The Best Ever Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Learn two flavour secrets for best ever slow cooker beef stew

I know there are lots that claim to be the best. But seriously, this is the BEST!

For real.

There are two flavour secrets to this stew that make it the best. I make it at least a few times in the winter I love it that much. Comfort food at its best. I like to make it in my trusty slow cooker. It takes about 10 mins of prep and then 6-8 hours of hands off cooking time.

I take it the extra mile at the end by adding some gluten free garlic herb dumplings on top. They cook up as soft cloud like dumplings and soak up all that slow cooked flavour.


making slow cooker beef stew
Flavour Secret #1: Brown the meat before slow cooking for added flavour.
Slow cooker beef stew recipe with two flavour secrets
Flavour Secret #2: Add some apple or grape juice (or better yet pomegranate molasses) to the stew while it cooks. The natural sweetness of the molasses or juice will make the savoury flavours in the beef do a little dance on your tastebuds!

Best Ever Slow Cooker Beef Stew

A savoury and flavourful slow cooker beef stew that cooks up with very little hands on work at all. Note the 2 flavour secrets, noted below, that really do make this the best! 
Prep Time10 minutes
Hands off Cook Time6 hours
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: keto, Paleo, Whole30
Servings: 6 people



  • 1 turnip
  • 1 sweet potato (for Keto Friendly use an extra turnip or parsnip instead)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary or thyme
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour (or tapioca flour)
  • 2 lbs chuck beef – cut into 1 inch cube
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 cups stock or bone broth (chicken or beef)
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses (for sugar free version – use 1/2 cup unsweetened apple or grape juice)
  • Chives for garnish


  • Wash, peel and dice all the veggies (sweet potato, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeño. 
  • Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker. Add the spices: bay leaf, cumin, salt, pepper, chilli powder, rosemary. 
  • In a separate bowl, sprinkle the arrowroot flour over the beef pieces. Mix well to coat.
  •  In a large frying pan heat the oil and add the coated beef. Stir fry to brown the outside. Don’t worry about cooking it through, that’s the slow cooker’s job, just get a nice golden colour on the outside. (This is flavour secret number 1).
  • Add browned beef to the slow cooker. Deglaze the frying pan with a cup of stock to scrape up all those flavourful brown bits. Add to the slow cooker. 
  • Add the rest of the stock to the slow cooker. Add the pomegranate molasses or apple juice* (flavour secret number 2 – add some natural sweetness to the stew to really bring out the caramelized slow cooked flavour). 
  • Cover and cook on low (250*C) for 8 hours (or on high for 4-5 hours), checking occasionally to give it a stir and make sure the liquid level remains above the other ingredients. If you need to top up the liquid add stock or just plain water.
  • Once done, you can add dumplings on top before serving (see recipe link below). Sprinkle with some chopped chives before serving.


* You may need to add a bit more liquid during the cooking time. Just keep an eye on the liquid level and make sure it is never below the other ingredients.
Serve with some gluten free herb and garlic dumplings (leave this out if you want to make this Whole30 compliant)
*Instant Pot directions – I tried this in the Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting and it worked perfectly. Brown the meat in the instant pot on the saute setting, then add the stock to deglaze the pan and scrape up all the brown bits before adding in the remaining ingredients. Cook on slow cooker setting on high for about 4 hours. Make sure you do not close the lid completely, or use a different lid so it does not seal shut. you want some steam to escape while it cooks and to stir occasionally.
Once the stew is cooked, you can also cook the dumplings in the instant pot too. When you are ready to serve, just drop the batter into the hot stew and turn on the saute setting and close the lid for 8-10 minutes with the vent open to allow the dumplings to cook through. Enjoy!

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