Crockpot Italian Beef Stew
Crockpot Italian Beef Stew is rich and flavorful. An easy slow cooker recipe with beefy, herby tomato broth and fork-tender bites of beef and vegetables, it’s straight-up comfort food!
Crockpot Italian Beef Stew is Straight-Up Comfort Food
Goodness. I just wasn’t ready for it.
Snow in October. And way too much of it!
It’s not like this never happens – as it snowed in October just last year in Minnesota, and even earlier in the month. But it still feels like a really bad joke, just the same.
When winter weather kicks in, it’s amazing how our cravings so quickly turn straight to comfort food. I’ve been making menu plans for the upcoming weeks, hungry for slow cooker chili with honey cornbread muffins for dipping, sloppy joe’s, and my famous lasagna soup with that ooey-gooey cheesy yum. My parents recently spent the weekend with us and we made hard cider pot roast and pan-banging chocolate chip cookies…bring on all the comfort food!
Also. I’m so happy to (finally!) add this Crockpot Italian Beef Stew recipe to our soup archive. I’ve been playing around with this recipe the past couple of winters, and it’s now ready for you! Cozy in and enjoy!
* This is a sponsored post, created in partnership with Red Gold.
Canned tomato products from Red Gold are some of my most dependable pantry staples when it comes to making comfort food for our family. I turn to them not only for their excellent quality, but also for their infinite variety – especially when I’m craving soup and slow cooker recipes.
A Little Background on Red Gold
Red Gold is Family Owned, Grown & Made.
The company started out as a father-daughter team, helping their country by canning tomatoes for U.S. troops during World War II. Today, more than 75 years and four generations of family later, Red Gold is a full-time operation with over 40 Midwest family farm partnerships.
Red Gold and the Reichart family have remained committed to providing the best quality tomato products, with the freshest, best-tasting tomatoes. They incorporate sustainable farming practices to deliver tomatoes that are steam packed fresh with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. And I love that they are packed in Non-BPA/BPS lined cans – which means you don’t get that nasty “tin can” taste!
Ingredients for this Stew
The richness of this stew relies on flavorful beef plus a beautiful beefy tomato broth that’s deepened by red wine. Here are all the players in this hearty crockpot Italian beef stew recipe:
- beef chuck roast – use a well-marbled cut for the richest, beef-iest flavor
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- olive oil
- unsalted butter
- yellow onion
- a robust, dry red wine – the magical complement to beef and tomatoes
- Red Gold Diced Tomatoes
- Red Gold Tomato Paste – my favorite way to amp up rich tomato flavor
- beef broth
- fresh thyme
- fresh oregano
- bay leaves
- cremini mushrooms – these add great texture and an earthy flavor
- fresh basil leaves – beautiful and flavorful for garnish, if desired
How to Make Beef Stew in a Slow Cooker
This stew relies upon layers of flavor from beef, vegetables, and herbs that are slow-cooked to irresistible perfection. And it’s so easy to make!
- Toss beef pieces with flour, salt, and pepper, and set aside.
- In a slow cooker with a sauté/brown function (or skillet on the stovetop), sauté diced onion and carrot in olive oil and butter, followed by minced garlic, and then remove everything to a plate.
- Add seasoned beef pieces and sear until browned, and then remove to a plate.
- Next add red wine and let cook for a couple minutes to reduce a bit and concentrate its flavor, while scraping up any beef and vegetable bits.
- Then add beef and vegetables back to slow cooker. Then add Red Gold Diced Tomatoes, Red Gold Tomato Paste, beef broth, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, carrot coins, and mushrooms.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Taste test, adding salt and/or pepper if needed.
- Cook for an additional hour, allowing the flavors to deepen and the beef to get “fork-tender”.
- To serve, ladle hot stew into individual bowls. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.
Tips for the Best Crockpot Beef Stew
I have a few simple tips for you, to guarantee the best beef stew possible!
Use a flavorful cut of beef. An inexpensive cut is best – beef chuck is my preference, and really the only one I will use. It’s full of flavor and the slow cooker will magically transform this otherwise tough cut of meat into irresistible, fork-tender bites of beefy heaven. If you can’t find chuck, top round would be my second choice. Just know that it will not be as good as chuck!
Get a good sear on the beef. This creates enormous flavor. Also be sure to give each piece of beef enough room to get truly browned. If you pile all the beef pieces on top of each other, they’ll just steam instead of brown – which will give you slumpy gray lumps of beef. Super sad.
Don’t skimp on the cook time. The slow cooking process produces a stew with an intense, well-rounded flavor and fabulously tender chunks of beef. My recipe states a cook time of 4 hours – and while it usually doesn’t take quite that long for the beef to become fork-tender, I always allow that time to ensure the best overall flavor and texture.
