SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW RECIPE
Bound to be an instant family favourite, slow-cooked beef stew offers an array of comforting flavours that are perfectly suited for the colder autumn and winter months. One of our all-time favourite beef recipes, beef stew is relatively simple to make but still packs a punch. Today we’ll be sharing our recipe for slow-cooked beef stew, as well as offering some tips to help you master the art of slow cooking beef.
BENEFITS OF SLOW COOKING BEEF
Slow cooking beef create lots of beautiful flavours and textures, providing the perfect finish for a variety of different dishes including everything from beef stew to curry, One of the main benefits of using a slow cooker to cook beef is that it’s very easy and hassle-free, especially in comparison to the likes of smoking and grilling. Once all the ingredients are prepared and in the slow cooker, you can safely leave it for hours until it’s ready, allowing you to get on with your day while still being able to return to a tasty meal.
Slow cookers also tend to require little to no maintenance, while the slow cooking process requires very few utensils making cleaning up after use a breeze.
BEST CUTS OF BEEF FOR SLOW COOKING
Although it all comes down to personal preference, there are certain cuts of beef that are better than others when it comes to slow cooking.
The best slow cooking beef cuts are the: brisket, blade/chuck, clod and neck, skirt/flank.
In the following beef stew recipe, we’ll be opting for beef brisket due to its flavoursome features that come from its fat. Brisket meat is also known for being easy to pull apart once cooked, which makes it ideal for the ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation we’re after when using the slow cooker.
TIPS FOR SLOW COOKING PERFECTION
Although slow cooking is hassle-free, there are still some things we recommend to achieve the perfect slow-cooked beef:
- Brown the beef first to retain all juices and natural flavours
- Season only at the start and before serving. Slow cooking tends to reduce liquids, so the flavours can become concentrated
- Don’t overfill the pot. Steam shouldn’t escape as that can lead to too much liquid inside
- Keep the lid on at all times to ensure the beef can cook to optimum tenderness
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 20 minutes
- 2 celery sticks (chopped)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 3 carrots (halves, cut up)
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ pack thyme
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 900g beef brisket (cut up into chunks or diced)
- 2tsp cornflour
- ½ small bunch parsley (chopped)
- Fry celery and onion in 1tbsp of the oil over low heat for 5 minutes
- Add carrots, bay and thyme. Fry for 2 minutes
- Stir in the puree and Worcestershire sauce, before adding 600ml of boiling water
- Stir again and tip everything into a slow cooker
- Crumble over the stock cubes and stir, before seasoning with pepper
- Clean the frying pan and fry the beef in the remaining oil in batches until it is well browned. Tip each batch into the slow cooker
- Cook on high heat for 4 hours
- To thicken the gravy, mix the cornflour with a splash of cold water creating a paste. Stir in 2 tbsp of the liquid from the slow cooker
- Tip back into the slow cooker, stir and cook for a further 30 minutes on high and stir in the parsley and season again to taste
- Serve with mash!