The most comforting meals for me are often the simplest ones. I’ve craved beef stew for over a week, but kept forgetting to pick up chuck roast and my craving was left unfulfilled. So sad.
But I grabbed some chuck roast this week and beef stew was had last night. Ah. Simple and filling. Just what I needed. There are days when I don’t want anything foo-foo or layered with 50 flavors. That’s how I’ve felt lately. Maybe it’s the change in seasons that’s got me craving the comforts of good old-fashioned home cooking. And my simple stew hit the spot last night.
This is our favorite basic stew–I even leave out garlic which I cook with daily. 🙂 If you’re looking for a comforting beef stew recipe, this might be the one for you. I brown the meat before adding it to the slow cooker because I like the extra flavor it gives the meat. Happy Stewing! 🙂
Slow Cooker Back to Basics Beef Stew
- •2 pounds of chuck roast, chopped in 1 to 1.5 inch pieces
- •salt and pepper
- •2 tablespoons olive oil
- •1 medium yellow onion, diced
- •2 tablespoons tomato paste
- •1.5 to 2 cups beef broth
- •splash of Worcestershire sauce (about a tablespoon)
- •2 stalks of celery, diced or cut into 1-inch pieces
- •6 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- •3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- •2 bay leaves
- •1 teaspoon dried thyme
- •2 tablespoons Minute tapioca (If you don't have the tapioca on hand, no worries--I use it to thicken it up to a nice stew consistency, but it's still good without it!)
- Dry the meat with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add all meat and brown. You're not aiming to cook the meat through, but to get the outside a nice color. When the meat is browned, place it in the slow cooker. If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the skillet and cook the onions on medium heat until translucent. Add the Worcestershire, 1.5 cups broth, and tomato paste to the onions in the skillet. Mix and cook until it just begins to boil or simmer. Place the celery, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves, and thyme in the slow cooker. Pour broth mixture over everything in the slow cooker. Add Minute tapioca to the slow cooker and mix everything together. At this point I add a few pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours. *At the 5 hour mark, I gently mix the stew and taste test, adding salt, pepper, and more broth as needed ( I usually add at least another half cup of broth at this point). Continue to cook for one more hour. Remove bay leaves and enjoy!