Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew

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This Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew recipe is one of my favorite easy comfort food meals. With tender meat, vegetables, tomatoes (and a little bit of wine for good measure!) this tastes fantastic served over potatoes, pasta or polenta with a nice, crusty piece of bread!

I tend to be a bit forgetful in my life. Of course I try not to, but it doesn’t always work. The worst is when I forget that I have certain (delicious) food items buried in my fridge until it’s too late and they’re well past their prime. I can’t stand wasting food and I also don’t like wasting money on items that I already have.

One major food item that I’m constantly forgetting about is tomato paste. First of all, there are those pesky cans. Most recipes I have don’t call for nearly as much paste as I find in the cans. And even then, I have use a plastic container to store it (and if you know anything about my husband and I, it’s that these containers are hard to come by in our home since we constantly forget them at work and lose the covers).

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew recipe is one of my favorite easy comfort food meals. With tender meat, vegetables, tomatoes (and a little bit of wine for good measure!) this tastes fantastic served over potatoes, pasta or polenta with a nice, crusty piece of bread!

This situation got a little better when they started sell resealable tubes of tomato paste. But I always seem to lose track of that darn tube and I spend more money on buying a new one while the partially used tube withers away in the black-hole-that-is my refrigerator.

It’s a vicious cycle. And while I know this is due, in part, to my own lack of memory and disorganization, I constantly find myself seeking out recipes that didn’t include tomato paste.

Well, my friends, I am so happy and excited to share the perfect solution: NEW Hunt’s Recipe Ready “Pre-measure 2TBS” Paste Pouches! That’s right, you read correctly! The brilliant people over at Hunt’s have come up with convenient pouches containing a perfect two tablespoon measurement of Tomato Paste.

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew recipe is one of my favorite easy comfort food meals. With tender meat, vegetables, tomatoes (and a little bit of wine for good measure!) this tastes fantastic served over potatoes, pasta or polenta with a nice, crusty piece of bread!

They’re super easy to open and are ready to be thrown right in with your next recipe. Gone are the days of wasted tomato paste, and I couldn’t be happier about this!

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew recipe is one of my favorite easy comfort food meals. With tender meat, vegetables, tomatoes (and a little bit of wine for good measure!) this tastes fantastic served over potatoes, pasta or polenta with a nice, crusty piece of bread!

I was also happy to find that these were conveniently located at my local Walmart in the aisle that has a wide variety of other Hunt’s products (I affectionately refer to this at aisle as “Italy” since I can find pretty much everything I need to make a delicious Italian dinner!).

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew recipe is one of my favorite easy comfort food meals. With tender meat, vegetables, tomatoes (and a little bit of wine for good measure!) this tastes fantastic served over potatoes, pasta or polenta with a nice, crusty piece of bread!

So when the opportunity to create a recipe using these amazing Paste Pouches became available, I had to jump at the chance. I mean, Hunt’s is a brand I use in my kitchen quite often, so this is a natural fit! I started brainstorming a million different things I can make using tomato paste.

Now I don’t know about you, but here in Rochester, we are officially in full-on fall mode. For us this means chilly weather and stick-to-your-bones meals to warm our bodies and hearts after a long day.

There is nothing like coming home to the scent of savory beef, tomatoes and vegetables cooking away. While this would normally be hard to achieve given the fact that J and I both work outside of the home, my amazing slow cooker makes this a welcome reality.

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew recipe is one of my favorite easy comfort food meals. With tender meat, vegetables, tomatoes (and a little bit of wine for good measure!) this tastes fantastic served over potatoes, pasta or polenta with a nice, crusty piece of bread!

It quickly became apparent that a beef stew was on the horizon, but not just any beef stew. Being the good (half) Italian gal I am, I thought it might be fun to put a delicious Italian twist on a traditional beef stew.

During my first recipe test, I gave it a try on the stove top. The flavors were fantastic and right on target, but I couldn’t seem to get that fall-apart-tenderness in the beef that we all know and love. I immediately knew that my slow cooker was the right vessel to get the texture I needed.

Now I’m someone who tends to avoid recipes the require any cooking prior to throwing your ingredients into the slow cooker. Call me lazy if you want (just don’t call me late to dinner!!) but the whole set-it-and-forget it aspect of a slow cooker really appeals to me.

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew recipe is one of my favorite easy comfort food meals. With tender meat, vegetables, tomatoes (and a little bit of wine for good measure!) this tastes fantastic served over potatoes, pasta or polenta with a nice, crusty piece of bread!

So if you decide to forgo the first few steps in favor of throwing everything into the slow cooker, I certainly won’t hold it against you, and this stew will still be amazing!

But if you have a good fifteen minutes available, I strongly encourage you to do the little bit of cooking before throwing everything into the slow cooker because it develops the flavors and makes them even more fantastic!

Either way, when the slow cooker is done working it’s magic, you will be handsomely rewarded with a savory gravy containing delicious vegetables, bits of Pancetta and the most perfectly tender beef you’ve ever enjoyed!

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew recipe is one of my favorite easy comfort food meals. With tender meat, vegetables, tomatoes (and a little bit of wine for good measure!) this tastes fantastic served over potatoes, pasta or polenta with a nice, crusty piece of bread!

Now you’ve probably noticed that I didn’t add potatoes into the stew like you may find in a traditional beef stew. This is not an accident. Growing up in my family, we always served our stew over boiled potatoes that we smashed with our own forks to ensure there was room in the stew for even more delicious goodies.

This would taste awesome over smashed potatoes, but I opted to serve it over creamy Polenta with melted butter and Romano cheese, for the ultimate Italian comfort. J and A enjoyed it served over egg noodles, which I also found to be super tasty. Either way, drop everything and go make this!

Yields 4-6 servings

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew recipe is one of my favorite easy comfort food meals. With tender meat, vegetables, tomatoes (and a little bit of wine for good measure!) this tastes fantastic served over potatoes, pasta or polenta with a nice, crusty piece of bread!

15 minPrep Time

8 hrCook Time

8 hr, 15 Total Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil, divided
  • 2 oz. of Pancetta, diced small
  • 3 medium carrots peeled, and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, pressed (or minced)
  • 8 oz. of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/4- 1/1/2 lbs. of stew beef (I know stores can vary in the amounts in their packages, so I left it in a range)
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 4 Tbsp. of flour
  • 1 14 oz. can of low sodium beef broth
  • 1 Hunt's Recipe Ready "Pre-measure 2TBS" Tomato Paste Pouch
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of Hunt's Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. of salt + some extra for seasoning your meat and veggies
  • 1/2 tsp. of pepper + some extra for seasoning your meat and veggies
  • 1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup of Italian flat beans (or green beans)
  • 1 cup of peas

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan.
  2. Add your Pancetta and saute, stirring frequently until nicely browned, around 3 minutes.
  3. Add your carrots, onions, garlic and mushrooms to the pan with the Pancetta and season with a little salt and pepper to taste. Saute for around 7 minutes until the veggies have softened, stirring periodically.
  4. While those are cooking, lay out your stew beef. Pat it dry and season it lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Combine the beef in a bowl with your flour until well coated. Set aside.
  6. When the veggies and Pancetta have softened a bit, remove them from the pan (pour it into your slow cooker) and add the other Tbsp. of olive oil to the saute pan.
  7. Tap the excess flour off of your pieces of beef into your bowl that the beef and flour were combined in (there will be extra flour left in the bowl, save this for a later step) and place them into the hot pan. Brown them until all sides have a nice sear on them.
  8. Once they're nicely browned, add your wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of your pan. Let it simmer for a minute or two.
  9. Add the beef and wine into your slow cooker.
  10. Take your bowl containing the leftover flour (from the beef) and whisk in the beef broth to combine. Add this to the slow cooker along with the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, 1 tsp. of salt, 1/2 tsp. of pepper, the Italian seasoning and the bay leaf.
  11. Cover and cook on low for around 8 hours. Add your flat beans and peas for the last hour of cooking.
  12. Enjoy!
Cuisine: Slow Cooker, Italian, Cold Weather | Recipe Type: Dinner

