My slow-cooker is a lifesaver (and wifesaver, and momsaver!) through the winter and this is my favourite and our family’s proclaimed best slow-cooker beef stew. The recipe is from one of my faves – The Looneyspoons Collection Cookbook by Janet and Great Podleski, and it is perfect – melt in your mouth beef, and chunks of carrots, yukon gold potatoes and onions. It is healthy, hearty and a recipe you need in your slow cooker repertoire!
I have tweaked the recipe ever so slightly and added some of my notes from my experience making the stew which I hope helps guide you better when trying the recipe . . .
For adding the the Slow Cooker immediately:
- 907 grams (2 lbs) of stewing beef, trimmed of any visible/excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes. Notes: I like Longo’s certified angus lean boneless stewing beef – great quality, and melt in your mouth results), and, I try my best to equal 907g between usually having to buy 2 packages – get as close as you can (I usually err on the side of going slightly over).
- 3 cups of cubed yukon gold potatoes (3-4 potatoes . . . guesstimate if one potato looks like it will fill a 1 cup measuring cup) . . . again if you are slightly over 3 cups, just throw them in!
- 2 cups of chopped, peeled carrots
- 1 1/2 cups of cooking onion (1 large onion)
- 1-2 roma tomatoes, diced (I had some on hand needing to be used – worked well – but totally optional)
- 500ml (2 cups) no-salt-added tomato sauce . . . I didn’t stress when I couldn’t find no-salt-added in the store – I just used regular. I also just put in the whole can of sauce which was over 500ml (about 600ml-ish) – no harm done!
- 1 can (284ml/10 oz) reduced-sodium beef broth (in the soup section)
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp Kosher (coarse) salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- optional – 1/2 cup red wine – I have skipped the sugar and added some wine for extra flavour – we were going to be drinking it with the stew anyway.
For adding the last hour:
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish if desired)
- Combine all ingredients except cornstarch and parsley in your slow cooker.
- Cover and simmer on low for 8 hours.
- When one hour remains, combine cornstarch and water and stir to combine. Add to stew, incorporate well, close the lid and let the stew continue cooking for one more hour.
- Stir in the parsley just before serving, and add more for garnish if desired.
- Serve with some lovely crusty bread (like ciabatta), and a side or starter salad for some veg. We also really like to serve over some pappardelle noodles, garnished with Parmesan and the parsley (really good!) – this kids really like it this way.