When I tell you guys that this classic beef stew recipe brings me back to my childhood in an instant… I mean it. Growing up, I remember coming home from school eager to eat the beef stew that had been cooking in the crock pot all day.
This old fashioned beef stew recipe is absolutely delicious, can be cooked in a dutch oven, crock pot, or slow cooker, and certainly gets 5 stars from me (and my family)!
Why you’ll love this beef stew recipe
To me, this is the best beef stew I’ve ever had. There are so many flavors and (best of all) this is sort of a “hands off” recipe! Meaning, after you prep your veggies, sear the beef stew meat, and mix everything in a slow cooker… you’re pretty much done until it’s time to eat!
The stew meat is also incredibly tender and flavorful thanks to the low and slow method.
To make this slow cooker beef stew, you will need:
- Beef – Chuck roast is best for this recipe, but feel free to use whatever beef stew meat you’d like!
- Potatoes – I always use baby potatoes in my beef stew. Yukon baby potatoes are typically the ones I gravitate towards, as Yukon potatoes hold up great when in the slow cooker!
- Carrots – Baby carrots are best for this recipe (as you don’t have to do anything prep work with them). Simply toss them into the slow cooker and call it a day!
- Celery or green beans – While you could add both, I’ll choose one or the other.
- Garlic cloves – More specifically, freshly minced garlic cloves. This is my go to garlic press if you’re looking for something reliable!
- Onion – Sweet onions are my favorite, but use what you love! White or pearl onions are great in this beef stew, too!
- Beef broth – In order to make a delicious beef stew, you need a good broth! I add beef broth to my beef stew recipe, but you can also use beef stock, beef bone broth, or a mixture of beef broth and vegetable broth.
- Tomato paste – The tomato paste helps to thicken up the beef broth and adds another layer of flavor.
- Olive oil – Used to brown the chuck roast (or beef stew meat of your choice).
- Worcestershire sauce – Gives this recipe a beautiful umami flavor!
- Salt & pepper – To season your chuck roast!
- Fresh herbs – I recommend adding in some fresh oregano, fresh thyme and bay leaves! If you don’t have fresh, feel free to add dried herbs.
- Corn starch – You’ll need this to make a slurry. This helps to thicken the slow cooker beef stew. You can also thicken your beef stew with a flour mixture!
- Water – This is needed for the corn starch slurry!
Don’t let the number of ingredients scare you into thinking this beef stew recipe is super complicated!
Making traditional beef stew is incredibly straightforward and for the most part these ingredients are just placed into a crockpot.
How to make old fashioned beef stew
First thing’s first, prep your vegetables. Quarter your baby potatoes and slice the celery and onion. Set the vegetables to the side for now and move on to the next step.
Add the stew meat to a skillet over medium high heat and sear the beef on each side in olive oil. Once all of the stew beef is browned, transfer it to your slow cooker and add the onions to the skillet the beef was seared in and cook for 5 minutes. Add the freshly minced garlic cloves and cook until fragrant. Then, add to the slow cooker.
If there are browned bits on your skillet, make sure you scrape them into your slow cooker too. This will add more flavor to the beef stew!
Add the rest of your vegetables to the crock pot and mix everything together. Then, add the beef broth (or beef stock), tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.
During the last 20 minutes, mix cornstarch and water in a bowl to make the corn starch slurry. Add it to the crockpot and your beef stew will thicken up! Alternatively, you can add flour to the beef stew to thicken the stew. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!
Pro tip: To get the best beef stew, I highly recommend cooking this low and slow. The stew meat will become much more tender, flavorful, and juicier!
And there you have it!
That’s all it takes to make my favorite beef stew recipe (and hopefully, your new favorite too)!
What to serve with beef stew
Wondering what you should serve alongside of this slow cooker beef stew? I’ve got you covered! I love serving my beef stew with crusty bread, corn bread muffins, mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or homemade buttermilk biscuits!
Whatever you choose to pair with this beef stew, you’ll have an absolutely delicious meal in front of you! Also, if you’re a fan of wine, I recommend pairing some red wine with this beef stew.
Frequently asked questions
If you have a question not answered below be sure to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it!
What is the secret to good stew?
Truthfully, it just takes time. To make the best beef stew recipe, you should let the stew cook for 10 hours!
I also recommend making a cornstarch slurry before serving your old fashioned beef stew – which is written in the recipe below!
How can I make my beef stew more flavorful?
By browning your beef!
Hopefully with my recipe you won’t be asking yourself this – as with this beef stew recipe you sear the beef on all sides before cooking in the crockpot.
Doing this really helps the bold flavors come out.
What are the best vegetables to put in beef stew?
Some of the best vegetables to put in your beef stew are:
- Onions (or shallots)
- Green beans
- Wax beans
The list could go on and on, but essentially you can add any (and all) vegetables you love to the stew!
How long can I store old fashioned beef stew?
Feel free to store your beef stew in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days!
Can you freeze beef stew?
You can! Beef stew is able to be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container.
If you choose to freeze your stew, be sure to thaw it overnight in the fridge and then heat it on a low setting over the stove.Print
How to Make Old Fashioned Beef Stew
Looking for another easy crockpot meal? Look no further than this old fashioned beef stew. It’s flavorful, rich, and perfectly tender. Perfect for a chilly winter night!
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 10 Hours
- Total Time: 10 Hours & 20 Minutes
- Yield: 8 Servings 1x
- 2 lbs beef chuck roast
- 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
- 4 cups beef broth
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 4 celery sticks, sliced
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, freshly minced
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 1 1/2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
- 1 TBSP olive oil (use more if needed)
- 1 TSP salt and pepper
- 1 TSP oregano
- Optional: 2 TBSP cornstarch + 2 TBSP water for cornstarch slurry
- First, prep the vegetables. Slice your carrots, celery, onion, and quarter your potatoes. Set to the side for now.
- Next, heat the olive oil in a skillet and sear the beef on all sides. Transfer to a slow cooker an add the chopped onion to the skillet that the beef was seared in and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the freshly minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Then add to the slow cooker along with the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.
- Add the chopped carrots, celery, and potatoes to the crockpot and stir everything together. Once stirred, add in the beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper to the crockpot and cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.
- Before serving your stew, I recommend mixing a bit of cornstarch and water to make a slurry and adding it to the crockpot to cook for 10 minutes. This will help your beef stew to thicken.
- Serve with warm bread and enjoy!