If you’re looking for something with rich, savory flavors and a warming, comforting finish, you can’t go wrong with this Slow Cooker Thick and Chunky Beef Stew. It will make you feel like the queen at a medieval feast! Slow cooking is the best way to create a stew filled with hearty ingredients that also happens to be healthy. After steeping in their natural juices all day long, these meats and veggies will leave your family feeling happily stuffed and satisfied.
This Slow Cooker Thick and Chunky Beef Stew is so easy to pull together. Simply cut your beef into cubes (we recommend lean chuck roast because it’s inexpensive and it becomes oh-so tender when cooked low-and-slow). Then, rub them with salt and pepper, roll ’em in flour, and brown them in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once they’re caramelized (and smelling amazing), transfer the meat to a slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Let it simmer on Low for 8 to 10 hours, and it will become aromatic perfection!
Can I Speed Up the Cook Time?
Eight or ten hours may seem like a long time to cook dinner, even in a slow cooker, but there are no alternative cooking times that use the High setting for this Slow Cooker Thick and Chunky Beef Stew. Because the beef is lean chuck, it can easily become tough and chewy if it cooks too fast. Low and slow is definitely the way to go, so make sure to plan ahead with this one.
You can always make the stew a day ahead of time and let it cool down before storing it in the refrigerator. Then, simply heat it up, and you’ll be ready to eat!
Do You Like Stew Thick or Thin?
Some people prefer thinner stews, while others love their stew as thick as possible. This recipe does turn out on the thinner side, but you have a few choices to thicken it up. You can always use half the amount of liquid, knowing that you can always add more later if you need. Or, you could cook the recipe as-is and thicken it after it’s finished cooking with a cornstarch slurry. Alternatively, adding a few tablespoons of tomato paste will thicken the stew while adding a deep, enriching flavor.
Slow Cooker Thick and Chunky Beef Stew
- 1 pound lean chuck beef, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup flour (non-grain based flour for Whole30 plan)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 stalks celery, cut into slices
- 3 large carrots sliced into thick rounds
- 1/2 cup shelled snap peas
- 2 medium potatoes of any variety, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme ( or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup red wine, optional beef broth
- 1/4 cup chopped flat parsley, (optional for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional, but helps to thicken up the stew)
- Coat the beef with the flour. Over medium heat, in a skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, brown the beef then transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add all other ingredients, except parsley, to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or when beef is very tender. Remove bay leaf before serving. Enjoy!
- Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
How do you like your stew? Thin and served over brown rice or quinoa? Thick and hearty on its own? Let us know in the comments!
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