Slow Cooker Beef and Vegetables simmer all day in a rich Red Wine Sauce that is out of this world. This dinner is special occasion worthy and weeknight friendly!
Imagine beef and vegetables slow cooking all day in a red wine sauce that fills the house with an amazing aroma of good things to come...with very little effort on your part. Just dish it out and enjoy it. It's loaded with vegetables, so it's a one-pot meal.
This recipe is similar to Crock-Pot Beef Bourguignon (an easy version of a Julia Child specialty) since they both use beef and red wine. The Bourguignon has a French flair. On the other hand, the flavor profile of this beef stew-like recipe favors Italian cuisine with stewed tomatoes and Italian seasoning, just like Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore.
Make plenty! Twist arms, do what you must to have leftovers for the next day so you can make these Mini Beef Pot Pies with Crescent Rolls.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef and Vegetables
This dinner definitely gives off the impression that you slaved all day in the kitchen. In reality, there is a little prep at the beginning of the process and a minor step at the end. Both are worth the time and effort.
Why do you have to brown meat before slow cooking?
This step is not required but is highly recommended. It's the secret to tender beef stew meat.
Searing the beef cubes on the stovetop before they go into the crock-pot will give this dish a deeper flavor. It also looks more appetizing (in my humble opinion!)
To sear the beef, blot the cubes dry with a paper towel. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Place the beef cubes in the pan and allow them to sizzle and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Don't crowd the pan. Work in batches, if necessary.
We cut a boneless beef shoulder roast into cubes to make this recipe. The same cut of beef is used to make slow cooker Black Forest Pot Roast. Head over there for pics of a beef shoulder roast and another fantastic recipe that will wow your guests!
Types of Vegetables to use in Beef Stew
In my utopia, there are lots of veggies in this dish...mushrooms and onion for me, green beans for my hubby and extra carrots for my darling daughters. I've tossed in celery, peppers, and potatoes at the beginning of the process and stirred in spinach at the end. Sometimes I cut back on the meat and double the vegetables (and I've added chickpeas too!) Customize the vegetables based upon seasonality and preferences.
How to Thicken Red Wine Sauce
The last step in this recipe is also very important. About 30 minutes before the end of the cook time, make a slushy mixture of water and corn starch or water and flour. Pour the "slush" or slurry mixture into the slow cooker and gently stir to incorporate. The result is a silky smooth red wine sauce. I save every last drop so I can spoon it over EVERYTHING IN SIGHT. 🙂
If you're having trouble with vegetable consumption at your house, then just coat them with this red wine sauce and they will magically disappear. I pinky promise. And, if you happen to have some Crock-Pot Mashed Potatoes, spoon it on the top! 🙂
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Slow Cooker Beef and Vegetables in a Red Wine Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon oil canola or vegetable
- 2 pounds beef shoulder roast cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 medium onion cut into large slices
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced in half or into thirds if large
- 2 handfuls of baby carrots or 2-3 large carrots cut into 1-2 inch pieces.
- 2 handfuls of green beans trimmed and cut in smaller pieces
- 1 15 ounce can stewed tomatoes
- 1 cup beef broth vegetable or chicken broth is ok too
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup cold water
- 3 Tablespoons flour or 1 ½ Tablespoons corn starch for gluten-free version
- Heat oil over medium high heat in a large pan.
- Blot meat dry with a paper towel and then transfer it (in batches, if necessary) to the pan.
- Sear beef cubes for 1 to 3 minutes on each side.
- As beef cubes are done, transfer them to a crock pot.
- Add onions, mushrooms, carrots, beans and tomatoes to the crock pot.
- Stir broth, wine, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper together in a small bowl and then pour over beef and vegetables.
- Cook 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
- About 30 minutes before serving time, stir together flour and cold water (or corn starch and water) and create a slushy mixture.
- Add slush mixture to the crock pot and stir into beef and vegetables.
- Cook for 30 minutes more and then enjoy!