Beef stew with vegetables on mashed potato on plate with fork

Slow cooker beef stew

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(125 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 4 hrs 4 hrs on high or 8 hrs on low


Serves 4

Cook beef stew in a slow cooker for really tender meat. Add button mushrooms or smoked paprika for extra flavour – it will be an instant family favourite

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal474
  • fat25g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre4g
  • protein48g
  • salt0.2g
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  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 3 carrots, halved and cut into chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ pack thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cubes or stock pots
  • 900g beef for braising such as skirt, buy a whole piece and cut it yourself for bigger chunks or buy ready-diced



    The classic cut of meat for a British Sunday roast, beef is full of flavour, as well as being a…

  • 2 tsp cornflour (optional)
  • ½ small bunch parsley, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • buttery mash, to serve (optional)


  1. Fry the onion and celery in 1 tbsp oil over a low heat until they start to soften – about 5 mins. Add the carrots, bay and thyme, fry for 2 mins, stir in the purée and Worcestershire sauce, add 600ml boiling water, stir and tip everything into a slow cooker. Crumble over the stock cubes or add the stock pots and stir, then season with pepper (don’t add salt as the stock may be salty).

  2. Clean out the frying pan and fry the beef in the remaining oil in batches until it is well browned, then tip each batch into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hrs, or on high for 4 hrs.

  3. If you want to thicken the gravy, mix the corn our with a splash of cold water to make a paste, then stir in 2 tbsp of the liquid from the slow cooker. Tip back into the slow cooker, stir and cook for a further 30 mins on high. Stir in the parsley and season again to taste. Serve with mash, if you like. Leave to cool before freezing.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Isobella Broccoli's picture
Isobella Broccoli
8th Jan, 2020
I didn’t use celery or parsley because I couldn’t find any fresh locally. I also left out bay leaves and completely forgot to buy tomatoe purée. I cut my carrots in huge chunks, I did add salt and another 1/3 stock cube because I tasted the stock and it was weak even though I added 2. I put peppers in for the last hour. I wish I waited until the last 30 mins so they were a little crunchier but they still tasted amazing and made the sauce very nice. It was perfect with mash. Definitely will be trying again I cooked on high heat for 4 hours because of time but will try the 10 hour one next time.
6th Jan, 2020
I was loving the flavours until I added the smoked paprika, I added 1 tsp but it just overpowered everything else, I suggest leaving it out altogether or much less
16th Nov, 2019
Delicious, all the family loved this recipe
14th Nov, 2019
Tried this for the first time yesterday. Put it on when I went to work for 8 hrs, WOW quick and easy team it was full of flavour and the meat was so tender. This now a staple in my menu.
Liz Willis's picture
Liz Willis
6th Oct, 2019
First time I have ever cooked a stew successfully in the slow cooker! Will never try it any other way though. Everything cooked beautifully and the sauce was lovely and rich. I didn't add mushrooms but I did pop some smoked paprika in there and it added a lovely depth to it. This will be a weekly staple during the colder months!
1st Jun, 2019
I;ve cooked this on both the high and low setting and find cooking on low gives a much better result with more depth of flavour
Missbrit's picture
16th May, 2019
This is my first recipe since buying a slower cooker it was really delicious i didn’t have bay leaves but added fresh rosemary I think it needs more than the recommended worstershire sauce so don’t be shy with your seasoning I cooked on high for about 3.5 hours and used normal flour to thicken sauce Overall great recipe and so easy I served with a yummy mash potatoes
14th May, 2019
This took me back my parents home cooking, it was just delicious! I used all the Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree and one stock cube for 500g of meat for two of us and it came out very rich and unctuous. Cooked for 8 hours so the meat was completely falling apart. Great meal for any day of the week. No need for extra's but might give the mushrooms a go. We scored it 8.5/10, scrumptious!!
11th Feb, 2019
You know something is wrong with the recipe when they start with "Add button mushrooms or smoked paprika for extra flavour" This is not mentioned in the recipe when you print the recipe off????? What is going on?? Whatever next a recipe where you add your own ingredients, from start!! and discover something new. This is a classic British slow hot pot. No wine,no garlic just onions and English herbs with Worcestershire sauce. What more could you ask? Well potatoes or better still steamed dumplings. They are the secret ingredient. Mash is fine, perhaps with a little chopped parsley or grass A recipe with hidden ingredients is not a recipe. Thank god for reviews and mother nature.
Douglas James's picture
Douglas James
26th Jan, 2019
I hate to admit this, but after purchasing a Slow Cooker, this is my first time making a stew from scratch. I followed the recipe EXACTLY how it reads both in method and in preparation and I have to admit, I still cannot believe that I made this stew!! The Worcestershire Sauce really does the stew justice and the bay leaves added an aromatic flavor to the stew. I also experimented and added 1/2 a table spoon of Rosemary, 1/2 a table spoon of Basil and a dash of Marjoram, Oregano and Tarragon to add flavor, and it was a risk worth taking! I have to say, the Corn Flour is a MUST for a stew, otherwise it will just turn out like a broth/soup, so if you do want to thicken the gravy, then do use 2 table spoons of the corn flour. Thanks BBC Good Food and to Lulu Grimes for the recipe, I will definitely be using this site more often for the Slow Cooker.


yvonne o'meara's picture
yvonne o'meara
9th Dec, 2019
I don’t have a slow cooker. How can I cook this in the oven? The recipe and reviews look great, I really want to try it.
10th Dec, 2019
Yes you can, try 3 hours in the oven at 160C/140C fan/gas 3, put a lid on tightly and if it looks like there isn't quite enough liquid (slow cookers don't evaporate as they cook so there tends to be less liquid in the recipe) then add a little water, you can always boil it off at the end. If the meat is still not tender then give it a little longer. You can thicken the gravy at the end by cooking it with a lid off for 30 mins.
yvonne o'meara's picture
yvonne o'meara
10th Dec, 2019
27th Nov, 2019
How much smoked paprika please?
2nd Dec, 2019
Hello, Use 1 tbsp and add it with the carrots and bay etc, it's important that the paprika gets cooked a little before you add the liquid. If you use paprika then you might like to serve the stew with a spoonful of soured cream.
Adrian Parish's picture
Adrian Parish
23rd Nov, 2019
Slow cooker size ?
25th Nov, 2019
Hello Adrian, You can use any size of slow cooker from 3.5 litres upwards.
30th Oct, 2019
When should I add the mushrooms?
goodfoodteam's picture
2nd Nov, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can add the mushrooms to the slow cooker in step 2.
Vickie Newman's picture
Vickie Newman
16th Jan, 2019
Could you add ale to this?


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