This CLASSIC SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW recipe is an easy crockpot meal with juicy, tender pieces of beef slow-cooked and simmered in a delicious stew gravy with hearty vegetables including potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. The stew has a rich depth of flavor and fragrant aroma that you'll fall in love with instantly.
Cut beef into medium size chunks trimming and discarding any large fat caps.
Sear in oil until golden brown, repeating in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Deglaze pan drippings with stock and add it to the slow cooker with the beef.
Pour in beef stock, beef bouillon roux, and soy sauce.
Slice onion and carrots. Roughly cube potatoes. Add to the pot.
Add bay leaves, salt, pepper, and parsley.
Cover with lid. Cook on LOW 8-9 HOURS (highly recommended) or on HIGH 4 hours.
Dice celery and add to the stew the last hour if cooking on high or the last two hours if cooking on low.
Stir in Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix powder if using. See notes on adjusting cornstarch amount if using the soup powder as it contains a thickener. Make a slurry stirring cold water into cornstarch. Stir in the pot.
Turn to high and cook 30 minutes.
FLAVORFUL BEEF FLAVOR: For a huge flavor base boost, stir in Better Than Bouillon Beef Base. This thick roux like liquid ingredient is packed with a robust beef flavor. If you've ever had homemade beef stew and it was missing a key flavor then you'll love this big flavor addition. Find it in a glass jar near the bouillon cubes. In addition, beef stock adds liquid volume to the stew to ensure there is plenty of that classic gravy broth flavor with each bite.
CLASSIC STEW SEASONING: For more flavor, stir 1-2 tbsp Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix powder. The cornstarch amount will need to be reduced or removed in the broth that's used to make a slurry.
THICKER STEW GRAVY: Cornstarch and water thicken the gravy nicely. Alternatively, all-purpose flour may be substituted. Using cornstarch will retain the color the broth while flour will turn it yellow.