I’m about to get reallllly sentimental about beef stew over here, so bear with me for a few minutes.
Slow cooker beef stew is one of my favorite recipes because it reminds me so much of my childhood. In addition to the traditional Caribbean food that my mom shared with us when we were growing up, we always had beef stew on the menu rotation in our house, and it has become one of my go-to comfort food recipes. My favorite type of beef stew is tomato based, and this recipe calls for tomato paste to get that thick, tomato-y consistency that I love. I have a lot of love for beef bourguignon too, but my mom never cooked with wine so when I want a homey, suburban beef stew this is the recipe I go for. The one that reminds me of home.
One customization that I did make that deviates from my traditional childhood recipe is the addition of parsnips, a vegetable that I’ve eaten as many times as I have fingers on one hand. I also used fewer carrots because carrots have never been a favorite of mine (sorry, mom). But I really like the parsnips in this recipe because it feels grown-up, and adds some bulk to every yummy spoonful that you pick up.
When I was a kid, I used to love eating beef stew with a side of homemade macaroni and cheese or white rice. This time around, I ate it with some brown rice. What I love about nostalgic childhood recipes that you can stick with it or lightly tweak it to make it your own, perhaps the same way our parents did before us.
Share the love: I’ve had my new slow cooker for about a week now and I’m looking for new recipes to make with it! If you have any suggestions, share it in the comments here or on my Instagram. I would love to test it out.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground pepper
- 1 pound beef stew, cubed
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced
- 6oz tomato paste
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cut in rough 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in rough 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut in rough 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups beef broth
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, paprika, salt, and a big pinch of freshly ground pepper. Add the cubes of beef chuck to the bowl and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Take the beef out of the flour, shaking off any excess, and set aside in a small bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet. Add the beef chuck and sear, turning the beef until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the browned chuck from the pan and place in bowl of slow cooker. Scrape the browned drippings from the pan onto the beef.
- Next, top the beef with onion, garlic, vegetables, bay leaves, and tomato paste. Pour in the beef broth and lightly stir it into the tomato paste to break up the concentrate. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and slow cook on low about 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.
- You'll know it's done once vegetables are cooked through and the beef is falling apart.