Let your crock pot do all the work! Beef slowly cooked with red wine, tomatoes, vegetables, beans and artichokes in this slow cooker beef stew for a delicious Italian twist! Serve it over creamy polenta for a cozy, stay in dinner!
Not a fan of polenta? You can serve it over pasta or these fluffy herb and garlic mashed potatoes!
Beef Stew Recipe
One of my readers recently said that winter and bad weather is all about unapologetically indulging in luscious comfort food type dishes like stews and casseroles and I couldn’t agree more!
I absolutely adore a bowl of steamy beef stew on a cold night like this Irish Beef Stew or my Russian Beef Stew. As great as they are I always crave variety, which makes me so happy when a new and exciting take on a classic recipe is born.
This crock pot stew comes with a distinct Italian twist and after testing it a several times for the right proportion of liquid and ingredients I couldn’t be prouder.
How to make Italian beef stew
Beef shin cooked for 8 hours in a slow cooker together with Chianti, crushed tomatoes, a combination of onion, carrots and celery, chopped rosemary and garlic.
The stew was made even heartier by a good portion of creamy cannellini beans and artichokes. Oh yes, I’ve also added some olives. All Italian favourites in one!
The best part is all you need to do is to load up your crock pot and walk away.
Do I need to brown beef before putting it in slow cooker?
You do not need to brown beef for it to be safe in a crock pot.
I used to believe that browinign is absolutely necessary for flavour building. But after testing it both ways I can honestly tell you I couldn’t taste the difference.
So I decided not to bother anymore. No browning, no babysitting required! This beef stew is so easy!
Can I make it in Instant Pot?
Yes you can! I’ve tested this stew recipe in both slow cooker and Instant pot and loved the results! I also made sure to include instructions for both methods in the recipe card.
What to do if stew is too runny
Slow cookers are great inventions for convenience but they are not perfect. One of the flaws is liquid does not evaporate during cooking the same as with the oven method. This makes stews a bit too runny for our liking.
If this is your issue, you have two options. You can thicken your beef stew with a mixture of melted butter and flour. I use 1 tbsp of flour to 1 tbsp of butter or thicken with 1 tbsp of cornstarch.
You can also put your stew uncovered in a preheated to 200c/400F oven and let the liquid reduce naturally. This will usually take approximately 20-30 minutes.
Finally if you are a fellow stew lover but prefer chicken over beef, I’ve got your covered! Take a look at my Instant Pot Chicken Stew or Creamy Tarragon Chicken and Potatoes, which is creamy version of a chicken stew.
- 1 onion small, chopped
- 2 carrots cut into large chunks
- 2-3 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 3 lbs stew beef or cut up shin or brisket
- 125ml/1/2 cup dry red wine such as Chianti
- 500ml/2 cups Tomato Passata or Crushed Tomatoes
- 235g/1 1/4 cup Cannellini Beans
- 6 canned or frozen artichoke hearts halved
- 1/2 cup olives
For the slow cooker
Chop onions, celery, and rosemary, cut carrots in big chunks and slice garlic and add to the slow cooker. Top with seasoned with salt beef cubes, then add the beans, halved artichokes and olives. Pour over the crushed tomatoes or tomato passata, red wine and mix well. Cook on slow for 8-10 hours.
For the Instant Pot
- Chop onions, celery, and rosemary, cut carrots in big chunks and slice garlic and add to the Instant Pot. Top with seasoned with salt beef cubes, then add the beans, halved artichokes and olives. Pour over the crushed tomatoes or tomato passata, red wine and mix well. Cook at high pressure for 40 minutes. Allow for manual pressure release.
- To thicken the stew use a combination of 1 tbsp of melted butter plus 1 tbsp of flour or a cornstarch slurry. Stir in the stew and let it simmer for a few minutes until is thickens.
- Alternatively you can put the metal or crock insert in the oven uncovered and reduce the liquid at 200C/400F for 20-30 minutes.