This post may contain affiliate links.

Is there anything more cosy and satisfying than a Slow Cooker Beef Stew bubbling away in the kitchen when the winter draws in and we need the ultimate comfort food to keep us going?

This stew recipe – or Slow Cooker Beef Casserole if you prefer – is, quite simply, satisfaction in a bowl. It’s packed with flavour, chunky vegetables and rich gravy, warming the cockles and brimming with goodness.

Slow cooker beef stew recipe with rich gravy

Can I be honest with you my friends? In the past I’ve not been quite convinced about slower beef stews.

Sometimes bland, sometimes watery. Curries work well because of the extra flavour from spices etc, but stews and casseroles can be a little disappointing. 

So… I made it my mission to solve this problem! I have tweaked and polished this recipe about 20 times, I kid you not, and I feel like we’re finally there.

Mission to create a delicious, thick Slow Cooker Beef Stew is complete.

The beef is tender, the veggies wholesome and the beer makes for a lovely rich gravy.

I hope you love this classic as much as we do ❤️


Why you’ll love this Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe

⭐️ Packed with rich flavour

⭐️ Lots of hidden veg for goodness

⭐️ Great for batch cooking


Slow Cooker Beef Casserole with vegetables and gravy comfort food

About Slow Cooker Beef Casserole

Could the humble stew be the one dish that dates back to the very beginnings of humankind?

It’s thought that might be the case, with evidence of the meal dating back centuries all over the world, from Japan to Amazonian rainforests, France and, obviously, Ireland with its famous Irish Stew. 

While our early ancestors might have boiled up meat and some vegetables over a fire, cooking has come along a tad since then.

That said, the dish hasn’t evolved dramatically over the course of centuries, and with good reason. There simply is nothing more heartwarming over the colder months than a steaming bowl of beef casserole 

And we all know that being able to make this kind of meal in the slow cooker is the dream scenario, so I hope you find this version works for you.

There are a few tips and ingredients involved that should elevate it from an ordinary just-ok recipe to one you go to time and time again, but we’re still keeping it super simple and very much affordable for an ideal family-friendly dinner.


Slow Cooker Beef Stew Ingredients Notes

Ingredients for a slow cooker beef casserole laid on a counter.
  • Beef cubes – I use braising steak, also known as stewing steak
  • Plain flour – This helps to thicken the sauce
  • Sunflower oil – Or another flavourless oil
  • Onion – Use pre-prepared frozen and chopped for time-saving
  • Garlic – Same goes, I use the cheat version but you can go fresh
  • Beer – Any ale or bitter, or see substitutions list 
  • Carrots – Chopped into small bite sized pieces
  • Swede – Called rutabaga if you’re in the USA
  • Beef stock cubes – No need to dissolve
  • Worcestershire sauce – Or Henderson’s Relish
  • Salt and pepper – Use plenty

How to make Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Step 1 in the recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Stew.
  1. Coat the beef in the plain flour until it’s well covered.
Step 2 in the recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Stew.

2. Fry the beef in batches on the hob (don’t overcrowd the pan) until it’s browned and golden.

Step 3 in the recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Stew.

3. Add everything into the pan and stir. Transfer to your slow cooker or take your hob-friendly slow cooker off the heat.

Step 4 in the recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Stew.

4. Cook as per the recipe (below).


Substitutions

  • Beer – If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can replace it with beef stock (in addition to the cubes mentioned in the recipe). Also, if your bottle of beer has less than 600ml (some are 500ml), just make up the difference with stock.

Leftovers

In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat fully in the microwave or on the hob before serving.

In the freezer This recipe freezes really well and is great for batch cooking. Just wait until it’s totally cold and then put into a freezer proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating in the microwave or on the hob.

Top tips

Browning the beef

You have a choice on this. You don’t have to fry the meat on the hob first but I do feel that in this case, it is worth the 10 minutes or so as it adds a lot of flavour to the dish. 

This isn’t always the case. In a Slow Cooker Beef Curry, for example, the spices add so much flavour that it’s not needed. But here, you want it to be.. BEEFY, right?

All that said, if you don’t have time, don’t stress just throw it in. It’ll be maybe 20% less tasty, but sometimes needs must don’t they?

Cut of beef

I use something like ‘braising steak‘, which is the name supermarkets and butchers use for a few different cuts of beef that need slow cooking. These include chuck, skirt, leg and flank.

