Crock-Pot Italian Beef Stew

December 17, 2013

Crock-Pot Italian Beef Stew

It's chilly and snowing outside, and I've got John Mayer singing “Who says I can't be free. From all of the things that I used to be? Rewrite my history. Who says I can't be free?”
I’m glad I'm inside in the warmth and coziness of my apt, and for some reasons it feels like the perfect time to cook something hearty and good.
IMO nothing beats a warm bowl of beef stew on a day like this.
And why make a regular beef stew when you can make the Italian version of it that tastes a hundred times better.
Loads of fresh veggies, lots of herbs, Italian red wine, amazing flavors.
This may be my new favorite stew. I even prefer it to Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon my mom’s makes, and it’s so much easier to make.
When there’s a slow cooked involved it's usually pretty simple...

Loads of veggies

This recipe may seem like it has a hundred ingredients, it’s mostly veggies and herbs you likely already have in your pantry.
So probably all you need to buy is (grass-fed) beef and a good bottle of Italian red wine — and promise not to drink it all before you get started with the cooking. Can you do it?
You decide whether to add mushrooms or not. If you don’t like them, feel free to leave them out, there will still be plenty of other veggies. But if you do leave them out. Can I ask why? Aren’t mushrooms one of the best things ever?

This stew is a wonderful winter-warmer, awesomely delicious, amazingly filling and a healthy one-dish meal sure to satisfy.
And then there’s the beef. Melt-in-your-mouth chunks of meat bursting with flavor.
Your whole family will love it but it is also perfect for holiday dinners.
It’s true what they say, sometimes nothing beats the classics!

Crock-Pot Italian Beef Stew
Crock-Pot Italian Beef Stew                                                                                  Print this recipe!

If you don’t own a Crock-Pot, this recipe can also be made just as easily simmering in a thick-bottomed pan on very low heat for 3 to 4 hours.
*1/06/2014 update: my cousin Cristina (aka TIY's official recipe tester) suggests, to get a thicker sauce, to take - at the end of the cooking process - half of the carrots and potatoes and place them in a blender with the juice and pureeing everything.
Furthermore if you're not into herbs/spices and - just like her - you consider yourself a bit of a purist, you might want to cut down the quantity of herbs used. I like it as it is, but I am into strong flavors.

Serves 8

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 lbs / 900 gr lean top round, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
⅓ cup / 1.8 oz / 50 gr almond meal/flour
4 medium carrots, chopped into ½-inch thick pieces (about 2 cups)
3 stalks celery, chopped into ½-inch thick pieces (about 1 ½ cups)
2 large onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups / 500 ml Italian red wine
2 cups / 500 ml low-sodium beef broth
1 (15 oz / 425 gr) can diced tomatoes
1 ½ lbs / 700 gr potatoes (Russet or Red Bliss), peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
1 lb / 453 gr crimini mushrooms (optional)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
Fine grain sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste


Place beef in a large resealable bag, add almond meal/flour and season lightly with salt and pepper. Seal bag and toss well to evenly coat beef in flour. Shake off the excess flour and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and sauté until lightly golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer.
Transfer veggie mixture to a bowl and set aside.
Return the pot to medium-high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add beef and cook stirring occasionally until the beef has browned. Transfer beef to a bowl and set aside.
Deglaze the pot with the red wine, stirring well and bringing to a full boil to loosen and dissolve all pot drippings. Turn the heat off and set aside.
Place beef, red wine, beef broth, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms (if using), veggie mixture, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram and bay leaves to the Crock-Pot and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low heat for about 8 to 10 hours until beef is very tender and the sauce is uh-mazign!
Serve warm with something delicious on the side such as a creamy polenta.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 406, 16 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbs and 33 grams of protein.


  1. you have some really great looking recipes and I greatly appreciate that you post Nutrition facts for each. With that in mind can you consider also including the sodium content and defining how much is one serving. thanks

    1. I'll definitely consider adding the sodium content.
      As to the serving size, under the ingredients I usually specify how many serving a recipe serves, that simple.

  2. Looks fantastic Mike, I could use a bowl of this stew right now!

  3. My brother just received a HUGE CROCK POT in the mail last night, so I am going to have to send him this recipe ASAP as he really has NO CLUE what to do with it... Little does he know, that this FEAST can be made with it!

  4. Oh wow - your pictures so make me wanna grab that spoonful right out of my screen!

    1. It's so good Sash! I might have to make a new batch asap...

  5. That sounds perfect for this time of year, love the pots you've served it in : )

  6. OK, that song man. Wow. Love it. Thanks for this wonderful new discovery.

    And that stew. Oh my. Imagine Homer Simpson thinking about donuts... or beer... you know, head tilted to the side, tongue sticking out, drool dripping down the corner of his lips. Well, that just about describes how I look right now. I want some. Please. Please. Put me out of my misery and send me a bowl. Now.

    1. I'm so happy I made you discover John Mayer, he's the best. Make sure to check all of his records, they're all awesome!

  7. Isn't it the best way to cook?, with a glass of wine and Paul Anka, sorry not a big fan of John Mayer..:) The stew looks awesome, I might try it soon. So warm and yummy looking.

    1. Paul Anka over John Mayer? Really...I think we have to agree to disagree on this one Ash.

  8. Looks delicious! I asked for a crock pot for Christmas - maybe this will be the inaugural dish!

    1. I really hope Santa brings you that Crock-Pot, it's the best thing ever!

  9. Delicious! Perfect meal for cold winter days.
    I have got the perfect addition: Carmal-Core-Cookies. Curious?
    Recipe on Blogschokolade & Butterpost

    Greets, Lisa

  10. I could use a bowl of that stew right now!

  11. Your pictures are gorgeous! This soup is calling out to me. It's classic but different than what I've seen lately. I've been making soups like crazy lately during these cold days and I simply must try this!

  12. I thought this recipe and pic were great. Given all the cold weather we are all having, I featured this soup on my Friday Five - Soups & Stews over @ Feed Your Soul Too -

  13. Thoughts on sweet potatoes in place of russet or red?

  14. Is it possible to make this stew without the red wine? What would you recommend as a substitute? It looks so delicious and i love all the spices! Thanks

  15. Can you cook this on high for a shorter time period? Or maybe low for the first 4 hours and than bump it up to high?