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Hearty Crockpot Beef Stew

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When the chill of fall and winter sets in, or you simply crave a comforting meal, this Crockpot Hearty Beef Stew is here to save the day. This slow-cooker dinner combines tender chunks of chuck roast, a rich and flavorful broth, and an array of vegetables that will warm both your body and soul. Plus, it’s easy to prepare and practically cooks itself in the crockpot.

Ok, so maybe we should discuss this gorgeous puff pastry crust! Although not required, amp up this beef stew recipe by adding a piece of puff pastry to the crock and baking until puffy and golden brown. Full instructions are in the recipe below!

REASONS TO MAKE BEEF STEW IN A SLOW COOKER

Crockpot or slow-cooker meals offer a high level of convenience and have become a beloved kitchen appliance for many reasons. Here are a few why you should try this Slow-Cooker Beef Stew recipe:

  • Easy and Convenient: The crockpot (or slow cooker) does most of the work for you. Once you’ve done the initial prep and searing, you can simply set it and forget it until the final hour.
  • Tender Meat: Using chuck roast, which is known for its marbling, ensures that the beef becomes incredibly tender during the slow cooking process. The meat practically melts in your mouth.
  • Nutrient-Rich Vegetables: This stew is loaded with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, green beans and corn providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Versatility: You can easily adapt this recipe to your preferences or dietary restrictions. Swap out ingredients, add more veggies, or adjust the seasoning to make it your own. It’s also great for feeding a crowd or for leftovers.
  • Stress-Free Cooking: With minimal hands-on time, this recipe allows you to enjoy your day while your meal slowly simmers to perfection. It’s perfect for busy individuals and families.
  • Freezer-Friendly: If you make a large batch, you can freeze portions for later, creating an easy and convenient meal option for those days when you’re too busy to cook.
  • Easy Cleanup: Many crockpot recipes involve minimal prep and use just one pot, which makes cleanup a breeze. This is particularly appealing for those who want to enjoy a homemade meal without the hassle of a sink full of dishes.
  • Economical: Slow cooking is an economical way to prepare meals. It allows you to use less expensive cuts of meat and still achieve great results.

WHERE’S THE BEEF?

It’s essential to use cuts of meat that are well-suited for slow cooking, as they will become tender and flavorful over the long cooking period. Chuck roast was used to create this Crockpot Hearty Beef Stew recipe. However, here are some alternative cuts of meat you can consider:

  • Stew Meat: You can often find pre-cut stew meat at the grocery store. Stew meat is typically made from various cuts, including chuck, round, or even sirloin. It’s convenient, but be sure to check for quality and trim any excess fat.
  • Round Roast: Bottom round or top round roast can also be used for stew. While leaner than chuck, it can yield excellent results when slow-cooked. Just ensure you cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Short Ribs: Beef short ribs are another option, known for their rich flavor. They have a good amount of fat and connective tissue, making them well-suited for slow cooking. Bone-in short ribs are especially flavorful. Just remember to remove the bone and shred the meat prior to serving.

TIPS ON MAKING THE BEST HEARTY CROCKPOT BEEF STEW

  • Cut and trim the meat: Trim the fat from the roast and cut into uniform, bite-sized pieces. If using pre-cut stew meat, you may also have to trim the fat and cut into smaller pieces.
  • Searing the meat: If you can, allow the meat to sit out of the fridge for about an hour prior to searing. Take the time to sear the cubed chuck roast before adding it to the crockpot. This step enhances the flavor by creating a caramelized crust on the meat. It’s worth the extra few minutes for the depth of flavor it adds.
  • Deglaze the pan: After searing the meat, deglaze the pan with red wine or stock. Scrape up all the flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. This step ensures you capture all the rich flavors from the searing process.
  • Red wine: Cabernet is a great choice to use when cooking. However, merlot or pinot noir are great substitutes.
  • Fresh herbs vs. dried: While the recipe calls for fresh rosemary sprigs, you can substitute with dried rosemary.
  • Choose your preferred tomatoes: The beef stew recipe calls for halved cherry tomatoes or tomato paste. Feel free to use whichever you prefer or have available. Tomato paste will provide a concentrated tomato flavor.
  • Potatoes: Peeled or unpeeled Buttery Yukon gold or red potatoes work well in this hearty crockpot beef stew.
  • Seasoning : Taste the stew before serving and adjust the seasoning if necessary. I did have to add a touch more salt.
  • Low and slow: While the recipe provides both high (about 4 hours) and low (about 7 hours) cooking settings, slow cooking on the low setting often yields the best results. It allows the flavors to meld together over a longer period, resulting in a richer and more flavorful stew.
  • Remove bay leaves and rosemary stems: Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, and celery stalks before serving. Eating bay leaves or woody rosemary stems can be unpleasant.
  • Add vegetables at the right time: Be mindful of when you add the corn, green beans, and peas. Adding them in the last hour of cooking prevents them from becoming mushy.
  • Thickness: If the stew is too thin, adjust with a cornstarch slurry. Allow to cook at least 10 extra minutes after adding the thickening.

