Taking the time to learn a few easy prep tricks along with some unique ingredients will make this the best beef stew you’ve ever made. A stew with layers of indescribable flavor and melt in your mouth tender beef. This Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Mushrooms is the ultimate family feast.
Warming, wholesome and a wonderfully flavored meal, beef stew most certainly can be categorized as the ultimate comfort food. Some of our favorites are Beef and Ale Stew, Hatch Chile Beef Short Rib Stew, Bison Stew with Beer.
Who doesn’t love a big bowl of beef stew with mushrooms, carrots, potatoes and onions swimming in an amazing broth. You can’t help but feel warm and cozy.
Most people think of using the crockpot as a hectic-day, easy dump and go method to get a quick dinner on the table. But if you take a little extra time to learn some easy tricks for pleasantly textured beef and vegetables, and some unique pantry ingredients for seasoning, you’ll find that your slow cooker is also a great tool for building layers of flavor.
My post has all the process shots, hints and tips for you to make the very best Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Mushrooms in your home. Let’s get started.
Why You’re Going To Love This Recipe
- Beef stew lover’s dream, There’s no two ways about it … this recipe takes stew to the max in the best possible way.
- It makes the house smell so good as it slow cooks all day in the crockpot.
- It feeds a crowd, and if you’re not serving a crowd, you’ll have some outstanding leftovers.
- This recipe is great for entertaining. The prep and clean up for this recipe is done in the morning, Once guests arrive all you need to do is warm the bread and ladle the soup into bowls.
- You’ll learn some new and unique tricks for the best flavored broth that produces a sultry combination of flavors to make the best crock pot beef stew.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Don’t let this long list of ingredients for this Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Mushrooms scare you away. Once the gathering and chopping is complete, the rest is easy. I’ve listed what you’ll need and any tips regarding each one.
- Chuck Roast: In this case a cheaper cut of meat like a chuck roast is best for a long slow cook. Around three pounds is a good size for a big pot of beef stew. It’s a well worked muscle from the front shoulder and full of collagen. And chuck roast meat releases more gelatin as it cooks, making it moister, it’s the perfect choice for beef stew.
- Potatoes: Red potatoes or Yukon Gold Potatoes are recommended because they’re less starchy and will hold up better under a long cook time. They also don’t need to be peeled.
- Beef Broth: The majority of the liquid for this stew is beef broth. Red wine is also added, but isn’t the principle liquid like some Red Wine Beef Stews. Using more beef broth than red wine results in a purer beefy flavor.
- Parsley Choose flat leaf parsley. Curly leaf parsley doesn’t have much flavor so use it as a plate garnish for your next burger, like restaurants do.
- Mushrooms: Cremini or baby bella. I like baby bellas because of their rustic appearance.
- Red Wine: Use a dry red wine such as Merlot. An inexpensive wine works good for this recipe, but always remember, don’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink.
- Onions: Sweet onions, yellow onions or white onions.
- Tomato Paste: Always keep tomato paste on hand. It’s a pantry MVP. It’s concentrated bringing almost a meaty flavor to any dish. It adds nuance and body to soups, stews and pasta dishes.
- Carrots: It wouldn’t be beef stew without carrots.
- Flour: For thickening.
- Whole Grain Dijon: Buy a country style whole grain Dijon. Just a small scoop brings a spicy bite of flavor. This is one of the ingredients that helps build additional layers of flavor.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Vinegar is another pantry workhorse that I use almost as much as salt and pepper. Vinegar is an acid. Adding just a small amount will brighten and balance flavors.
- Seasonings: Coriander Seeds, Thyme, Salt, Pepper, Bay Leaves and Garlic.
Tip: How To Choose A Chuck Roast for Beet Stew. Choose a roast that is well marbled. The marbling is white veins of fat that run through meat, giving it a marbled effect. Marbling is most important in adding flavor, moisture and texture as it breaks down during the cook time. Don’t worry about those large chunks of fat that you’ll see in a chuck roast. You’re going to trim those away.
- Potatoes: As you can see in the photo, I’ve used Russet Potatoes, because that’s what I had on hand. They’ll work fine, but may end up with a grainy or somewhat mushy texture. They need to be peeled and cut into cubes. Also, substitute one of those potatoes with a good sized turnip. It will bring a unique crispness to the flavor.
- Carrots: Substitute one of the carrots with a parsnip. It will bring a unique licorice spice flavor to the stew.
- Vinegar: If you don’t have red wine vinegar, simply substitute cider vinegar, or better yet try Sherry Vinegar. It’s a wonderful vinegar with a rich flavor.
- Coriander Seeds: One of our chef instructors at Culinary School was a big fan of Coriander seeds. Floral, citrusy and fresh tasting with a mildly lemony note. Using them is just part of the layer of flavors that will enhance this beef stew. Just bundle them up in a little cheese cloth packet tied off with twine. If you don’t have coriander seeds, substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, which has a similar flavor profile.
- Flour: If you want to make this a gluten free beef stew, substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten free flour. Simple.
- Beef Stock: Substitute low sodium beef broth.
Step By Step Instructions
Be sure to see the recipe card below for complete ingredients and instructions.
- Step 1: Trim any large pieces of fat and cut the beef chuck roast into two inch pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add a couple tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is shimmering add the chunks of beef. Season with the salt and pepper and sear until browned, about three minutes per side. You’ll need to do this in 2 – 3 steps as to not overcrowd the pieces of beef. Overcrowding the beef will create steam and prohibit a good sear. Once one batch of beef is browned, transfer it to the crockpot, and continue with the next batch of beef chunks.
