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Can’t go wrong with tender beef and veggiesFree Access

This delicious beef stew is full of veggies and tender meat. Lisa Boykin Batts | Times
Lisa Boykin Batts

I was feeding three beef-loving family members on a weeknight last month and decided it would be a good time to try a new recipe (and photo) that had caught my eye.

We were eating dinner following my granddaughter’s afternoon soccer game, so a slow cooker recipe was the perfect option for the four of us. 

The slow cooker beef stew recipe was from I had seen the photograph and sent it to my granddaughter and her dad, and we decided we needed to try it.

The recipe features nice, big chunks of beef, carrots and potatoes in a yummy broth.

I’m an early riser and don’t mind preparing a slow cooker meal before work. In this case, I browned the stew beef pieces and cut the onions, carrots and potatoes. I strayed from the recipe and purchased baby Yukon Gold potatoes that I quickly cut in half. I did not peel them. I usually add baby carrots to slow cooker meals to speed the preparation process, but for this recipe, I bought whole carrots and cut them in nice chunks.

This recipe is seasoned with garlic, thyme, rosemary, paprika and bay leaves. I chose not to use the optional caraway seeds. Beef broth, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce also go into the slow cooker.

Once all of the browning and chopping were done, it was up to the slow cooker to do its job for 7-8 hours.

Before we left for the game that afternoon, I did the final step of whisking flour into some of the stew broth and adding it back into the slow cooker to thicken the stew. The stew smelled so good at this point.

By the time we got home around 5:30, supper was ready. All I added for our meal was some buttered bread.

Everyone ate their bowl of stew and loved the tender beef. Most of us loved the veggies as well.

We did all decide there was an herb that dominated the taste a little too much for our liking. After dinner, I took down the herb containers I had used, and we smelled each one. We decided it was thyme that needed to be reduced the next time we make the beef stew. 

I do recommend this easy recipe and will make it again, probably the next time I see a good deal of stew beef.

Lisa Boykin Batts has been writing a weekly food column since 2001. Her column includes recipes she and her family enjoy.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

It didn’t take long to do the morning prep work for this delicious beef stew that simmers all day in the slow cooker. 

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 pound baby red potatoes, quartered*  

4 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices

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

1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.

Season beef with salt and pepper, to taste. Add beef to the skillet and cook until evenly browned, about 2-3 minutes.

Place beef, potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire, thyme, rosemary, paprika, caraway seeds and bay leaves until well combined; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 1/2 cup stew broth. Stir in flour mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until thickened.*

Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Recipe notes: I used baby Yukon Gold potatoes cut in half and low-sodium beef broth. Next time I make this recipe, I will cut back on the thyme.