dinner recipes

The Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew



2 – 3 pounds chuck steak, cut into 1.5 inch cubes (pat the meat dry using a paper towel)
1 onion, cut into pieces
4 large celery sticks, cut into pieces
4 large carrots, cut into pieces
6-8 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup of flour
2 cloves garlic minced
2-3 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls butter
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
2 Tbls of tomato paste
1 tsp of dried thyme
3 Tbls of brown sugar
2 Tbls of Worcestershire sauce
6 cups of chicken broth
6 tablespoons of flour (used as a thickener towards the end of cooking)
1 cup of frozen peas (optional)


In two batches, using a large dutch oven or skillet, heat oil and butter over medium high heat. Brown the meat on both sides. Don’t move the meat once it’s in the pot until after 1-2 minutes to be sure it browns and caramelizes nicely. To really brown the meat, this may take 5-8 minutes. Remove the meat into another bowl and reserve.
Place cut up vegetables in the skillet that the meat came out of and let them slightly brown. Add 1/4 cup of flour to the vegetables and toss. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the flour darkens. At this point, take all the vegetables and put into the slow cooker and than add the meat on top of the vegetables with any accumulated juices.
Deglaze the skillet with the wine, scrape all the goodness from the bottom and sides, don’t leave any behind! This will take about 2-3 minutes on medium/ high heat. The wine will reduce and than pour this mixture over the meat in the slow cooker. Don’t leave any behind!
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the tomato paste, thyme, brown sugar, Worcestershire, garlic, salt, and pepper with the chicken broth. Pour over meat in slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5 hours. I prefer to cook on low heat when using the slow cooker.
30 minutes before you are ready to serve the stew. Ladle 2-3 cups or more of broth into a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk in the 6 Tbls of flour, 1 Tbls at a time. Keep whisking until there are no lumps. Pour this mixture into the slow cooker with the frozen peas and stir.
The stew is ready when the vegetables are fork tender and the meat is tender and delicious.


I prefer not to coat the meat with flour when browning as this only browns the flour and not the meat. Also, don’t salt and pepper the meat before browning, this will bring out the juices and you want the meat to be dry when browning. This will give you the best results.