Beef stew with vegetables on mashed potato on plate with fork

Slow cooker beef stew

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(168 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 choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

  • 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 cornflour 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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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.
Sophy Bage's picture
Sophy Bage
16th Jan, 2019
The first time I did this it was very bland, the second time I did this it was a solid 10. The second time, I did 1.5x the qtys (kept the beef at 900g), added button shrooms, was generous when adding the sauces and herbs, used cheaper beef and used 1 Knorr stock pot and 1 Oxo beef melt. It was veeeeeery nice
11th Jan, 2019
I made this in my slow cooker - the flavour was good, and it had the right amount of liquid, but even though I cooked it on low for 8 hours (rather than 10) the meat was quite dry.
6th Jan, 2019
So dissapointing given the number of stars. Mine turned out bland and watery.
9th Dec, 2018
This is definitely the best beef stew recipe i've ever used. I skipped the celery and served with dumplings. So so aromatic, so delicious.
Stephen Henderson's picture
Stephen Henderson
7th Dec, 2018
Absolutely delicious!! Just started using a slow cooker, this was first thing I made. Love it!


Douglas James's picture
Douglas James
26th Jan, 2019
I think it would taste nice with Ale, just remember when cooking/simmering alcohol, the longer you cook, the lower the % will be on the volume. I would high cook at 4 hours. Ale isn't as strong as wine, so I would add the ale halfway through cooking to retain a higher % on the alcohol, which should pack a good punch in the taste. Best of luck with it Vicky :)
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can replace some of the water with ale to give a total of 600ml if you like.
29th Oct, 2018
Can you freeze leftovers?
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, this dish is freezable. All our freezable recipes are marked with a blue star above the nutritional information. We hope that helps in future.
Laura Scott's picture
Laura Scott
17th Sep, 2018
I want to do this recipe for 2 people instead of 4, so I’ve got 500g of meat, not 900g, should I change any other bit of the recipe? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Sep, 2018
Thanks for your question. We'd suggest leaving the rest of the ingredients the same as you might find reducing them in your slow cooker will not give sufficient coverage.
Lydia's picture
20th Aug, 2018
If I use liquid beef broth instead of stock cubes, how many cups of broth should I put? and will this change the 600ml of water I am supposed to add in the beginning? Thanks!
goodfoodteam's picture
27th Aug, 2018
Thanks for your question. Use 600ml beef broth instead of the water and stock cubes.


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