Slow Cooker Hearty Beef Stew
The cooking time required to make beef stew relegates it to the weekends, when there’s more time to spend in the kitchen. That is, unless you have a slow cooker.
Why This Recipe Works
First we focused on which cut of beef would work best in our slow-cooker beef stew recipe, ruling out top and bottom round because of their leanness, and prepackaged beef chunks because their irregular shapes made for inconsistent results. We chose chuck roast because it was flavorful, tender, and juicy, and we cut it into chunks ourselves. While we recognize that slow-cooker stew recipes are meant to be easier to prepare and more convenient, searing the meat is a key step vital to the quality of the stew. It takes only minutes (and can be done the night before) and builds the flavor foundation of the stew by leaving caramelized bits on the skillet bottom that can be incorporated into the stew by a quick deglazing with broth or wine.