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This Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew is a nostalgic and hearty meal that will warm you from the inside out. Is that cheesy? But seriously, this stew is so delicious and comforting and feels just like grandma’s house. This Easy Beef Stew Recipe is simple, so don’t be afraid if you’ve never made stew before. Let it simmer all day long in your trusty slow cooker and have dinner ready right at 5!
What Kind of Meat Do you Use for Beef Stew?
Usually, at your grocery store, you can find packages of beef labeled “stew meat.” It’s usually already chopped up and everything, so it is super convenient to use. Sometimes, this meat can be a little lean, which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your dietary needs.
If you’re wanting a richer and even more delicious beef stew, go for chuck roast. You’ll buy a big piece of marbled meat and have to cut it up yourself, but you will be able to cut it into even chunks that will cook evenly in the slow cooker so that you have a more uniform beef stew.
How to Make Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker
Making this beef stew is super easy, it just requires a couple of steps. Most of my slow cooker recipes are “dump and go” with little to no preparation, but this one requires just a few minutes of hands-on time to create a delicious beef stew.
The first and most important step in this recipe is searing your meat. Don’t skip this step! It will take a mediocre beef stew to a superb one. Sear your meat in a little bit of olive oil for a few minutes until a golden brown crust forms. Do not cook the meat all the way through– the slow cooker will do that. The goal here is to caramelize the sugars and brown the proteins in the meat so that a delicious crust forms. This will enhance the savory flavor of the meat and lock in all of the delicious juices.
Okay, once you’ve seared your meat, the hardest part is over! Next, add all of your ingredients to the slow cooker and simmer for 6-8 hours, or until the meat is tender and cooked through. Just before your 8-hour timer goes off, scoop up some of that liquid, mix it with flour, and pour it back into the slow cooker. This will help thicken your stew so that it’s an amazing stew-y (don’t know how else to describe it, ha!) texture.