I planned to do a baked chicken recipe today but was seriously craving some beef stew. To help me decide on what to cook (and post), I put it to a vote on Instagram and apparently I wasn’t the only one who wanted beef stew! I still have that baked chicken recipe coming soon, but today I have a ridiculously easy beef stew recipe, and my recipe for shepherd’s pie (which uses my beef stew leftovers).
I absolutely love my slow-cooker, but I seem to use it so much more when those temperatures drop. When it (finally) gets cold here in Louisiana, I swear, all I seem to want to eat are slow-cooker soups and stews. And gumbo. Lots and lots of gumbo! But one of my favorite meals to cook in my slow-cooker is beef stew, and subsequently shepherd’s pie with the stew leftovers. The biggest reason why I love making slow-cooker beef stew is that it’s incredibly hard to mess up. You only need a few ingredients, do minimal prepping/chopping, and somehow it turns out amazing. The magic of slow-cookers I guess! It also works GREAT as a freezer meal – you just throw all the ingredients in a freezer bag, freeze (obviously), then toss in your slow-cooker (frozen or defrosted) whenever you decide you want some stew. Talk about an easy meal – this will probably be the shortest recipe post you’ll ever read!
Here’s everything you’ll need: (serves 6-8)
- For The Stew
- 1 Slow-Cooker Liner (for easy clean-up!)
- 2lb stew beef
- 1 1/2 cups carrots (2-3 carrots), chopped
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- 1/2 tbs fresh or dried thyme
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup flour
- Salt + pepper to taste
- For The Pie
- Stew leftovers
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1 packet of instant mashed potatoes OR 2 cups mashed potatoes
Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
First, chop up all your vegetables. Then line your slow-cooker for easy clean-up. I seriously can’t rave about these handy little liners enough. I buy them in bulk off of Amazon (I literally have 10 boxes of them sitting in my pantry as I type this!) and never have to deal with soaking and scrubbing my slow-cooker bowl. The only cleaning I ever have to do is wipe it out. And how amazing is that?! After you line your slow-cooker, mix your flour and warm water together really well. This is going to thicken the stew while it cooks! Then add it, along with the rest of your stew ingredients, into your slow-cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 4), and BAM! Delicious beef stew. I said it was easy didn’t I?!?!
Side note #1: If you want an even easier method, replace your beef broth, thyme, and wine with 1 packet of McCormik slow-cooker beef stew seasoning and required amount of water!
Side note #2: You can also add chopped potatoes if you’d like, but because we’re turning this into shepherd’s pie (which is topped with mashed potatoes) I decided to skip on them this time.Because my fiance Ethan hates onions with the burning passion of a thousand suns, I decided to use pearl onions this time around. That way the onion flavor is still there in the stew, but he can easily pick around them. Also – be sure to evenly chop your carrots up. The size doesn’t really matter, as long as they’re all the same. I prefer my carrots chunky! As for the wine – any red will do, as long as it isn’t sweet. I happened to want a glass of wine while I was cooking, so popped open one of my favorites – The Federalist Cabernet Sauv.
This recipe makes enough for 6-8 servings. Any leftovers can either be frozen to re-heat later, or turned into shepherd’s pie! Serve with a slice of nice crispy bread and enjoy!
I mentioned it before, but just like my fiance Ethan and his hatred for onions, I hate leftovers with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Which means I either make smaller portions for meals, or I get really creative with the leftovers I do end up having. For example, yesterday’s steak turns into today’s steak + cheese omelet or steak quesadilla. Pork roast turns into Cuban sandwiches, tacos turn into nachos. And beef stew turns into shepherd’s pie. Anything I can doctor up a bit and turn into another meal, I will.
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So, for shepherd’s pie, the first thing you need to do is pre-heat your oven to 350 F. While your oven is pre-heating, get the rest of your beef stew (you can leave it in the container you stored it in!) and add: 1 cup frozen green peas + 1 tbs corn starch (to thicken stew) dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water. Mix thoroughly!
Then pour out your mixture into either a pie tin, cake pan, or mini ceramic bowls (like mine below) and top with mashed potatoes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are a golden brown at the high points.
And there you have it – super easy slow-cooker beef stew and a recipe for your leftovers!!
So what do you think?!?! Does it look delicious?
Do you love your slow-cooker? What’s your favorite meal to make?
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!