Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes


Slow Cooker Beef Stew

6 servings


20 minutes

active time

4 hours 20 minutes

total time


2 ½ pounds stew meat (see notes)

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon celery salt

1/4 cup flour

3-6 tablespoons olive oil

3 Tablespoons cold butter (separated)

2 cups yellow onion (diced)

4 cloves garlic (minced)

1 cup high-quality cabernet sauvignon (merlot works as well. See notes.)

4 cups beef broth

2 tsp better than bouillon (or 2 beef bouillon cubes)

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

5 medium carrots (cut into chunks, about 1-inch)

1 lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes (halved or quartered)

2 bay leaves

1 sprig rosemary

1 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup Cold Water + 3 tablespoons Corn Starch (Optional)

2-3 drops Gravy Master ((Optional)- Adds an even richer darker color.)


Cut meat into 1-inch cubes, discard any large pieces of fat. Fat marbleized into the meat is fine!

Sprinkle beef with black pepper, garlic salt, and celery salt. Toss to coat. Sprinkle flour over the meat and toss again.

Heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat in batches, don’t overcrowd the pan. Brown on each side for 45 seconds. Add more oil if needed. Transfer to slow cooker.

Reduce heat to medium and melt 1 Tablespoon butter. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Use a silicone spatula to clean the bottom of the pan, removing any brown remnants. This will give the soup lots of good flavor. If necessary, add a splash of wine to help loosen it. Transfer the onions/garlic mixture to the slow cooker.

Add all remaining ingredients except for the peas, corn starch mixture, and 2 tablespoons of cold butter.

Cook on low for 7 ½ to 8 hours or high for 3½ to 4 hours, until the vegetables are softened and the potatoes are fork tender.

Add the peas during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary stem.

Optional: To thicken, combine ¼ cup COLD water with 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch. Slowly add it to the stew, stirring to incorporate. It will continue to thicken upon standing.

Turn off the heat. Swirl in 2 tablespoons of cold butter for a smooth, velvety finish. This is a technique that chefs use called “Monter au Beurre”.Optional: Add 3 drops of Gravy Master (or Kitchen Bouquet) for an even darker color.

6 servings


20 minutes

active time

4 hours 20 minutes

total time
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