But don’t overcook it, either! Yes, it is possible to overcook a beef stew. When it comes to soups and stews, there’s nothing I dislike more than when vegetables are cooked to a mushy mess.
I might also suggest, as my photo depicts, a glass of dry, robust red wine for sipping. How lovely.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Beef stew makes for some of the most excellent leftovers on the planet. And you know how I love leftovers!
This homemade stew recipe will keep very well for a few days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Simply reheat single or multiple servings in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop.
Beef stew also freezes perfectly. Use either larger freezer-safe containers or smaller single-serving freezer containers, and then thaw them in the fridge overnight before reheating. It makes me so happy to have delicious homemade meals stored away in the freezer for days when I don’t feel like cooking!
Like this stew recipe? Save it to Pinterest!
- 2.5 lbs. well-marbled beef chuck roast, cut into 1" to 1-1/2" pieces, any large pieces of solid fat discarded
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 T. olive oil, divided
- 1 T. unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 6 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c. robust, dry red wine
- 29 oz. (two 14.5-oz. cans) Red Gold Diced Tomatoes
- 1/3 c. Red Gold Tomato Paste
- 4 c. low sodium beef broth
- 1 T. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 T. chopped fresh oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 large carrots, sliced into 1/4" coins
- 16 oz. cremini mushrooms, quartered
- fresh basil leaves, plus additional thyme and oregano leaves, for garnish if desired
- Place beef pieces in a medium mixing bowl that has a tight-fitting lid. Sprinkle flour, salt, and pepper evenly over the beef. Cover bowl tightly, then flip and shake the bowl a few times to completely coat the beef. If you do not have a bowl with a lid, place these ingredients in a ziplock bag and then flip and shake to coat the beef. Set aside.
- If using a slow cooker with a brown/sauté function: Heat slow cooker and add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the tablespoon of butter. Once hot, add diced onion and carrot. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and sauté 1 more minute. Remove vegetables to a large plate or a rimmed pan. If you do not have a brown/sauté function on your slow cooker: Complete this step in a large nonstick skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
- If using a slow cooker with a brown/sauté function: Add 2 more tablespoons of the oil to the hot slow cooker, still on the brown/sauté function. Once oil is shimmering hot, add half the beef in an even layer. Once the bottom sides of the beef pieces are very nicely browned (which means, added flavor!), flip them over and brown opposite sides. I use a tongs for flipping. Then remove beef to the plate with sauteéd vegetables. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and let it come to shimmering hot. Then add remaining half of beef in an even layer, and repeat the browning process. Remove beef to the plate with other beef and vegetables. If you do not have a brown/sauté function on your slow cooker: Complete this step in a large nonstick skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
- If using a slow cooker with a brown/sauté function: Turn slow cooker to high heat and add wine, scraping and stirring any remaining bits and juices from bottom of slow cooker. Bring wine to a boil, and then cook for 2 minutes. If you do not have a brown/sauté function on your slow cooker: Complete this step in the same large skillet used to cook the vegetables and beef, scraping and stirring any remaining bits and juices into the wine.
- If using a slow cooker with a brown/sauté function: Add beef and vegetables back to slow cooker. Then add diced tomatoes (do not drain), tomato paste, beef broth, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, carrot coins, and mushrooms. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Then taste test to see if stew needs more salt and/or pepper. With the ingredients I use, I usually add an additional 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper at this point. Cover and cook for 1 more hour, to allow the flavors to deepen and the beef to get "fork-tender". If the beef is not ultra tender after 4 hours, let it cook a bit longer until it is. If you do not have a brown/sauté function on your slow cooker: Carefully pour hot wine into slow cooker, and turn slow cooker to high heat. Follow remaining instructions from this Step 5, until beef is fork-tender.
- Discard bay leaves. To serve, ladle hot stew into individual bowls. Garnish with fresh thyme, oregano, and small basil leaves, if desired.
from a farmgirl's dabbles
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 605Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1463mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 15gSugar: 22gProtein: 45g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Before I let you go, I’d like to draw special attention to Red Gold’s continued history of giving back and honoring those who have served our country – through their partnership with Folds of Honor Foundation. For every Red Gold Folds of Honor Ketchup purchased, a portion of the proceeds goes to providing educational scholarships for the children and spouses of those who have fallen or been disabled while serving our country. Great ketchup. Great cause!
For more deliciousness with Red Gold tomatoes, here are a few more recipes featured on a farmgirl’s dabbles:
- Italian Meatball Soup
- Slow Cooker Beef and Sweet Potato Soup
- Cheesy Baked Gnocchi
- Taco Tater Tot Hotdish
- Cheesy Pizza Soup
- Spicy Italian Tomato Grilled Cheese Dip
- Smoky Tomato Deviled Eggs
Thank you to Red Gold for sponsoring this post – it has been both an honor and a pleasure to partner with them over the past several years. All opinions are my own.