It’s also sometimes labelled as stewing steak. Any of these cuts that need to be cooked slowly are fine for this recipe.

More slow cooker beef recipes…

FAQs

What’s the difference between a beef stew and beef casserole?

They are basically the same but if we’re nit-picking, it’s thought a ‘stew’ is a pan of ingredients simmered together on a stove (stewed), and a ‘casserole’ refers to the type of pot you use when cooking ingredients together in an oven.

So what if it’s in a slow cooker?! We call it a Beef Stew or a Beef Casserole and forget about it!

Can I cook this in the oven instead?

Sure. Cook at 160C for about an 2-3 hours or until the beef is soft and tender.

You will almost certainly need to add some more liquid if cooking in the oven. Probably about 300-400ml of stock but check it as it cooks and adjust accordingly.

Which slow cooker do you use?

I love this one (available to buy on Amazon) as it has a pan that you can use on the hob to brown your meat first and then transfer straight into the cooker. It’s very lightweight too.

For induction hobs, I recommend the Lakeland Digital 6.5l Slow Cooker instead.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 153 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Stew {with Rich Gravy}

Slow Cooker Beef Stew or Slow Cooker Beef Casserole? Whatever you call it, it’s comfort food at its very best. A hearty meal packed with flavour, vegetables and rich gravy for the whole family.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 People

Ingredients 

  • 1 kg Beef cubes, See notes
  • 3 tbsp Plain flour
  • 2 tbsp Sunflower oil
  • 1 Onion, See notes
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, See notes
  • 600 ml Beer, See notes
  • 3 Carrots, Peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 Swede, Peeled and chopped. (Rutabaga if you're in the USA)
  • 2 Beef stock cubes, No need to dissolve in liquid, just as they are.
  • 3 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Coat the beef in the plain flour until it's well covered.
  • Heat the oil in a pan (or in your slow cooker pan if it's the type you can use on the hob) and brown the beef, in batches, don't overcrowd the pan, until it's browned and golden.
  • Add all of your other ingredients, with all of the browned beef, into the pan. Remove from the heat (or transfer to your slow cooker pan if you have used a different pan for the browning).
  • Pop the lid on and cook in the slow cooker for 5-6 hours on HIGH or 8-9 hours on LOW (this will vary slightly depending on the size of the cubes of meat and vegetables but don't worry, it's difficult to overcook this!)

Notes

Beef:
I use ‘Braising Steak’, which is the name supermarkets and butchers use for a few different cuts of beef that need slow cooking. These include chuck, skirt, leg and flank. It’s also sometimes labelled as Stewing Steak. 
Onions and garlic:
I use pre prepared frozen, chopped here. An onion weighs about 150g, so replace with that pre chopped weight. Garlic is about 5g per clove so I use 15g (3 teaspoons).
Beer:
Any ale/bitter is fine for this. If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can replace it with beef stock (in addition to the cubes mentioned). Also, if your bottle of beer has less than 600ml (some are 500ml) just make up the difference with stock.

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 31gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 40436mgPotassium: 1040mgFiber: 2gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 5146IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 147mgIron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
Like this? Leave a comment and rating below!Mention @myusername or tag #myhashtag!

new cookbook!

Featuring 100 delicious recipes that can be cooked in one pot, you can open any page in this book and find something that will give you not only a meal that the whole family will eat and enjoy, but also one that makes your life a little simpler in the process.

More Recipes

Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

Welcome!

Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

39 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    A keeper, I used sweet potato instead of swede, added celery and cooked on low in the pressure cooker for 35mins. Reduced the beer to 300ml. Perfect 👌🏽

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner today (and I have never liked beef stew)….this was absolutely amazing….nicest stew I have ever tasted…we all almost licked bowls clean

  3. 4 stars
    I’ve just made and eaten this for dinner and it’s the best stew I’ve ever had! Most stews I find aren’t actually that great but this tasted amazing. I changed sweed for runner beans. Thank you 😊

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious, all the family loved it and the beef was so tender. Used bitter ale and it was lovely. Will definitely be making it again. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    I love love love this recipe. So easy but totally delicious!! I’ve made it a number of times and it’s a firm family favourite.

  6. 5 stars
    So easy to make and delicious 😋. Will definitely be making again maybe with beer this time if I remember to get some !