Beef stew with vegetables on mashed potato on plate with fork

Slow cooker beef stew

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(97 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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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!
Naomi Sheppard
28th Nov, 2018
Such a delicious recipe! I made it with half the amount of beef, as that's what I had in the fridge, and it still made 3 generous portions.
Charly_Coco89's picture
18th Nov, 2018
I made this for my boyfriend and I last week and it was absolutely delicious! It lasted us quite a few days for lunches and dinners. Instead of an onions I used a diced shallot and then cut two more in half and added them to the slow cooker. A teaspoon of vegemite is also nice to add, or marmite ;).
12th Nov, 2018
This is the best meal I have ever made, and the best stew ever! I made a few adjustments to the recipe: I used 2 carrots instead of 3 which was more than enough; I didn't use celery, instead I included 2 small sweet potatoes and 1 large white potato cut into chunks, and a pack of mushrooms cut into quarters. Instead of using 600 ml of water, I followed the instructions of the beef stock cubes, as the slow cooker condenses the steam into lots of water anyway. Delicious beef stew! I made it for myself, so I have lots leftover in the freezer for cold winter nights :) Thank you Lulu for the recipe!
23rd Oct, 2018
This is the best stew I have ever tasted! Having 5 kids I always took the easy option and bought packets to make my stew, but now that they are older I am finding myself wanting more than bland food. This is the best ever, even my fussy food eater had some and that is saying something. I added the cornflour and dumplings an hour before serving and accompanied this with some Marabela Potatoes. Perfect for a cold night. Thank you for sharing.
5th Oct, 2018
I used brisket cut into fairly large chunks, but sealed the meat in a pan first before following the rest of the recipe. It needed a good 8 hours in the slow cooker before the meat was really tender, but it was absolutely delicious. The only thing I added was a good dollop of redcurrant jelly which brings a delicious richness to red meat stews, and a cubed sweet potato to pad it all out a bit. Served with curly kale and a few spuds - spot on!
17th Sep, 2018
Really delicious! Left it for 8 hours and meat fell apart while vegetables kept their bite. I think there's enough sauce for potatoes to be added to it next time
14th Sep, 2018
My whole family loved this, even my toddler who seems to dislike red meat! I added mushrooms and some paprika for added flavour.
14th Aug, 2018
Amazing! Easy to follow with delicious results. I added some lentils and used diced turkey.
2nd Apr, 2018
This is really easy to make and the result is delicious. I thickened mine at the end (because in the slow cooker, no steam evaporates).


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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