It’s almost stew season: the best time to cozy up to a bowl of super hearty, super warming crockpot beef stew!
Beef stew has to be one of the coziest, most comforting things to make and eat. Who doesn’t love tender, juicy little nubbins of beef and perfectly cooked potatoes, carrots, and onions all snuggled up in a rich and flavorful gravy? Pair a bowl with a loaf of crusty hot bread and you have my idea of heaven.
At its heart, beef stew ingredients are very simple: aromatics, beef, vegetables, stock. Everyone knows and loves beef stew, but this beef stew is particularly good. It’s a take on my all time favorite stew ever, Vietnamese bo kho, a super flavorful rich and hearty stew.
Are you a crockpot lover? Maybe you grew up with a crockpot happily bubbling away on the countertop or maybe you’re a recent crockpot convert. Either way, I’m pretty sure that crockpots were made for beef stew. They might as well have called them beef stew pots, am I right?
There’s a little bit of wiggle room for preference. If you like your vegetables firm, you’ll probably want 10 hours. If you want vegetables you can squish, you’ll want 12.
Bo kho has all of your usual beef stew suspects: beef, onions, carrots, and potatoes, but the seasoning is where the fun happens. Lemongrass adds a zippy undertone and star anise, fennel and cinnamon add warmth. It’s SO good. If you’re looking for something super comforting, yet different, this is the beef stew for you.
The secret to really, really good stew is to not buy those precut pieces of stewing beef. All too often, those pieces have no collagen, no connective tissue, no fat, and no flavor. Yes, they’re super convenient and I’ve bought them many times, but I’ve learned from my mistakes. Now I like to buy whole cuts and cut them myself.
For stew, you want pieces of beef that have lots of collagen and fat because well marbled meat is the key to stews that are rich, tender, and juicy. Cooking low and slow will magically turn those pieces into melt in your mouth pieces of deliciousness.
This crockpot beef stew has zero browning. That’s right, it’s a no browning crockpot beef stew. I am a huge fan of browning meat – it adds SO much flavor. But sometimes, you just want to throw everything in to a pot, set it, and forget it. This is truly one of those super easy recipes were you don’t have to brown the beef. Of course, if you want to take the extra step, please feel free, it’ll take your stew over the top.
We have the casserole crock, which holds 2.5 quarts. It’s so cute and perfectly-sized for this recipe, but a regular sized 7 quart crockpot will work too.
Can you make this stew in an Instant Pot if you don’t have a crockpot? Yes! You can just use the slow cooker low mode and follow this recipe exactly the same, but you can even pressure cook and it’ll taste just as good!
To make this crockpot beef stew in the Instant Pot, add all of the ingredients minus the carrots ad potatoes and cook on high for 35 minutes. Quick release, then add the potatoes and carrots and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Quick release, stir, and enjoy! Click here for more in-depth instructions on making Instant Pot beef stew.
We like our beef stew with a loaf of crusty bread but here are some other suggestions as well:
I hope you give this crockpot beef stew a try. It’ll fill your house with amazing smells and fill you up with flavor. May beef stew be in your future!
A slow cooker take on Vietnamese bo kho, a super flavorful rich and hearty beef stew.
Toss the beef in the flour and season with salt and pepper.
Add the beef, along with the garlic, ginger, onion, potatoes, carrots, tomato paste, beef broth, fish sauce, and soy sauce to the crock pot. If your potatoes are poking out, push them down and add a bit more beef broth to make sure they’re covered.
Optional spice packet: wrap the star anise, fennel, cloves, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick in cheese cloth or place in a large tea bag for easy removal later. Add it to the stew.
Top with the lemongrass, cover, and cook on low for 10-12 hours on low or high for 4-6 hours. Stir occasionally. Remove the lemongrass and spice pack and enjoy warm!
Crockpot Beef Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 2.9g18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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