Slow Cooker Beef Stew

What’s more comforting than beef stew?  Not much in my book.

This slow cooker beef stew ranks right up there with the best of them.  The sauce is complex, thanks to the tomato paste and red wine.  It has all my favorites too…potatoes, carrots, and peas.  It’s not a “classic” stew in my opinion.  I’m not used to tomato paste and red wine in my stew’s sauce; my mom’s stew has more of a brown sauce.  Don’t worry – you will still feel super warm and satisfied after eating this, though.

For a slow cooker recipe, there is quite a bit of prep.  I bought already cubed meat which saved a little bit of time, but there’s still cooking and chopping that needs to be done.  I would not recommend this for a weeknight morning when you’re rushing to get out the door to work.  It is perfect for a lazy Saturday or Slow Cooker Sunday however!  Browning the beef before placing it in your slow cooker is an absolute must.  It add greats flavor and helps create the flavorful sauce.  You may want to serve some crusty bread to sop up all the sauce…it’s *that* good.

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Start with the beef…

  • Heat a couple of tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

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  • Pour some flour onto a plate.

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  • Coat the beef cubes in the flour.

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  • Place the coated beef in the skillet.  (You will more than likely have to work in batches.  You do not want to overcrowd the skillet.  I ended up cooking the beef in 3 batches, adding a little more EVOO each time.)

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  • Cook the beef, until browned on both sides.

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  • Place the browned beef in the bottom of your slow cooker.

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  • While the beef is browning, chop up 2 large onions.

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  • Add another tablespoon of EVOO to the skillet.

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  • Place the onions in the skillet.

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  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.  (The onions will pick up a lot of the color and flavor left from the beef.  Yuuuummmm.)

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  • Add 1 small can of tomato paste to the cooked onions.

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  • Stir to combine.

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  • Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker.

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  • Pour 1 cup of red wine into the skillet.  (I used a Malbec.)

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  • Gently deglaze the bottom of the skillet (aka scrape up any brown bits).

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  • Pour the red wine into your slow cooker.

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  • Peel and cube 2½ pounds potatoes.

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  • Add the potatoes to the slow cooker.

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  • Add ½ pound baby carrots.

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  • Pour in 2 cups of beef broth.

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  • Season with 1 tablespoon of salt.

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  • Add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.

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  • Finish with 1 bay leaf.

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  • Stir to combine all ingredients.

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  • Cover and cook on high for 4 hours (or on low for 7½).  I started at 3½ hours on high, but the potatoes and carrots were still a little too hard.  I would also recommend stirring the stew every now and then.

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  • When the timer goes off, drain and add 1 can of peas.

  • Stir them into the stew.

  • Cover and cook on high for about 5 more minutes.
  • Make sure you remove the bay leaf before serving!

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew (serves 6-8)

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 pounds beef bottom round, cubed
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ½ pound baby carrots
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can peas

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Coat the beef in the flour.
  • Add the beef to the skillet, in batches, adding more oil as needed.
  • Cook, flipping once, until browned on both sides.
  • Place the beef in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.
  • Add the onions.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Spoon the onion mixture on top of the beef in the slow cooker.
  • Pour the red wine into the skillet and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour the wine into the slow cooker.
  • Add the potatoes, carrots, broth, salt, thyme, and bay leaf.
  • Stir to combine everything.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 7½).
  • Drain the can of peas and add them to the slow cooker.
  • Cook for 5 more minutes, on high, until the peas are warmed through.

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