There’s nothing quite like a warm bowl of hearty, delicious beef stew to comfort and satisfy your hunger. This slow cooker recipe is not only incredibly flavorful, but it’s also convenient and easy to prepare. Just gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and let the slow cooker do the rest. Let’s explore the perfect beef stew slow cooker recipe, its history, and interesting facts surrounding this much-loved dish.
- 2 lbs of beef chuck, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 large carrots, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large stalks of celery, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1.5 lbs of red potatoes, chopped into 1.5-inch pieces
- 4 cups of beef broth
- 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp of tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, flour, salt, and black pepper. Toss until the beef is well-coated.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the beef, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Transfer the browned beef to the slow cooker once completed.
- Lower the heat to medium and add onion to the skillet, cooking until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Transfer the onion and garlic to the slow cooker along with the browned beef.
- Add carrots, celery, potatoes, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, bay leaf, and dried thyme to the slow cooker.
- Cook the stew on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours, until the vegetables are tender and the beef is cooked through.
- Discard the bay leaf and serve the hearty stew warm with your favorite side dish, such as crusty bread or a green salad.
History and Curiosities
Beef stew traces its roots to Europe, where it’s believed to have originated from a mix of European and Middle Eastern cuisines. It has evolved over the centuries as settlers and travelers carried it across the globe. Today, variations of beef stew can be found in several countries, each boasting unique ingredients and flavors suited to local tastes.
The slow cooker, or “crock-pot,” was invented in the early 20th century to make traditional stew recipes more convenient for busy families. This versatile kitchen appliance has become a staple in modern households, thanks to its ability to enhance flavor by gently cooking ingredients over low heat for an extended period.
In many cultures, beef stew is not only viewed as a comfort food but also as a welcome meal shared among friends and family during special occasions. This hearty dish transcends cultural and geographical boundaries, representing the communal spirit of sharing and enjoying a meal together. Whether served on a snowy winter evening or as a main course at a family gathering, this beef stew slow cooker recipe is sure to please both your taste buds and your heart.