This hearty dish is designed to warm your body up on these cold days. A great beef stew will be filled with delicious beef and vegetables and a rich gravy. This recipe is one we use and doesn't take much work to make. Simply add the ingredients to your slow cooker before work, or even a busy weekend day and come home to a hearty meal to serve the family. Already a complete meal, just serve with a great crusty bread.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Ingredients 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more for garnish Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound small white potatoes, halved 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, halved 3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks 1 medium onion, chopped 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 cup red wine 2 cups low-sodium beef broth 3 sprigs fresh thyme 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped Sour cream, for serving Directions Toss the beef with the paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat in flour and shake off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook undisturbed until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, turning the beef as needed, until mostly browned, about 3 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the beef to the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker; add the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onions and stir to combine.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and wine and whisk until thick (it's OK if there are some lumps). Add the beef broth, thyme, caraway if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking; continue simmering and whisking until the gravy is smooth and thick, about 4 minutes.
Pour the gravy into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. The meat and vegetables should be tender.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. Serve the stew in bowls with dollops of sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika.