apart. While many recipes suggest browning the beef first to enhance its flavor and seal in the juices, the meat remains essentially raw on the inside after this step. Even though some might choose to skip the browning process, it's highly recommended for the depth of flavor it imparts. So, for the best results, it's usually a good idea not to skip browning your beef before slow cooking.
Should I Brown the Beef Before Slow Cooking?
Browning the beef is a crucial step when preparing dishes like beef stew. This process enhances the flavor, gives the meat a delightful texture, and helps remove the slightly unappetizing texture raw beef can sometimes exhibit. If you're in a rush or didn't thaw the meat in advance, you might be tempted to bypass this step. However, for optimal taste and texture, it's recommended to brown the beef before slow cooking.
Can You Overcook Beef Stew in a Slow Cooker?
Beef stew is a great dish to make in your slow cooker because you can set it and walk away. Yes, it will take a few hours to cook, but most of the time is hands-off. Though the beef needs several hours to reach that desired level of tenderness, leaving it to cook for an excessive amount of time, such as more than 10 hours on low, can lead to dried-out, less flavorful meat.
Why Slow Cook This Beef Stew?
Choosing to slow-cook your beef stew is a game-changer. This method ensures the meat becomes incredibly tender, practically melting in your mouth. Furthermore, the prolonged cooking allows flavors to fuse harmoniously, creating a richer and deeper taste profile. Ultimately, slow cooking produces a beef stew that's unparalleled in flavor and texture, making it the top choice for a mouthwatering dish.
Plus, there's the undeniable convenience: imagine tossing all the ingredients into your slow cooker in the morning and coming home to a delightful, ready-to-serve dinner after a hectic day! It's both time-saving and satisfying.
What to Serve with Beef Stew
While our slow cooker beef stew stands as a hearty centerpiece, you might be in the mood to make your meal even more memorable. Here are some sides that harmonize beautifully with the savory depths of the stew:
Steamed Green Beans: Seasoned lightly with salt, pepper, and a dab of butter for a touch of green freshness.
Roasted Root Vegetables: Earthy veggies such as parsnips, turnips, and beets perfectly complement the stew's rich flavors.
Cauliflower Mash: A creamy, low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes that feels indulgent without the heaviness.
Sauteed Spinach or Kale: Garlicky greens with a hint of red pepper flakes bring warmth and nutrition to the plate.
Corn Pudding: This sweet-savory combo offers a delightful contrast to the meaty stew.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Their slight bitterness and crispy caramelized layers provide a contrasting crunch.
Garlic Roasted Asparagus: A sophisticated touch that offers a delicate, flavorful side.
Bread Bowls: The joy of scooping out beef stew from a crusty bread bowl is unmatched. And the bonus? You get to eat the bowl!
Crusty Bread: Warm and inviting, a slice or a roll is always a reliable sidekick to a bowl of beef stew.
No matter your pick, these side dishes are sure to elevate your beef stew experience, turning a simple meal into a delightful feast. Enjoy!
What to do with Leftover Beef Stew?
Leftover crock pot beef stew is a delightful treat, often tasting even richer the next day as flavors have had more time to blend and deepen. Here's how to enjoy and repurpose those leftovers:
Reheat and Eat: The simplest way is to warm it up on the stove or microwave. Pair it with fresh crusty bread or a side salad for a quick meal.
Beef Stew Pie: Use the leftovers as a filling for a savory pie. Add a pastry or mashed potato topping and bake until golden.
Beef Stew Sandwich: Shred some of the beef, place it between two slices of bread, add some cheese, and grill for a warm and hearty sandwich.
Stew-Stuffed Peppers or Potatoes: Hollow out bell peppers or baked potatoes and fill them with the stew for a new twist on an old favorite.
Beef Stew Pasta: Stir the stew into your favorite pasta. Add some freshly grated cheese on top, and you have a new dish.
Remember, the key is to ensure that the stew is reheated thoroughly before consuming. And with these suggestions, you might even find yourself hoping for leftovers every time you make beef stew!
How Long Will It Keep In the Fridge?
In the refrigerator, beef stew stored in an airtight container can last up to five days. It's essential to cool the stew properly before refrigerating to maintain its best quality.
As for freezing, while it's possible, it does come with some considerations. The vegetables in the stew, when frozen, can undergo cellular changes. The water inside the veggies turns into ice, expanding and breaking the cell walls. Upon thawing and reheating, these vegetables might turn out mushier than they were initially.
If you still decide to freeze the stew:
Allow the stew to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers.
Leave some space at the top of the container to account for expansion as the stew freezes.
Label with the date, so you know how long it's been stored.
When you're ready to eat, thaw the stew in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat thoroughly before serving.
So the next time you're in the mood for a meaty treat, try this hearty beef stew recipe. It's a classic dish that combines the richness of braised meat with the comforting flavors of potatoes and carrots. Once cooked, serve it up and enjoy every delicious bite!
More Slow Cooker Recipes
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
- Tex-Mex Slow Cooker Chicken
- Slow Cooker Roast Pork with Apples
- Broccoli & Beef in the Crock Pot
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 cup Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 lbs Beef Roast chopped into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 lb chopped Carrots
- 1 1/2 lb chopped Potatoes
- 3 stalks chopped Celery
- 2 cups Tomato Juice
- 2 cups Beef Broth
- Start by heating vegetable oil in a skillet or heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until it shimmers, showing it's ready for cooking.1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- Next, add finely chopped yellow onions and minced garlic to the hot oil. Sauté them until the onions become translucent. Once they're at this stage, mix in some Worcestershire sauce, stirring occasionally to blend its flavor with the onions and garlic.1 chopped onion, 4 cloves chopped garlic, 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- In a separate bowl or zip-lock bag, place some flour. Add black pepper & salt. Put the beef pieces into the flour mixture, making sure each piece gets a good coating. This will not only enhance the flavor but will also help thicken the stew as it cooks.1/4 cup Flour, 1 tsp Salt, 2 tsp Black Pepper
- Using the same skillet where you sautéed the onions and garlic, add the flour-coated beef pieces. Brown the chunks of beef in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. Once each batch is nicely browned on all sides, move the meat over to your crock pot.2 lbs Beef Roast chopped into 1/2″ cubes
- Don't waste the flavorful bits and juices left in the skillet. Pour a small amount of beef broth or water into the skillet to help lift and dissolve those tasty remnants. This process is called deglazing. Once you've captured all that flavor, pour the mixture into the crock pot.
- It's now time to add the rest of the ingredients. Stir everything in the crock pot to make sure the ingredients combine well.1 lb chopped Carrots, 1 1/2 lb chopped Potatoes, 3 stalks chopped Celery, 2 cups Tomato Juice, 2 cups Beef Broth
- Finally, cover your crock pot with its lid and set it to a low setting. Allow the stew to cook and simmer for about 8-10 hours. The slow cooking process will make the beef tender and let the flavors meld beautifully.
- Once your stew is ready, stir well, serve hot, and enjoy the comforting taste of your homemade beef stew.