Crockpot Beef Stew (with Beer and Horseradish)

This horseradish beef stew with beer is the definition of pure comfort food!  Cooking it in the slow cooker makes the beef and veggies super tender with a rich, silky sauce… and it takes hardly any effort to make!  Come home to a mouthwatering dinner, ready to eat!

Comfort food recipes like this Crockpot Beef Stew are essential in the colder months.  You come home to a house that smells heavenly and dinner is finished and ready for you to enjoy!  We love easy crockpot meals like my Crockpot Mongolian Beef and this is one of my Comfort Food recipes you’ll definitely want in your dinner rotation!

Crockpot Beef Stew with beer and horseradish in a bowl with bread

CROCKPOT BEEF STEW

As someone who works from home, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to come home after working a full (long) day and still have the very crushing reality of having to cook dinner.  For me, there is no coming home, since I’m always here writing, cooking, setting up photoshoots, etc.

Even before this website, there wasn’t any coming home, since I was a stay at home Mom.  BUT, I can tell you, the night’s when I’ve got dinner going in the slow cooker… those are the nights that before my husband even has his whole body through our door, he’s going, “man that smells amazing, I’m so hungry!”.

HOW TO MAKE A BEEF STEW

Generally beef stew is made with a tough cut of meat like a chuck roast (or shoulder roast), vegetables (like potatoes, carrots, celery, parsnips, mushrooms, etc), beef stock, and plenty of seasoning.  I like to add some beer to mine, as I love the depth of flavor, as well as some tomato paste and beef base.

  1. Season and brown beef in a pan, then add to slow cooker.
  2. Deglaze pan with beer and broth (just pour in liquids and stir to loosen any browned bits from the pan).
  3. Add vegetables, tomato paste and beef base to slow cooker.
  4. Pour liquid from pan into the slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW 7 – 7 1/2 hours.
  6. Thicken stew, if desired.

Beef stew in crockpot

HOW DO YOU THICKEN A STEW?

There are three main ways to thicken up a beef stew.  The first two involve making a slurry – which is basically adding flour or cornstarch to a cold or room temperature liquid.

  1. Mix 1-2 Tbsp cornstarch into 1-2 Tbsp of beef stock/broth or even water.  Use a fork or spoon to mix it around until there are no lumps.  Stir into beef stew, and cook on low for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Do the same as above, but use flour instead of cornstarch.
  3. Using a fork mix together equal parts (I usually do 1 Tbsp each) softened butter and flour.  Mix it together well, so it almost forms a ball.  Add it to the beef stew, stir, and cook on low for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  This method is my absolute favorite!

COOKING TIPS FOR MAKING CROCKPOT BEEF STEW

  • Brown your beef if possible!  I know it’s an extra step, but I love the extra flavor it adds!
  • Use sturdy potatoes!  I love to use baby Yukon gold potatoes.  They’re so buttery, yet they are sturdy and hold up well to a full day of cooking in the slow cooker.  Plus, there’s no need to peel them, just halve or quarter them after washing.
  • Use tomato paste in a tube.  Since you only need a little bit for this recipe, I find using tubed tomato paste easier than figuring out what to do with the remaining 5 oz of the can.
  • Add your horseradish at different times for different flavor profiles!  For a more mild, almost sweet flavor, add the horseradish in with the rest of the slow cooker ingredients and let it cook all day.  For a more intense kick, add the horseradish at the end, while you’re thickening up the stew.
  • Don’t forget to dip some crusty bread into the stew!

Crockpot Beef Stew with Horseradish in slow cooker

VARIATIONS OF BEEF STEW

  • Bacon – try cooking some bacon before browning the beef… this will do two things.  First, you’ll get yummy crumbled bacon to add on top of your stew later that night.  And secondly, the bacon grease will add extra flavor to your beef as it browns!
  • Swap the alcohol – if you’re not a beer fan, try using a dry red wine instead.  Or if you’re against using any alcohol, you can use an equal amount of beef broth.
  • Add mushrooms – mushrooms are amazing in beef stew, and we add them most of the time.  However I know not everyone is a fan of them, so I left them out of this version.
  • Omit the horseradish – horseradish has a rather unique and strong flavor, which some people just don’t like.  No worries, you can omit it in this recipe and have a more classic beef stew!

HOW DO YOU MAKE BEEF STEW ON THE STOVETOP?

No slow cooker, no problem!  Be advised though, a stovetop beef stew takes multiple hours to properly come together.

Start by browning the beef pieces in a large dutch oven.  Remove beef to a plate and cook onions and garlic in beef drippings.  Add beer and beef broth to deglaze the pan (scraping the bottom of the pot to release those browned bits).  Return beef to the pot and add remaining ingredients.  Stir well, cover and simmer on LOW for 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Ladle of crockpot beef stew

MAKING STEW AHEAD OF TIME

Beef stew is a FABULOUS make ahead meal, because I think it tastes even better when eaten the next day!

Make sure you cool the stew completely, then cover and refrigerate.

