Thick & hearty slow-cooker Classic Beef Stew. Rosemary & thyme flavored stew loaded with tender morsels of browned roast meat, carrots & potatoes.
Classic Beef Stew
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A taste of home comfort and nostalgia.
Dear Reader, this Beef stew will warm you through all the way to your fondest memories. The ultimate comfort soup all wrapped up in thick gravy, perfectly cooked vegetables and tender morsels of savory meat.
Curling Irons and Good Food
Growing up, the kids in my family would spend a good portion of the Summer, Spring and Fall breaks at our grandparents houses. Half of us would go to the farm in Idaho and then the other half would go to Grandma C’s house. For whatever reason, I was often sent to Grandma C’s house. I now look back on those days with great nostalgia.
Grandma used to curl my hair with this old-fashioned curling iron that you had to heat up on the stove top. I used to sit on this high-seated chair in the spot separating the living room from the kitchen, watching the Price is Right and holding my breath absolutely terrified to even move because if that iron touched skin then it would brand you like the cows on Grandma Simmons’ Farm!
After curling my hair, Grandma always had food ready, GOOD FOOD. It usually involved some type of pot roast or beef stew, occasionally chicken; always rolls and fresh fruit and finally; glazed vegetables from Grandma’s layers of gardens. Ahhh memories…
Passing on Traditions
When I started college and moved into my first apartment; I went and visited Grandma C. I left her house that day with
- An earful of great dating advice (that I was stupid enough to forget quickly),
- Two large boxes full of delicious food (that I was smart enough to eat just as quickly),
- and the biggest treasure of all; About twenty handwritten recipe cards with Grandma C’s recipes on them. Twelve years later and I still use those recipes weekly and smile every single time I pull them out.
Grandma C passed away about five years ago. Unfortunately, my kids didn’t really get a chance to know her. However, I am bringing her into our everyday lives with food and stories. My children didn’t know the woman in the flesh, but they are coming to know her. I only wish I had an old fashioned curling iron to scare the dickens out of them with.
Classic Beef Stew Recipe
Grandma used to make the most divine Beef Stew. Sadly however, that is not one of the recipes I got from her. I know it had large chunks of tender browned meat that melted in your mouth; then bites of carrots that were perfectly cooked and had soaked up the amazing savory flavor of the brown gravy soup base; and finally, perfectly sized pieces of deliciously flavored potatoes.
Grandma would cook her stew in the oven and then her entire house would smell scrumptious! I can still close my eyes and know that smell through and through.
Isn’t it funny how our sense of smell holds memories? Even years later, whenever I smell Rosemary, or pot roast, or even fruity pebbles; I am immediately transported back to summers at Grandma C’s house.
I’ve taken some liberties with Grandma’s stew recipe, Even though I don’t actually know the recipe to take said liberties with; and I make it in my Crockpot.
“I just have to put it out there that whoever invented the slow cooker was an absolute genius! If they were near my age and male and still alive, I would totally marry them! That’s how much I love their invention.”
(Oh. My. Heck. I just quoted myself. Haha! I can’t believe I am that person. Oh goodness sakes… )
I just think being able to throw some ingredients in a pot, walk away, and come back later to a home cooked meal is the most awesome thing ever.
However, this particular recipe is actually more like my (semi) Crockpot Beef Stroganoff recipe in that it’s only semi-crockpot-made. The meat does have to be browned separately before being added to the pot and then we create a roux to thicken the braising liquids. However, those are quick and easy steps and the overall recipe is very minimal work for maximum flavor.
Okay, enough talk: Get yourself a Crockpot and let’s cook!
Slow-Cooker Classic Beef Stew with Rosemary and Thyme:
- 2 lbs Roast meat (preferably Top Round, Round Tip, Bottom Eye Roast, or Chuck roast), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 Onion, diced small
- 2 sprigs Rosemary (about 4-6 inches in length each)
- 8 sprigs Thyme
- Handful Fresh Italian Parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 6-8 Carrots, peeled and sliced into thick rounds
- 1 cup Red or Burgundy Cooking Wine
- 3.5 cups Beef Stock
- 2 cubes Chicken Bullion
- 3-4 Medium sized Potatoes, peeled and chunked into 1/2 inch cubes (If you use new potatoes they do not need to be peeled)
- 1/4 cup Canola or Olive Oil
- 1 cup Flour
- 1.5 TBS Salt
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 TBS Butter
- Leftover flour mixture
- 3/4 Red cooking Wine
- In the bottom of your Slow-cooker Pour onions, beef stock, 3 sprigs thyme, and one garlic clove.
- In a large ziplock bag, combine flour, salt and peppers.
- Heat a thin layer of oil, 2 garlic cloves, 1 thyme sprig and 1 sprig of Rosemary over med-high-high heat in the bottom of a frying or saute pan.
- In batches, Toss meat in flour mixture until well coated,
- then transfer flour-coated meat to the hot oil and do a quick one minute sear on each side.
- Transfer Browned meats, herbs and garlic to the crockpot.
- Add more oil and herbs to the bottom of the frying pan as needed until you have browned all the meat.
- In the frying pan, discard of all but approximately 1 Tablespoon of the oil.
- Add butter and melt it.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of the remaining Flour mixture to the hot oil/butter.
- Stir flour consistently as it cooks in the oil,
- When it is slightly cooked and almost browning (approximately 2 minutes), remove from heat,
- Add red wine and whisk quickly until it has mixed well and become mostly smooth.
- Pour over meat in slow-cooker.
- Once all meat and the roux is in the pot, top with the carrots and leftover herbs, bullion and garlic.
- Cook on Low for 6 hours.
- Add the Potatoes and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour more.
- Serve and Enjoy!
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