Crock Pot Autumn Vegetable Beef Stew

Autumn Beef Stew
Autumn Beef Stew for the Slow Cooker. Photo: Diana Rattray
  • 8 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

Chase away the cold with this crock pot beef stew! Apple cider and a little bacon give this homemade beef stew great flavor. I love it with the rutabaga but if you aren't a fan, replace it with turnip, more potatoes or another root vegetable.

Serve this stew with crusty French bread, biscuits, or cornbread. Add a tossed salad for a satisfying everyday family dinner. 

See the reader comments for more serving and preparation ideas.

What You'll Need

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 strips bacon, diced
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup apple cider or apple juice (NOT vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (about 5 or 6 medium potatoes), diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced rutabaga
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • kosher salt, if needed, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

How to Make It

  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the beef, bacon, and onions. Cook, stirring, until the beef is browned on all sides and the bacon is cooked.
  2. Transfer the beef mixture to the slow cooker; add the beef broth, apple cider, potatoes, carrots, celery, rutabaga, bay leaf, rosemary, and pepper. Cover and cook for 7 to 9 hours. Taste and add salt, as needed.
  3. Combine the flour with cold water to form a smooth mixture. Stir into the beef mixture, turn to HIGH, and continue cooking for 15 minutes longer.
  1. Sprinkle servings with fresh chopped parsley.

Reader Comments and Suggestions

"This looked like my stew except mine didn't have the rutabaga, which is a must add now that I tried yours. Excellent flavor and good for you. They keep quite a while too so easy to have one on hand." Merri

"I make a lot of stews and soups in the winter time, and this one was probably the best I've made yet. It's very similar to a Welsh Cawl, which I normally make in March for St. David's day, but I think it would work all autumn and through the winter. I followed the recipe exactly as it was written but doubled it, and it came out perfect with 8 roughly 500 calorie servings. As the other reviewers said, the apple cider gives it a nice, sweet undertone, and my favorite thing about this recipe is that it doesn't call for salt, and it doesn't need any. I served it each day with a whole grain roll for dipping in the broth and a chunk of white cheddar cheese. If you've never had rutabaga before, it's very subtle in this dish and I'd suggest just going for it! Very easy, very yummy, and even my 10-month-old liked it!"  A.K.

"This was so yummy! The apple cider gave it such a nice sweet flavor. The only thing I did differently was using butternut squash instead of the rutabaga since that was what I had on hand and I used another 1/2 cup or so of the cider to deglaze the pan and added that to the crockpot. This was so good and perfect for the fall/winter season." E.J.

"This stew is AWESOME! We have made it twice now and everyone gobbles it up.

The apple cider gives it a little twang and it is addictive. We did not add rutabaga and first time accidentally used apple cider vinegar and still came out good but had to add a little more sugar back to balance out. Follow recipe as is and you will not be disappointed. Easy to throw in crock-pot and delicious! We serve with rice or spaetzle." G.T.