Reheat on the stovetop over MED heat, adding a splash of extra beef broth if needed.

FREEZING

Stews generally freeze really well (for up to 3 months), although if it’s been thickened (with the methods outlined above in the post), it may separate when frozen.

I find it’s best to make (without thickening), cool completely, then freeze.  When reheating, thicken the stew as you like.

STORAGE

Leftovers should be kept refrigerated in an airtight container and consumed within 3-4 days.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT USED IN THIS RECIPE

  • 4 quart slow cooker – this is the one pictured in my photos, and my most used slow cooker.  I love that the insert is stovetop safe, so I can brown the beef right in it! It’s also pricey, so below I have another option.
  • Programmable slow cooker – this one is super economical and I love that the lid latches.
  • Better Than Bouillon – these jars are like magic, and lend SO much extra flavor!  I find them cheaper at my grocery store, but wanted to link them here so you know what they look like or in case you can’t find them.

Crockpot Beef Stew with beer and horseradish in a bowl with bread

Crockpot Beef Stew

This beer and horseradish beef stew is the definition of pure comfort food!  
4.89 from 18 votes
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Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs 10 mins
Total Time: 8 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 434
Recipe Author The Chunky Chef

Ingredients

  • 2 - 2 1/2 lbs boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 oz dark stout beer (I usually use Guinness)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 lb baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh sage, minced
  • 2 Tbsp beef base (better than bouillon)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1 Tbsp softened butter
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour

Instructions

  • Season beef pieces with 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp black pepper.  Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over MED-HIGH heat until shimmering, then add beef in a single layer (you may have to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan).  Brown on all sides, about 1-2 minutes per side, then turn off heat.  Remove beef to slow cooker.
  • Pour beer and broth into hot pan and stir to loosen any browned bits.  Let sit for a few minutes while you add other ingredients.
  • Add carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onion, garlic, sage, beef base and tomato paste to slow cooker with the browned beef.  Pour beer/broth mixture from the skillet into the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 7 - 7 1/2 hours.
  • Mix together butter and flour to form a pasty ball.  Remove lid, add horseradish and butter/flour mixture, stirring well.  Cover and continue cooking another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste, and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
  • Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve!

Video

Notes

If your stew gets a lot of fat particles at the top after cooking, either skim it with a spoon or remove beef and veggies to a bowl, then pour liquid through a strainer into the bowl with the beef and veggies.
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This crockpot beef stew simmers all day to create the most hearty, comforting and flavorful beef stew of all time!  The flavors are enhanced by using beer and finishing the dish with a kick of horseradish #beefstew #beefstewrecipe #slowcookerbeefstew #crockpot #slowcooker #comfortfood #easyrecipe

 

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78 comments on “Crockpot Beef Stew (with Beer and Horseradish)”

  1. This is everything a gourmet soup should be, and then some! Looking forward to making this for dinner tonight!

  2. This stew is perfect! It has nice big chunks and is bursting with flavor. I would love to try it!

  3. Oh my goodness! This beef stew looks so tasty and warming!

  4. This Crockpot Beef Stew looks heavenly!

  5. Oh man, I’ll bet that horseradish sends it over the edge, YUM!

  6. Seriously delicious!!! 

  7. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it! Any suggestions on using a pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker? I don’t think I can wait hours to eat this. 

  8. Hi,
    I am trying this recipe this week. Looking forward to trying it out! Can this be a freezer meal? Maybe brown the beef before freezing with veggies? Any tips for trying this out.

  9. Far and away the best beef stew I’ve ever made!! (I followed the recipe exactly as written (except I added a bit of frozen spinach at the end to give it some green–and I forgot the parsley). Thank you for a fabulous recipe. A keeper for sure!!😊

  10. This was good. I don’t have an easy way of weighing the potatoes, so I don’t think I put enough in. Can you recommend a number of potatoes?

    • I don’t really count them, as my grocery store sells baby yukon gold potatoes in sacks that are certain weights… but after a google search I would estimate between 12-15 baby potatoes.

  11. Would I be able to substitute sweet potatoes in place of the Yukon?

  12. I loves this recipe.  I used Italian seasoning as I didn’t have any sage.  Very rich and delightful.  Thank you. 

  13. used this recipe with venison and it was out of this world! My husband was in heaven.

  14. Flavour was pretty good. I loved the stout! I added some more seasonings and Worcester sauce. The slow cooker directions did not working for me. Not sure if It was my slow cooker but I had to finish it in the oven for a bit. Otherwise very good!

  15. Tastes great – the added sage and bouillon gave it great depth. Note if you are going to cook on the stovetop you’ll need a lot more time than 2.5 hours!

  16. Initially I was browsing for chicken slowcooker recipes on Pinterest but your stew looks sooo amazing in the pictures, I had to switch plans and try it 😀
    It’s in the slowcooker right now and I can‘t wait till it’s done. The smell is amaaazing!
    I substituted the beer with malt beer however cause we have a 3 year old at home and the additional sweetness works great with the horseradish and sage so far.
    Thank you for the recipe!

