Slow-Cooker Beef Stew: Simmered to Perfection
Slow cookers are a busy cook’s best friend — there’s nothing better than stirring some ingredients together in a pot, then coming home hours later to a bubbling pot of delicious. Making beef stew in a slow cooker is ideal, since the cuts of beef usually called for in stew recipes (typically chuck roast, or what’s sold as “stew meat”) tend to be tough because they contain connective tissue. Long cooking at low heat breaks down this toughness, leaving you with tender chunks of beef infused with tons of flavor. (One tip: Don’t be tempted to skip the browning step when you’re putting together a beef stew. Although it may seem like a hassle, the caramelization adds an enormous amount of flavor to the stew.)
We’ve got 10 recipes perfect for any weeknight meal — or Sunday supper. Trust us: Stew may seem simple, but set out steaming bowls alongside a green salad and some crusty bread, and your family will recognize they’re getting a feast.
Who wouldn’t be happy to come home to this stew on a cold winter night? Chunks of potatoes, beans, corn and carrots make this a true one-dish meal.
Like your beef with a kick? Try this stew. Smoky chipotle peppers give it a deep, addictive heat, and hominy lends a Mexican flair.
Coating the chuck roast in flour before browning helps this stew thicken during the long cooking process. The mushrooms retain their texture, but the beef becomes extremely tender.
Change up your beef stew routine with this rich, creamy stroganoff. Mushroom soup and sour cream team up to create a luxurious sauce for beef tips and egg noodles.
People seem to forget about sweet potatoes when it’s not Thanksgiving, but they pair beautifully with beef. Dried apricots lend this stew another welcome layer of subtle sweetness.
Take it slow! Check out more long-simmering slow-cooker recipes: