It doesn’t get much better than beef stew. It’s one of those perfect winter comfort foods that we wouldn’t turn our noses up at in the middle of a summer heatwave either. Of course, in those conditions, we’d take it served cold as leftovers the next day, but you can’t beat it piping hot and served with starchy rice, bread or potatoes, whatever the temperature.
Here we’ll share one of our favourite slow-cooked beef stew recipes for those that have a whole day to wait for it to be ready. But not before we share a further four top beef stew recipes from around the world.
The simple, everyday beef stew
This one really can be enjoyed any night of the week and is also perfect for making a large batch to freeze for later. It’s made from ingredients you probably have in your larder already. And, failing that, it’s also flexible enough to swap out any of the ingredients you might be missing. It really isn’t the end of the world if you’re short of potatoes or you’ve already drank all the red wine in the house. Just so long as you have the aromatics, stock, and you have remembered to buy beef.
The Moroccan beef stew that’s perfect for summer
If you’re as much a fan of summer vegetables as you are red meat then this is the beef stew recipe for you. It’s a great dish to turn to when you want a dinner that’s hearty and comforting in the middle of summer because the courgettes and peas add a freshness that other beef stew recipes lack. It’s also a great excuse to break out the tajine you never use (even if this recipe presumes you don’t have one).
The classic French beef stew with a light broth
If you prefer a thinner broth accompanying your succulent meat, then this is the beef stew recipe for you. We have it on good authority that this is the way you can expect it served up by a French grandma – pot-au-feu façon grand-mère – but you can expect equally nostalgic flavours whichever country your grandparents are from.
The beer-braised Flemish beef stew for serving with fries
Stoverij is a thick and rich beef stew in the Flemish style. In case you’ve never visited the Flanders region of Belgium, that means the beef is braised in dark beer or brown ale and served with French fries, as well as, if you can get it, Tierentyn – a type of mustard from Ghent that many believe to be the best in the world. Of course, using other mustards is also acceptable.
Homemade beef stew in crock pot
Here’s how to make a delicious beef stew in your crock pot or slow cooker – and this recipe really is a slow cook. Although it’ll take under 20 minutes to prepare everything, it’ll need about 9 hours in the pot, so get it started in the morning so it’s ready for dinner in the evening. You won’t regret it.
Yields 8 servings.
Crock pot beef stew ingredients
- 900g (2 lbs) stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 450 g (1 lb) pound baby red potatoes, quartered
- 4 carrots, sliced approx. 1–1½ cm (½-inch) thick
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fresh chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
Crock pot beef stew method:
- Season the beef with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and then add the beef for a couple of minutes, turning until browned evenly.
- Transfer the browned beef to your slow cooker, followed by all other ingredients except the flour.
- Stir all the ingredients together thoroughly.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on a low heat for 7–8 hours.
- Towards the end, remove about ½ cup of the stew broth. In a small bowl, mix together this liquid with the flour until no lumps remain. Then return the thickened broth to the slow cooker, cover it, then cook on a high heat for an extra 30 minutes.
- Serve hot and garnished with fresh chopped parsley.
Everything you need to know about slow cooking
Whether you’re new to slow cooking or just keen to learn more, click here to learn more about the science of slow cookers, including what foods taste best when slow-cooked and why.
Or if you’re just looking for more slow cooking recipes, then you can learn from Michelin-starred chefs like Raymond Blanc, Gordon Ramsay, and Tom Kerridge how to slow-cook just about anything here. And there’s more from where that came from, too. Click here for more Michelin-starred soups and stews.