I don’t know about you but as soon as I hear the word ‘Slow Cooker’ I always dream of a Chunky Beef Stew. Classic, huh? I know I don’t have to explain myself when I use the word ‘chunky’ to describe a stew. I know you know exactly what I’m talkin’ about. You could probably make this classic Beef Stew in the Insant Pot or on the Stove Top but honestly, I haven’t even tried because it’s just somethin’ about slow cooking Chunky Beef in stew form (aka copious amounts of broth and red wine) that reaaaallly gets my flag up the flagpole, ya know what I’m sayin’??
SO, LET’S TALK SLOW COOKER
Yeah so, whoever thought of this life-changing contraption probably loved a good Chunky Beef Stew. Or maybe they were a busy mom with like 17 kids. Or someone who just really had this whole life thing figured out. I meeeean, who doesn’t love coming home after a long day’s work (or grocery shopping, cause these days, that’s work, too) to dinner made without barely having to lift a finger?! What about the smell (which, in my humble opinion, has always been my absolute favourite part of cooking ANYTHING in a Crockpot or Slow Cooker) that eventually takes over the entire house and lingers for hours?! Everything I’ve ever made in the crockpot has only ever required minimal preparation. My fav part? The rewards are substantial and this baby is no different.
What I love about this Slow Cooker Chunky Beef Stew is that you have the option of cooking it on high or low, depending on how much time ya have. It’ll only take a good 3-4 hours on high if you’re going that route, as opposed to 6-8 on low. Either way, prepare for the most tender beef chunks evvvvvah and a house that smells so good, you might have to save a bowl for the neighbours. How long it actually takes is really only gonna come down to two things: 1) How good your slow cooker is and 2) How big your beef chunks are. I’d recommend starting to keep an eye on it after 3 hours for high and 6 hours for low. Don’t forget that in the last 30 minutes of cooking (so when you’re beef is pretty much pull-apart tender) you have to stir in the canned shrooms + chopped parsley + cornstarch mixture (to thicken).
THE CLASSIC BEEF STEW FIXIN’S
We alllll know a classic beef stew is not a classic beef stew without good ol’ baby potatoes + baby carrots. We like ‘em equally so I throw ‘em in in equal parts, however, you do you here….no one’s gonna judge you for putting an extra cup of carrots if you’re little heart desires.
THE CANNED MUSHROOMS
Why canned, ya ask?! We can thank the Low FODMAP Diet for this one. Unfortunately, fresh shrooms are high in FODMAPs (shame, I tell ya). Buuuuuut all is not lost for those mushroom lovers out there following a Low FODMAP Diet. Canned shrooms have the green light! Here we are, at another ingredient I so warned you about that is confusing AF when it comes to FODMAPs. My understanding of why canned mushrooms are Low FODMAP and fresh mushrooms are not: the fructans that make fresh mushrooms high FODMAP are released into the brine of the canned mushrooms, lowering the overall FODMAP content of the mushroom themselves. Interesting fact when you think about it but man, is that ever confusing.
For those who still don’t know WTF I’m talking about when I say the word ‘FODMAP’, feel free to use fresh shrooms in place of the canned, just don’t be rubbing it in the rest of our faces….
WHAT KIND OF BEEF SHOULD I USE?
Well, it ain’t called Slow Cooker Chunky Beef Stew for nothing! If you’re like me, seeking the easy way out, you can go ahead and get Stewing Beef which already comes cut into chunks. However, if you’re up for doing the cutting yourself, you can grab a Boneless Beef Chuck. Either way, said chunks should be about 1 inch cubes. If I’m feelin’ adventurous and going for the latter, this knife does the trick!
SLOW COOKER CHUNKY BEEF STEWCourse: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
This classic Slow Cooker Chunky Beef stew is so simple, quick and delicious! There’s no onion or garlic (FODMAP friendly) but don’t worry, no one will notice!
What You’ll Need
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Strips of Bacon
1 – 1 1/2 pounds Stewing Beef or Boneless Beef Chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups Low FODMAP Broth/Stock
2 cups Baby Potatoes, larger ones quartered
2 cups Baby Carrots
1 can Sliced Mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup Dry Red Wine*
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped, more for garnish
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
2 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Dice the bacon and add it to the hot skillet, stirring frequently until cooked through and crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Move to a paper towel lined plate and allow excess oil to drain off. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Season the beef with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Using the same skillet, add the beef chunks in a single layer and cook until evenly browned, 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer to the slow cooker and be sure not to leave any liquid behind in the pan.
- Add the baby potatoes, baby carrots, thyme and more salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Add the worcestershire, soy sauce or tamari, bay leaves and tomato paste. Stir until well combined. Add broth and red wine. Stir again.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours (until the meat is tender, mine took closer to 6) or high for 3-4.
- In the last half hour of cooking, mix the 1 tbsp of cornstarch into 2 tbsp of broth (just remove it from the slow cooker into a small bowl), add it back in and stir. Add the canned mushrooms, chopped parsley and more salt and pepper and cook for additional 30 minutes or until the broth has thickened. Garnish with extra parsley and serve hot!
- *I like using a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for this recipe
LOVE THIS RECIPE? TRY MY HEARTY BEEF WITH VEGETABLE SOUP NEXT!
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