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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This easy slow cooker beef stew is perfect for chilly days! A delicious, old fashioned beef stew recipe simmered in the slow cooker with tender meat, carrots, potatoes and celery.

Prep Time

    •    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    •    Cook Time: 8 hours
    •    Yield: Serves 8


For the beef:

    •    1/2 tsp onion powder
    •    1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
    •    1 1/2 tsps sea salt to taste
    •    1/2 tsp black pepper to taste
    •    1/3 cup flour use gluten free four or arrowroot starch if needed
    •    2 pounds beef chuck roast or beef stew meat trimmed and cut into 1 - 2 inch chucks

For the stew:

    •    1 bay leaf
    •    cooking oil
    •    6 tbsps tomato paste
    •    2 ribs celery chopped
    •    4 cloves garlic minced
    •    2 tsps worcestershire sauce
    •    more salt and pepper to taste
    •    2 tbsps balsamic vinegar or red wine
    •    water as needed, to cover the vegetables
    •    3 medium carrots peeled and cut into slices
    •    1-2 tbsps fresh chopped parsley for garnish
    •    1 medium yellow onion cut into large chucks
    •    4 1/2 cups beef broth homemade or low sodium
    •    1 star anise optional but adds so much depth and flavor
    •    1 large sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 inch chucks (leave out if desired)
    •    2 tsps Italian seasoning or 1 tsp dried rosemary 1/2 tsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    •    4 medium russet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1 inch chucks (or can use about 10 small baby potatoes with skin on - cut in half)

Thickener (Optional):

    •    3 tbsps cold water
    •    2 tbsps all purpose flour, gluten free flour or arrowroot powder


  1. For the beef: In a large zip-top bag, combine flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning. Add beef and shake until well coated.

  2. Browning the meat: (feel free to skip to step 5 and add all the ingredients to the slow cooker instead)

  3. In a large skillet on medium high heat, add cooking oil and brown the meat on all sides. Meat will not be cooked through. (Be sure not to crowd the skillet - you may have to work in batches). Transfer browned meat into a large 6 quart slow cooker.

  4. Put the uncleaned skillet back on the stove and add onions and garlic. Saute for a minute or two then add the balsamic vinegar and tomato paste until just hot enough to deglaze the pan, about 1 minute. Pour into slow cooker over the beef.

  5. Add the potatoes, sweet potato, carrots, celery, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, beef broth, (star anise if using) and stir to combine. If there is not enough liquid to cover the vegetables, add water - only as much as needed.

  6. Cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours (stir about half way through), until potatoes are tender and meat is cooked through. (Times may vary depending on how hot your slow cooker runs - check and cook longer or shorter if necessary)

  7. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if necessary (discard star anise if used). Serve hot with fresh parsley.

  8. Optional: To thicken stew: Make a slurry by whisking 2 tablespoons of flour (all purpose, cornstarch, gluten free flour or arrowroot powder) with 3 tablespoons of cool water. 20-30 minutes before serving, stir the slurry into the slow cooker, set to HIGH. Stew should thicken within 20-30 minutes. If it does not thicken, your slow cooker may not be hot enough so you will have to transfer to a large pot and heat on the stove if you want to thicken the stew. However, the stew will thicken up on its own overnight in the fridge even without the cornstarch slurry - the slurry is just a solution for immediate results.

NOTE: Let cool, then store in refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve. This stew improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead.

This great family recipe is thanks to Life Made Sweeter Recipes at


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