Our Blog
The Best Slow Cooker Beef Recipes

The Best Slow Cooker Beef Recipes

There is little more comforting and warming in the winter months than a delicious and hearty winter stew. And with the rise in popularity of slow cooking and the meteoric rise in sales of slow cookers, now more people than ever can enjoy a wonderful rustic stew with minimal effort. Below we have collected our favourite Slow Cooker Beef Recipes that are sure to be crowd pleasers for any occasion, whether you are throwing a few ingredients together in the morning to enjoy in the evening as a low effort midweek meal, or want to simmer something tasty for hours to impress your guests and host a fabulous dinner party with minimal fussing over a pot.

If you like your beef stews, have a look at our Ox Cheek Stew Recipe blog post, or our blog post exploring Budget Cuts of Beef to give you further recipe and ingredient inspiration.

Now, read on to explore our favourite Slow Cooker Beef Recipes. Starting with classic slow cooker beef mince recipes for Cottage Pie, Chilli Con Carne, and a versatile Beef Curry. Then we have a delicious Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe made with beer, barley, and diced beef followed by recipes for a Slow Cooker Featherblade Stew, a Slow Cooker Brisket Stew, and a Slow Cooker Jacobs Ladder Stew.


Slow Cooker Cottage Pie

A simple yet firm family favourite, this recipe makes a generous number of portions, which is ideal as it freezes incredibly well. You can also scale up or down as required.

Ingredients:

For the beef mince

  • 1.5kg beef mince
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • large glass of red wine (optional)
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

For the potato mash

  • 2kg potatoes, all rounders, chopped
  • 250ml milk
  • 30g butter
  • 200g strong Cheddar cheese, grated

Method:

  1. Heat the slow cooker.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the mince until browned. Do this in batches if necessary.
  3. When the mince has browned tip into the slow-cooker pot and stir in the vegetables, flour, purée, wine (if using), stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Add a touch of salt and pepper.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on High for 4-5 hours.
  5. When the mince has about 30 minutes left, start making the mash.
  6. Boil the potatoes until tender, then mash together with the milk, butter, and three-quarters of the cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Taste test.
  7. Spoon the beef mixture into an ovenproof dish or dishes and smooth until level. Spoon the mash on top and smooth.
  8. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese then grill until golden.

 

Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne

This classic Mexican dish has seen a rise in popularity in recent years, and this slow cooker version is ideal for making in bulk.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg beef mince
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped roughly
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder, spice level to taste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp dried oregano
  • 2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large red peppers, chopped
  • 3 x 400g cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 beef stock cubes

Method:

  1. Heat the slow cooker.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan, and fry the onions until softened and translucent. Add the garlic, herbs, and spices and cook for a further minute while stirring the onions.
  3. Add the mince and stir until browned.
  4. Tip into the slow-cooker pot, add in the chopped tomatoes, peppers, and beans. Add in the stock cubes, season to taste, then stir well.
  5. Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours.
  6. This recipe is very versatile, you can enjoy it with rice and a little bit of cheddar sprinkled on top, or in a wrap with cheese and rice, or on top of tortilla chips and all of your favourite nacho toppings for a really indulgent meal.

 

Slow Cooker Beef Curry

This slow cooker curry is perfect for preparing a few ingredients ahead then leaving to cook as long as possible. In fact like most curry dishes the longer you leave it the more delicious this dish will become.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg of stewing beef, or braising steak cut into chunks, or mince
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 6cm piece ginger, grated
  • 4 cardamom pods, crush the pods and use the seeds
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • Chopped coriander for garnishing

Method:

  1. Heat your slow cooker.
  2. Add 2 tsb of oil into a heavy lidded pan and fry the beef in batches until browned on all sides.
  3. Tip into the slow cooker.
  4. Lower the heat, add the rest of the oil into the pan, then fry the onion until softened.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further minute while stirring the onion.
  6. Add the spices and stir for another minute, the spices should release their aromas.
  7. Add coconut milk, bring to a slight simmer, then tip into the slow cooker.
  8. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  9. Garnish with coriander before serving. Serve with rice.


Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Beer and Barley

This is a hearty beef stew that is ideal for cold nights, and is wonderful comforting food for the soul.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg stewing beef
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoon plain flour
  • 250g carrots, diced
  • 250g potatoes, chopped
  • 300 ml light ale
  • 750 ml beef stock
  • bouquet garni, or 2 tsp of dried mixed herbs
  • 100 g pearl barley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat the slow cooker.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot, then add the beef a few pieces at a time and stir until browned.
  3. Remove the beef and transfer to the slow cooker pot.
  4. Add the onion to the pot and fry until translucent.
  5. Mix in the flour, then add the root vegetables and beer and bring to the boil, stirring.
  6. Pour into the slow cooker.
  7. Add the stock to the pot with the herbs and a little salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then pour into the slow cooker pot.
  8. Add the pearl barley, cover with the lid and cook on low for 9-10 hours until the beef is tender.
    Serve by itself or with crusty bread.

 

Slow Cooker Feather Blade Stew

This is a classic tasting stew made with beef feather blade, a cut of beef that was once a staple that has seen a recent surge in popularity due to it being excellent value for money and perfect for making indulgent stews.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg feather blade steak, trimmed and cut into 250g/10oz pieces
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250ml red wine
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat the slow cooker.
  2. Season the beef on all sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a pot. Fry the steak pieces until browned, you may need to do this in batches. Transfer the beef pieces to the slow cooker.
  4. Add the rest of the oil to the pot and fry the onion, celery, and carrot until softened. Stir in the garlic, cook for a further minute and add the mixture to the slow cooker.
  5. Add wine to the pot and deglaze, allow to bubble for a few seconds, stirring constantly. Simmer the wine for a few minutes.
  6. Add the stock and tomato purée. Stir for another minute or two.
  7. Add thyme leaves, bay leaves, and mustard. Stir until well combined. Bring to a slight boil, then add to the slow cooker.
  8. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, until the meat is extremely tender.
  9. Serve with mashed potato and green vegetables.


Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Stew

Beef Brisket is a classic choice for a pot roast, and this stew makes an excellent flavoursome dish that is extremely tender.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ kg rolled beef brisket
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 80g button mushrooms
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp English mustard
  • 500ml red wine
  • 250ml beef stock

Method:

  1. Heat the slow cooker.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp sunflower oil in a large pan. Dust 1½ kg rolled beef brisket with 2 tbsp plain flour and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Put carrots, celery, onion, and mushrooms in the bottom of your slow cooker and turn it to Low.
  4. Sear the brisket on all sides in the hot pan, then place on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
  5. Add stock, red wine, garlic, herbs, and mustard to the slow cooker.
  6. Cook on Low for 7 hours.


Slow Cooker Jacob’s Ladder Stew

Jacob’s ladder, often called beef short ribs, is an excellent cut of beef that lends itself particularly well to low and slow cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg Jacob's Ladder
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tsps mustard powder
  • 1 tsps smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons
  • 2 medium leeks, sliced and rinsed
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 850ml good, hot beef stock
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

Method:

  1. In a bowl mix the seasoning, sugar, garlic, mustard, paprika and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Place the ribs in a tray and coat with the spice mixture on both sides. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour, or overnight if time allows.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a large slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on Low.
  4. Remove bay leaves, skim off any oil that has formed on top, and serve with mash and roast vegetables.