Crock Pot beef stew is easily one of my favourite recipes to make in the slow cooker. The slow cooking process allows the beef to break down and gets so tender. The Crock Pot is an ideal way to make stew.
For this recipe, I did something different with the beef. Normally, when I make beef stew, I sear the stewing beef in a skillet and then add them to the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. This time though, I smoked the stewing beef, and wow, did it ever enhance the flavour of the stew. The stew had a wonderful smoky flavour that was not overpowering but a perfect compliment to all the other ingredients.
If you do not have a smoker, you could do what I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Just skip the whole smoking process in the recipe, and instead sear the stewing beef in a skillet with some oil. Once browned, go to step 4 in the recipe and follow the rest of the directions.
The beef should be chopped up into 1 inch cubes. My local grocery store sells stewing beef that is already cut into cubes and that works great. It is also possible to buy a beef roast and chop it up yourself. If you are cutting up the beef, try to make sure that the beef cubes are uniform in size so that they cook up evenly.
Toss the stewing beef cubes in the seasoning, making sure that they are all well coated in the spice blend.
Place the seasoned stewing beef cubes on a smoker rack. Make sure that there is space in between each cube. If they are touching, that will impact how long it takes for them to cook through.
Start up the smoker and set it for a temperature of 250F. I used mesquite wood, which is great for beef. But, there are many options that can all work well, including pecan, hickory, apple, maple and more!
Once the smoker has reached 250F and smoking nicely, place the smoker racks in the smoker. Smoke them for 2 hours. They will be browned and look just amazing. The smell is incredible and it was all I could do to not eat them up right then and there!!
Place the smoked beef with the remaining ingredients (minus the corn starch and water which is for thickening later on) directly into the slow cooker. Stir so everything is well mixed. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8 hours.
The stew will smell so good!
Whisk together the corn starch and water to make a slurry and stir that in the stew which will thicken the broth. It usually takes only a few minutes for the broth to thicken up.
Serve the stew with fresh bread or rolls. This stew is hearty and delicious and is the perfect comfort food!
Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Smoked Stewing Beef
- 2 pounds Stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 6-8 carrots, peeled and diced
- 6-8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 5 cups beef broth
- 1-2 tbsp corn starch, for thickening
- 1-2 tbsp water
- Make the rub by mixing together the sugar and all the spices. Generously rub the spice mixture all over the stewing beef cubes.
- Set the smoker to 250F using wood chips of choice.
- Smoke the stewing beef cubes for 2 hours.
- Dump beef cubes with remaining ingredients (minus corn starch and water) into a slow cooker. Cook on low for about 8 hours.
- With about 15 minutes remaining, whisk together the corn starch and water to create a slurry. Whisk that into the stew to thicken it.
- Serve the stew with some fresh bread.