Log in Subscribe
Cooking in the County

Beef stew

Claire Stabbert
Posted 1/27/23

My crockpot has been getting a lot of mileage these days. I am a teacher by day (wannabe chef by night), and one perk of my profession is snow days.  

The snow days have been coming …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Cooking in the County

Beef stew


My crockpot has been getting a lot of mileage these days. I am a teacher by day (wannabe chef by night), and one perk of my profession is snow days. 

The snow days have been coming recently, which has given me a lot of time to make some of my favorite comfort foods out of my crockpot. 

Some people might be against crockpots and instant pots, but I believe they are one of the world’s greatest inventions. They allow me to set and forget my meals while I can get other errands done, and come out being fork tender every time. 

During my last snowday I meal prepped some steamed stuffed peppers for the week. Today I made a beautiful beef stew in the crockpot that only takes a few minutes to prep.

I have been craving beef stew lately, especially with these cold winter days. If you haven’t had, its tender chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes and peas cooked in a rich brown gravy are delicious. The beef typically used is a chuck roast, which is perfect for stew, because when cooked low and slow it becomes fork tender... with a rich, beefy flavor. 

My mom would often serve us this stew as children atop a bed of egg noodles, and with my age I have grown to love topping this stew with prepared horseradish for a nice little kick. I have learned many tips and tricks with my crockpot and this dish. 

You should preheat your crockpot for at least 30 minutes before pouring anything in, just as you would an oven. Another extremely important tip is browning your stew meat before it goes into your crockpot or instant pot. 

This will not only give a texture to your meat and veggies, but so much additional flavor. I love to top my stewed dishes with fresh herbs, since it is much more visually appealing and gives a freshness to the dish as well. 

To make crockpot beef stew you will need:

2 lbs chuck roast or stewing cubes (if you get a roast you may need to cut into small cubes)

flour (3 tbsp)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

4 tbsp olive oil

4 cups beef broth

½ cup dry red wine

1 onion chopped into chunks

3 cups potatoes peeled and cubed

2 cups carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup vegetable juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 fresh sprig

½ teaspoon dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh

¾ cup peas

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

Egg noodles/crusty bread/ground horseradish for serving 

The key to a flavorful stew in my opinion is building the flavor early on. This means heavily seasoning your cubes of meat that will be sitting in broth for 4 hours. 

Begin by turning on your crockpot to preheat. This is a tip Martha Stewart once said, and anything she says in regards to cooking, I follow. 

Next, you’ll want to begin by combining flour, garlic powder, and a heavy hand of salt and pepper. Toss your beef in this mixture so it coats all 4 sides. 

Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan. Add your beef and brown in batches. Important disclosure: Do not overcrowd your pan. If you add too much meat, it will steam and not get that beautiful deep brown coloring that everyone is looking for. Brown the meat in batches of about 10 (you may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of additional olive oil for each round) and then add to the bottom of your warmed up crockpot. 

Reduce your heat to medium and add in additional oil. Add the onion chunks and cook until tender, then add to your crockpot. There will be nuggets of browned bits, do not wash this out. 

To add amazing depth and flavor, add about ½ a cup of your favorite dry red wine. With the pan on medium to medium high heat, scrape your pan with a wooden or silicon spoon and let the liquid come to a boil. Let it boil briefly, until it has reduced but not evaporated and continue cooking. The mixture should become a little syrupy. Add it into the crockpot, and thank me later.

Next add your broth, potatoes, carrots, celery, vegetable juice, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, and a little more salt and pepper. A great addition would be any root veggies such as parsnips. 

Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 8-9 house until the beef is tender. 

Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. You’ll be making a little slurry to thicken things up at the end of cooking time. Stir into the stew a little bit at a time, then stir in the peas. Cook and cover for an additional 15 minutes or until thickened and heated through and season to taste. Enjoy this seasonal favorite.

Next week I will be sharing some of my favorite Super Bowl snacks. Stay safe and warm. 

Claire Stabbert is an accomplished cook who loves to try new recipes. While she does enjoy eating at restaurants, she also loves to whip up a good meal at home. Claire gets some of her cooking inspiration from her grandfather and grandmother, Fred and Shirley Stabbert as well as Great Grandma Nellie.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here