Best ever slow cooker beef stew

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This really is the best (and simplest) beef stew recipe ever. I’ve made this meal for my family countless times, and it’s a firm favourite. A really comforting and winter warming dish. It’s also cheap if you work out the cost per head as one stew will make at least 8 adult sized portions, so you can eat it twice in a row, and it’s even better the following day.

You will need:

800g beef, skirt or stewing steak is best.

1 onion

1 butternut squash, deseeded

1 suede

500g small potatoes

6 carrots

4 parsnips

1/2 bottle red wine (the best you can afford)

285ml beef stock

tbsp tomato puree

1/2 bunch of sage

knob of butter

dash of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 bag of Aunt Bessie’s frozen dumplings or you could make them if you’re not as lazy as me!

Optional for the topping

2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

zest of 1/2 a lemon

You will also need

Frying pan

Slow cooker or a casserole dish


First, chop the onion and sage and fry in butter, add a dash of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning.


Turn up the heat add the beef and cook until browned.


Meanwhile chop your vegetables. I just wash and chop-I don’t bother peeling anything except the suede, even the butternut squash goes in with the skin on. Put all the chopped vegetables into the slow cooker or casserole dish.


Add the wine to the beef and onions and cook on high for 5 mins.


Transfer the contents of the frying pan to the slow cooker or casserole dish, mix everything together and add your beef stock and tomato puree. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. If you’re using a casserole dish cook in the oven at 160C/300F/gas 2 for four hours. Add your dumplings to the top of the stew for the last half hour of cooking time.

Once cooked the meat will be falling apart and the smell will be unbelievable. At this point you can chop your garlic, rosemary and grate your lemon zest mix it all together and sprinkle on top. It will make your stew sing and I promise you will never eat stew without this topping again.

For the next night to stretch out the portions a little, you could serve the stew with roast potatoes and green beans, or try it with warm crusty bread like this olive and cheese loaf. 

Bon Appetite!

stew pinable

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