The last few weeks I’ve been feeling the pace of life speed up. Between school, work, and shorter days, I knew it was time to pull out my crock pot and make a big pot of something warm that would feed us throughout the week. This Slow Cooker Beef & Chile Stew is a nourishing, hearty, and deeply flavorful recipe that brought a hefty dose of warmth and ease to our meal times lately.
Save some for a snow day
Whenever I make a big pot of something, I usually try to squirrel away a quart in the freezer to share or for a rainy day. I put two quarts in the freezer this time, and we ate the rest for multiple breakfasts and dinners. This stew is particularly good for breakfast with an egg on top and a warm tortilla on the side. If you don’t have a slow cooker, keep reading! You can easily make this in a Dutch oven by braising it at 300 F. for three-ish hours.
Choosing a cut of meat
You’ll notice the recipe calls for beef stew meat, which is easy to find in most grocery stores. In general, the best stew meat is cuts with collagen-rich connective tissues that slowly melt and tenderize in a low heat and slow cooking environment. Chuck, Round, Sirloin, and Brisket are perfect candidates for this type of stew-making, while more tender cuts are best enjoyed by searing, grilling, or roasting. Also, it’s important to remember that other meats like lamb, bison, elk, and pork can also be used interchangeably.
As with many recipes that turn out to be family favorites, I started with what I had. I had butternut squash, onion, a head of cauliflower, a tub of mild red chile and chopped green chile in the freezer, bacon, and an open bottle of red wine. I then picked up mushrooms, beef, and broth, heading home with everything I needed to put this one-pot meal together in the slow cooker.
As you look at the ingredients, remember that you can swap out other vegetables, if, for example, you don’t love mushrooms. Potato, pea, pearl onion, cabbage, parsnip, turnip, celery root, and carrot are just some of the vegetables that could be substituted for the ones used here. And if you want to add greens I would recommend adding them towards the end of the cooking process.Print
Slow Cooker Beef & Chile Stew
Indulge in the warmth and ease of this Slow Cooker Beef & Chile Stew, a hearty one-pot meal perfect for busy weeknights. Packed with nourishing ingredients, including beef stew meat and a medley of vegetables, this recipe delivers deep, flavorful satisfaction. Discover the joy of batch cooking as you freeze portions for later or savor it with an egg on top for a comforting breakfast. Learn how to customize the stew with various vegetables and explore the versatility of cuts like Chuck, Round, Sirloin, and Brisket.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 5 hours
- Total Time: 6 hours
- Yield: 5 quarts
- Category: stew
- Method: braise
- Cuisine: New Mexican
- 3 slices, applewood smoked bacon, sliced
- 2 1/2 lb. beef stew meat, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 T. Masa Harina
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, quartered
- 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 T. High Desert Herbs or Herbes de Provence
- 1 c. red wine
- 2 c. (1 pint) New Mexico red chile puree
- 2 c. (1 pint) New Mexico chopped green chile
- 1 medium head cauliflower, all tender stems and florets cut into 1” pieces
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into 1” pieces
- 6 c. chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
The step with the bacon
In a large heavy-bottomed pot over low heat, slowly cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and the bacon crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and add it to the slow cooker crock.
Sear the meat
Turn the heat up to medium-high. Gently toss the trimmed beef with the masa harina, salt and pepper. Sear the meat on all sides until caramelized, working in batches if needed so as not to overcrowd the pan and meat in the slow cooker crock with the bacon.
Prep the rest
Add olive oil to the pot. Add the onion and mushrooms. Cook for around five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and dried herbs. Cook for a minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the red wine and let simmer for a few minutes, scraping any bits of goodness from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Carefully transfer this mixture to the slow cooker crock. Place the crock into the slow cooker base.
Cook it slow
Add the red chile puree, chopped green chile, cauliflower, butternut squash, and chicken broth. Let cook in the slow cooker for 5 hours.
Keywords: Slow Cooker, Beef Stew, Chile, One-Pot Meal, Comfort Food, Hearty Recipe, Winter Warmer, Easy Dinner, Family-Friendly, Meal Prep, Recipe, Healthy Cooking