- Step 2: Don’t stop there. Fry the mushrooms in the same pan. Mushrooms are a sponge. Frying them will crisp them up and draw out some of the moisture. The end result will be a more pleasing textured mushroom once it’s added to the liquid of the soup. Refrigerate them after frying, we’ll add them at the end of the cooking time.
- Step 3: You’ve already got the fry pan out and hot, go ahead and sauté the carrots and onions for about five minutes. Doing so will enhance the sweetness and texture in both vegetables. Add the smashed garlic and cook until fragrant. About one minute. Add red wine and cook about three minutes, or until liquid is almost evaporated.
- Step 4: Add the coriander seeds and parsley pouch, thyme, bay leaves, carrots, onions and potatoes to the beef in the crockpot.
- To finish: Cook on low for seven hours. Then stir in the red wine vinegar, grainy Dijon mustard and mushrooms. Fish out about a cup of broth from the crockpot and place it in a small bowl. Add the flour and whisk into a thick roux. Stir the roux into the crockpot and cook on low for another thirty minutes to thicken the stew. Fish out the bay leaves and the coriander/parsley pouch before serving.
Tip: Adding red wine to the fry pan serves two purposes. First to add a layer of flavor to the beef stew, and to deglaze the pan. When you add the wine to the hot pan, be sure to use a sturdy spoon to scrape up all of the bits of food that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. They equal flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
A nice crisp fresh salad is a perfect side dish. Bread is a natural partner. A loaf of sourdough bread is lovely. Cornbread is also a good choice. Looking for something new and exciting, take a look at my recipe for Oatmeal Molasses Bread. Try serving a big scoop of this stew over mashed potatoes or noodles.
Yes you can and it will turn out fine. However, taking the time to sear the meat adds a toasty layer of malliard reaction. That crust is another layer of flavor. It also adds texture to the beef.
You’d have to work at it to overcook a chuck roast in a slow cooker. More expensive and leaner cuts of meat can overcook and become mushy. There is more of a chance to overcook the vegetables in a beef stew. Stick to the cook times and chopping instructions for this recipe.
It’s because its not been cooked long enough. The collagen from the fat hasn’t broken down properly. That should never be a factor with a seven-hour low cook time.
Yes. Just follow the instructions and use a 6 – 7 quart Dutch Oven instead of a slow cooker. Set the oven temperature at 325 degrees and cook for 3-4 hours. Test the meat and if it’s fork tender, complete the recipe. If the meat is not tender, continue cooking until it is.
How To Store and Freeze
Can you freeze beef stew? Absolutely. Just place in air tight containers and freeze. It will keep in the freezer for 3 – 4 months. To reheat, let the stew defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat stove top or microwave.
To store leftovers, just place the stew in an airtight container and refrigerate. The stew will keep in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days. Reheat stove top or microwave.
Equipment You’ll Need
- 6-Quart Slow Cooker. This recipe makes a large batch of stew. You’ll need a six-quart crockpot for all of the ingredients to fit. You can half this recipe for a smaller slow cooker.
- Soup Ladle: If you make a lot of soups, an official long handled stainless steel soup ladle is a kitchen equipment “must have”. And purchasing a ladle that has a pouring rim will keep drips and spills to a minimum.
- Rustic Soup Bowls: Beef stew is an old fashioned rustic feel meal. And having rustic soup bowls on hand will simply enhance the feel of your presentation.
Recipe For Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Mushrooms
Beef stew with mushrooms is a recipe you must cook while we’re in the cozy months of Winter. A classic beef stew recipe that you’ll want to make over and over again.
More Soup Recipes You May Love
And if you’re looking for even more soup recipes, don’t miss my Soup Category. You’ll find lots of great recipes, including the most popular soup recipe on my site for Anthony Bourdain’s New Mexico Style Chili.
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Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Mushrooms
- 6 qt. Slow Cooker
- 2 Tablespoons Neutral oil Canola oil works well here.
- 3 pounds beef chuck roast large chunks of fat trimmed off. Meat cut into 2' cubes.
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 16 ounces mushrooms White Mushrooms or Baby Bella. Quartered if large. Leave small mushrooms whole.
- 1 1/2 cups Sweet onion Chopped or sliced
- 3 medium carrots Peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces. Or 2 carrots and 1 parsnip.
- 6 garlic cloves smashed
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 pounds small potatoes Red potatoes or Yukon gold work well here. cut any larger potatoes in half.
- 6 cups beef broth I use three 14.5 cans and make up the small amount of difference with water.
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste A generous tablespoon is even better here.
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Sprinkle beef with pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Add half of beef to skillet, and cook, until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer beef to the slow cooker. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining half of beef.
- Add mushrooms to the skillet, and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate, cover and refrigerate.
- Add onions and carrots to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add smashed garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the red wine and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Stir and scrape to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet.
- Add red wine vegetable mixture to slow cooker with beef. Stir in coriander seed bundle, bay leaves, potatoes, tomato paste and beef stock. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.
- Once the stew has cooked for 7 hours, fish out 1 cup of beef stock and place it in a bowl. Whisk in the flour to form a thick paste roux. Add the roux back into the stew and use the whisk to blend it in. Add the fried mushrooms, whole grain mustard, and vinegar. Turn up heat to high and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove the coriander seed bundle and throw away. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives or chopped flat leaf parsley.
Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Mushrooms …It’s What’s for Dinner.