HOW TO FORM THE PUFF PASTRY CRUST ON BEEF STEW

As mentioned earlier, the puff pastry crust is not necessary. However, this golden flaky topping does accentuate this beef stew, dramatically.

One store-bought puff pastry will be enough to cover at least two, maybe three bowls if you rework the dough. Fill the bowls about 3/4 of the way up with the hearty beef stew. Cut the pastry dough into rounds about an inch bigger than the opening of the bowl. Stretch the dough across the bowl making sure not to let it drop into the bowl.

You want that rustic aesthetic. So, let the dough drape over the edges of the bowl. Brush the dough all over with an egg wash. Bake on a baking sheet at 400° for 8 -12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

HOW TO SERVE AND STORE BEEF STEW

If you choose not to create the puff pastry crust, this soul-warming crockpot beef stew pairs wonderfully with a variety of accompaniments. Consider serving it with crusty bread, garlic toast, biscuits or even cornbread. Leave out the potatoes (or not) and serve with a side of buttery mashed potatoes. For a healthier option, pair this hearty beef stew with a fresh green salad or a slice of hearty whole-grain bread.

To store leftover stew, allow to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. When reheating, do so gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

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a white crock bowl filled with hearty beef stew with another filled crock in the background

Hearty Crockpot Beef Stew


Description

When the chill of fall and winter sets in, or you simply crave a comforting meal, this Crockpot Hearty Beef Stew is here to save the day. This slow-cooker dinner combines tender chunks of chuck roast, a rich and flavorful broth, and an array of vegetables that will warm both your body and soul. Plus, it’s easy to prepare and practically cooks itself in the crockpot.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 22 1/2 pound chuck roast, or stew meat.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine 
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into three pieces, or diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (see notes for substitution)
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon Beef
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons cornstarch to 2 teaspoons water or stock)

FOR THE PUFF PASTRY CRUST:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, optional (one sheet should cover 3 bowls)
  • egg wash (1 egg beaten with a touch of water)

Instructions

  1. If possible, allow the meat to rest out of the fridge for an hour.
  2. Trim the fat from the roast and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Add to a bowl with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and flour.
  4. Toss to coat evenly.
  5. Heat up the oil in a cast iron pan to almost smoking.
  6. Add the meat in batches to sear for just about a minute, or so. Try not to overcrowd the pan. 
  7. As the meat finishes, add to a crockpot. 
  8. Once all of the meat has been seared and transferred to the crockpot, add the butter to the same pan and allow to melt.
  9. Add in the minced garlic and onions. Sauté for a few minutes.
  10. Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape the bottom to loosen the browned bits.
  11. Add the mixture to the crockpot with the beef, along with the celery, cherry tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, rosemary, bay leaves, bouillon, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Add enough stock to almost cover.
  12. Place lid. Slow cook on high for about 4 hours, or on low for 7 hours.
  13. In the last hour, add the corn and green beans. 
  14. In the final minutes, remove and discard the rosemary stems, bay leaves and chunks of celery (unless you minced the celery).
  15. Once the meat and vegetables are tender, if the stew is not thick enough, mix in the cornstarch slurry. 
  16. Cook on high for at least another 10 minutes. 
  17. Add in the frozen peas. Cook for another few minutes. 
  18. Ladle into bowls. 
  19. If creating the puff pastry crust, cut out a round of pastry slightly larger than the mouth of the bowl. 
  20. Securely, stretch the pastry over the bowl.
  21. Brush with an egg wash.
  22. Bake for 8-12 minutes at 400°, or until golden brown and puffy.
  23. Serve and ENJOY!
@charlottefashionplate

Hearty Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe! This comforting beef stew is full of tender beef and hearty vegetables tucked inside a cozy beef broth that simmers for hours! For a twist, add puff pastry to the top and bake until golden brown! This beef stew recipe is great for a weeknight when you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Start this slow-cooker meal in the morning and it will be be ready to finish and serve by dinner time! #beefstew #crockpotrecipes #crockpotmeals #slowcooker #slowcookerrecipe #foodtiktok #dinnerideas #whatsfordinner #comfortfood

♬ In Love With You – BLVKSHP

Notes

  • Searing the meat is optional. However, if you have the time, searing the beef adds a lot of flavor and texture. 
  • Easily replace the red wine with additional stock, or even water.
  • Although this recipe uses celery for flavor, feel free to dice. 
  • Substitute the cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
  • Peeling the potatoes is a matter of preference.
  • Thicken the stew with a cornstarch slurry if needed.
  • Optionally, add the puff pastry crust. See detailed instructions in post. (Nutrition information does not include the puff pastry).
  • See post for additional tips and notes. 
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Dinner, Slow-Cooker Meals
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: American

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GET TO KNOW ME!

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WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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