Slow Cooker Beef Stew is a comforting and simple slow cooker recipe that is full of flavor. I love cooking beef in the slow cooker, if it is simmered, and for long enough, the meat comes out so soft and tender that it almost melts in the mouth 🙂
More on the best meat for slow cookers below!
How to Make Meat Stew in a Slow Cooker
You can change the ingredients you include in your meat stew depending on your tastes as well as what’s available. In addition to meat, you can use a wide range of tubers to cook slowly along with the meat and absorb all the flavor of the juices while cooking.
- Beef: The cheapest cut of meat will be best to use in a beef stew. If you can’t easily get beef pimple or breast in the supermarket aisles, head to the butcher shop or meat counter inside the supermarket. If necessary, ask the butcher for his recommendation, explaining that you are using a slow cooker. There is no need to use expensive cuts of meat in a slow cooker.
- Vegetables: add the vegetables you have available; I like to use new potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, celery. Just cut them off and throw them away!
- Herbs/spices: Adding a couple of bay leaves and/or herbs like rosemary and thyme adds a welcome flavor to a meat stew.
- couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce to a beef stew will really improve the taste
- Broth – I usually add 2 cubes of beef broth or pots of broth.
Worcestershire sauce: Adding a
Do I need to cover the meat with flour before cooking?
Personally I don’t, but you can. The point of adding flour to meat is to thicken the stew, but really, if you’re adding flour, you should brown the meat too, or the flour could get lumpy in the slow cooker.
I’m pretty lazy when it comes to browning the meat before adding it to the slow cooker, (the only exception is when I make a slow-cooking sausage casserole because sausages that don’t brown first end up with a pretty nasty texture!) so I tend to skip all the coating in the flour step. However, thicken the liquid at the end before serving, more on that below.
If you want to include this step, place the meat cubes in a sandwich bag and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour, shake it to make sure all the meat is completely covered. Then, in some hot oil, gently fry the flour-coated beef until lightly browned before adding it to the slow cooker bowl.
How to thicken
You’ll probably want to thicken the stew before serving it. How thin the liquid ends at the end of the cooking time will depend on a) the amount of liquid you added at the beginning and b) the amount of vegetables you added. Vegetables have a high water content that will be released during the cooking process. Sometimes it is difficult to judge how much liquid will be released until it reaches the end of the cooking time.
You can thicken a meat stew in the slow cooker by any of the following methods;
- Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking time, raise the slow cooker to high. Or;
- Add some sauce granules and stir. Add 1 tablespoon of meat sauce granules at a time and stir, add more until it is in its preferred consistency.
- 1-2 teaspoons of cornmeal with a little water (follow the instructions on the package). Stir it in the slow cooker and let it thicken.
Make a mixture of cornmeal with
Add meatballs to a
Who can resist meatballs with a meat stew? They are really easy to make and add. Simply follow the package instructions if you are using a dumpling mixture and add it to the slow cooker 30 to 40 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Alternatively, you can make your own dumplings before adding them to the slow cooker.
How long should I cook a meat stew in a slow cooker?
Low and long is the preference for the best slow cooker stew. Meeting for the best results, 8 to 10 hours on bass is ideal. If you are short on time, you can put the slow cooker high and cook it for about 4 hours, but the meat might not be so tender.