Crock Pot Autumn Vegetable Beef Stew

Autumn Beef Stew
Diana Rattray
  • 8 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Ratings (5)

Chase away the cold with this flavorful crock pot beef stew! Apple cider and a little bacon give this homemade beef stew smoky and slightly sweet undertones from the apple cider or juice. It is wonderful with the diced rutabaga, but if you aren't a fan, replace the rutabaga with turnip, more potatoes or another root vegetable. It's easy to adjust the vegetables to suit your family's tastes. Mushrooms are another possible option. And if you would like to add some frozen peas or green beans, toss them into the stew about 30 minutes before it's ready. 

One reader used butternut squash instead of rutabaga, and she suggested deglazing the skillet used for the beef and onions with some of the apple juice. Another reader suggested serving the stew with spaetzle or rice.

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

What You'll Need

  • 2 strips bacon (thick)
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck (stewing beef)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cups beef broth (preferably low sodium)
  • 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 (dried)
  • 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. Dice the bacon into small pieces.
  2. Cut the beef into 1-inch pieces. Chop the onion.
  3. Place a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the bacon; cook until the fat has rendered and it is almost crisp. With a slotted spatula, remove the bacon to paper towels.
  4.  To the bacon drippings, add the beef cubes and onions. Cook, stirring, until the beef is browned on all sides and the onion is softened.
  1. Transfer the beef mixture to the slow cooker along with the bacon; add the beef broth, apple cider, potatoes, carrots, celery, rutabaga, bay leaf, rosemary, and pepper.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours. Taste and add salt, if needed. This depends on how salty your beef broth was.
  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.
  4. Sprinkle servings with fresh chopped parsley.

Tips

Beef chuck is the best choice for the stew, but a bottom round roast or round steak is a good alternative choice. Boneless beef short ribs come from the chuck as well, making them another excellent choice. Or add a small beef shank slice to the stew along with the cubed chuck. Remove the bone before serving and dice the meat.