Crockpot Beef Stew

While we're on our crockpot kick, I'd like to share with you a typical, heavy-rotation recipe we make about once a month in our home.

It's nothing spectacular or exotic--it's just a simple, hearty beef stew recipe. We've modified the original recipe by doubling the veggies and slightly reducing the amount of meat in order to make the dish more healthy and lower in fat. You might want to tweak things one way or another depending on your own preferences.

Like most crockpot recipes, it's easy, inexpensive, and guaranteed to satisfy.

Crockpot Beef Stew
(modified from the little recipe book that came with our crockpot)

1 to 2 lbs stew beef, cut into cubes

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1/8 cup flour

Place the beef in the bottom of the crockpot (try to pick marbled meat with a decent amount of fat content; you can also coat the beef with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil if it’s lean meat). Then, drizzle the Worcestershire sauce on the beef, and then add the black pepper and paprika. Then shake in the 1/8 cup flour. Stir well.

Then, add to the crockpot:
1 1/2 cups of boiling water and 1 beef bouillon cube

1/2 cup red wine
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 bay leaf

Stir well, turn crockpot to the “high” setting, and cover.

Then add:
4-6 potatoes, cut into medium-to-large chunks
6-8 carrots, chopped coarsely
1-2 onions, chopped coarsely
2-3 celery stalks, chopped

Note: Be sure to place most of the carrots and potatoes in the crockpot first (on top of the meat) so that they're in or close to the broth. The onions and celery can cook just fine by steaming on top.

Set crockpot on high for 1 hour, then set to low for 4-5 hours, OR set crockpot on low for 9 hours. Serve with optional rice (or brown rice) if desired.
Note that crockpot recipes typically give you two temperature settings to choose from: One setting will take a really long time to cook, the other setting will take an exorbitantly long time to cook. The shorter setting is perfect for weekends, when you're likely to want to get up late and laze around, and maybe get around to chucking everything in the pot by around noon or 1pm. This way dinner is ready by 5-6pm.

The longer setting is perfect for weekdays, especially if you have a job with long hours or if you have a tough commute. Chuck everything in the crockpot, drag yourself off to that job you can’t wait to retire from, and when you get home nine or ten hours later, dinner is ready and waiting for you!

* All photos courtesy of Laura L. Perrin.


Anonymous said...

I was wondering how energy efficient are these crock pots?
in the age of going green how ungreen are these appliances that are on for so long?
Diana Z

Daniel said...

Hi Diana, thanks for your comment!

I actually don't know, but I suspect is that they are pretty energy efficient. Note that the lid/cover traps the heat inside the crockpot. So I would bet that even though you might leave them on all day long, they don't use that much energy.

Does anyone else want to weigh in on this?


Anonymous said...

A quick Google search turned up this link. The folks at Care2 seem to think so!

See item #10:


Anonymous said...

Oops! Make that item # 20 :)


Daniel said...

Thank you Dr. P!