  17. Can I just throw everything in the crockpot without cooking on the stove first? 😅

  18. I made this for Sunday dinner and my husband loves it! He just had it for lunch too. The choice of beer is perfect and it is easy!

  19. Can I use something other than beer? 

  20. can i used leftover tri tip meat?  it was cooked medium rare, more on the rare side

  21. I can’t wait to make this! What are your thoughts on using red wine instead of beer? 

  22. Can I cook it on high for less time? 

  23. You want extra flavor AND it’s good for you? Substitute beef broth and bouillon for beef bone broth. Extra flavor and full of good for your body extras like collagen. I did this with chicken and dumplings(I used chicken bone broth) and chicken noodle soup. Both were the best I had ever made before!!!😋😋😋

  24. Haven’t made it yet BUT I am going to. It sounds and looks sooo good. I can hardly wait to make it.
    Thank you!

  25. What could I use instead of beer?

  26. I accidentally dumped the horseradish in before slow-cooking! Did I ruin it??? 

  27. I don’t have stout, could I use a different beer?

  28. This was amazing! I made this last night. Unfortunately I did not have horseradish but next time totally adding it. I also added a ton of Worcester sauce and a ton of garlic powder. We LOVE garlic.
    This smelled amazing while cooking and it was melt in your mouth, fall apart perfect. I cooked for 8 hours. 4 on low / 4 on high. Served over buttered egg noodles.

  29. If I use bouillon instead of the beef base, how much should I use?

  30. Made it very close to as written! Fantastic recipe. I only added 3 bay leaves while it simmered, I added some Worcestershire sauce & paprika. The flour(I used gluten free) & butter thickener was brilliant! Thank you so much, my family very much enjoyed 🙂

  31. This sound delicious. Can I use another kind of beer?

  32. I want to double this recipe how much time should i add to cooking, thanks

  33. Nice recipe. I’ve always used horseradish in my beef stew. Also, thirty minutes before it’s done, I usually put a small bag of frozen brussel sprouts in.

  34. Very good! I was worried about the horseradish since I’m not really a fan, but I went ahead and used the full 2 tbsps and it just gave the flavor a nice little boost. Thank you!

  35. Im excited to tast it I love horsradish

  36. Can this be prepped the night before? It looks delicious 

  37. In my stews and even raost I use instant potatoes to thicken! Delish!

  38. Big family get together this last week with cold and snow. Used my turkey roaster for quantity, chili powder and cayenne for a layered kick and Modelo Chelada for a little tang. No left overs… and no one had a clue they were devouring rutabaga, celery root and daikon. Great way to trick the vege haters into trying something new. Thank you!!

  39. Just made this for our Easter dinner it was excellent I used eye of round roast cut into cubes and just thickened it with cornstarch. Great flavor many happy dinner guests 

  40. Amazing! Wonderful flavors! I did it in my Instant Pot. Rather than adding the ingredients to the slow cooker I put them in my Instant Pot for 3 minutes, Manual setting. Thickened as per instructions on Sauté setting. Makes this a meal we can have any weeknight.. LOVE! Thank you for the recipe. My guests are getting it for dinner tonight.

    • Did you have to adapt the recipe for your IP, Laurie? I got an 8 qt Duo for Christmas, and as a 1st time user, I’m unsure how the liquid requirements work out.

  41. This looks phenomenal!! This is definitely going to be our Sunday dinner! Did you use fresh horseradish or the the jar of prepared horseradish?

  42. Just had to come back and leave a comment. LOVED this serious loved it. so yummy I substituted more beef broth for the beer and it was fabulous. Followed the rest of it to a T. super flavorful and the kids ate it all!

  43. Can I leave my Chuck Roast as a “Roast” and still use all these ingredients? Sear the Roast on all sides and keep whole?

  44. Pingback: Easy Irish Coffee with Baileys Whipped Cream - The Chunky Chef

  45. This was excellent. Slow cooked all day while we did home chores. The smell in the house was wonderful. The flavours were absolutely fantastic. I used the Guinness and the better then bouillon. This is s keeper recipe.

  46. What do you think if I skip the horse radish, never used it before?

  47. Can the beer be optional? Use more beef broth to make up for the liquid if don’t have beer?

  48. Wow! This is an amazing stew and it couldn’t look more lovely! Love the zing that the horseradish brings!

  49. Pingback: Beer and Horseradish Slow Cooker Beef Stew — The Chunky Chef | My Meals are on Wheels

  50. What a wonderful meal to come home to! My family would love this stew!

  51. I wish I had a big bowl of this stew right now! Pure comfort food!

  52. This is definitely comfort food at it’s finest! Love that you used a slow cooker for it, so easy!

  53. What a delicious combination of flavors!

  54. Such a great idea for the cold days ahead. Easy too!!

  55. This looks so good! We are about ti get some cold weather in Texas so this is perfect!