Hearty Beef Stew in a Slow Cooker

Cozy up to a hearty bowl of homemade beef stew – courtesy of a handy slow cooker and a little forward thinking

Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

One of the great things about stew is that you can wing it

As the weather turns cold, nothing says comfort like a tasty, homemade beef stew and nothing says easy like a slow cooker and a little bit of forethought

Have I mentioned how much I love my slow cooker? Yes, at least once before. I really love it. And the new one I bought is not only bigger but has temperature controls like an oven instead of just low and high settings like my old one. This gives the food a richer flavour, something that my old slow cooker always fell short on.

One of the great things about stew is that you can wing it. You can use up leftover vegetables and sauces and get creative with seasonings. But, obviously, you can’t have bare cupboards to whip up a meal, so this is where the forethought comes in.

There are certain things I always have on hand – canned tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, onions, pasta sauce, carrots – and whenever non-essentials are on sale – like meat and fresh produce – I incorporate them into our meals. So, every Sunday when I make our weekly menu, I base it on what I have on hand and build from there.

For this stew, I made roasted baby potatoes but if you’re short on time you can always sop up the delicious sauce with a delicious piece of fresh crusty bread that you picked up from the bakery on your way home.


  • beef roast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 jar of leftover tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 small tin of tomato paste
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • about a dozen baby potatoes, chopped into thirds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Assemble first nine ingredients in slow cooker and stir well to combine.
  2. Cook for about eight hours at 275F the meat should be melt-in-your-mouth tender.
  3. Preheat oven to 425F
  4. In a roasting pan, combine potatoes, oil, salt and pepper, stirring well to combine.
  5. Cook, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, stirring half way through.




Catherine Roscoe Barr, BSc Neuroscience, is a Vancouver-based writer, editor, and fitness professional. Before settling on the west coast she lived in Sydney, Toronto, Oregon, Montana, and practically everywhere in Alberta. She can be found jogging with her adorable dog, dining with her fabulous husband or voraciously reading anywhere comfy.