Notes

This tastes great served over Polenta, egg noodles or smashed potatoes, Make sure you serve it with plenty of crusty bread for dipping! If you don't feel like doing extra cooking, you can always put all the ingredients (minus the oil) into the slow cooker and cook it on low for 8 hours adding the flat beans and the peas during the last hour of cooking. I encourage you to take the extra steps if you can, because it develops the flavor even more. A brilliant readers commented below that they added 1 Tbsp. cornstarch to 1/8 cup of water and added it with the beans and peas for a thicker gravy. I thought this was such an excellent idea that I had to add a note to the recipe. Thanks Kit! 🙂

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This Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew recipe is one of my favorite easy comfort food meals. With tender meat, vegetables, tomatoes (and a little bit of wine for good measure!) this tastes fantastic served over potatoes, pasta or polenta with a nice, crusty piece of bread!

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Platter Talk
    November 2, 2016 at 1:56 pm This is a great recipe to start before work and come home to an aromatic smelling kitchen. Love the ingredients and the depth of flavor that I imagine they'll provide to this beautiful stew. Thanks! Platter Talk recently posted...Cranberry Nut Bread RecipeMy Profile
    • Reply
      Jessy
      November 4, 2016 at 10:31 pm Thank you! I'll tell you, when I returned home that day the smell was everything I needed in my life!
  • Reply
    Heather @Boston Girl Bakes
    November 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm I have the same darn issue with tomato paste! I always feel like half a can goes to waste in the back of my fridge! I can't wait to try these pouches especially to make this! Heather @Boston Girl Bakes recently posted...Ultimate Pie GuideMy Profile
    • Reply
      Jessy
      November 4, 2016 at 10:30 pm Right? I swear, the problem is universal (or was- these pouches totally saved the day!!)
  • Reply
    Neli @ Delicious Meets Healthy
    November 2, 2016 at 10:34 pm This sounds like a great hearty and comforting meal! Makes me hungry just looking at the pictures! They are gorgeous, btw!
    • Reply
      Jessy
      November 4, 2016 at 10:26 pm Thank you :) It definitely had the hearty and comforting bases covered!
  • Reply
    Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
    November 3, 2016 at 1:04 am I didn't know 2 Tbls. pouches existed! What a great idea. I have a recipe that I know needs about this much tomato paste but I hate putting just a partial can in a recipe. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine recently posted...How to Make YogurtMy Profile
    • Reply
      Jessy
      November 4, 2016 at 10:25 pm Isn't it a genius idea? I only wish I had thought of it!
  • Reply
    Jeannine
    November 12, 2016 at 2:27 pm My slow cooker is 3 1/2 quart...will this recipe work?
    • Reply
      Jessy
      November 12, 2016 at 8:01 pm Hi Jeannine- I made it in my 6 quart one with plenty of room to spare. It might be tight in a 3.5 quart but I think you could make it work. I had been thinking that the next time I made it would be in the 4 quart bowl (my slow cooker has interchangeable bowls for 2/4/6 quart options). Let me know how it goes! :)
  • Reply
    CJ @ Morsels of Life
    November 13, 2016 at 8:42 pm Loving the idea of serving up this stew on a bed of potatoes instead of just adding potatoes to the stew! What a great idea. :) CJ @ Morsels of Life recently posted...Roasted Banana BreadMy Profile
    • Reply
      Jessy
      November 13, 2016 at 9:44 pm Thank you- I never even realized stews were made with potatoes until I got out on my own! I just assumed people always did their potatoes on the side. I'm normally not a big lover of Polenta but I could not get enough for it with this!
  • Reply
    Kit
    November 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm I made this yesterday and it was delicious!! Will definitely make again. The only change I made was I mixed 1 Tbs. cornstarch with 1/8 cup cold water and added it with the beans and peas at the end. It was a little soupy and I wanted it just a bit thicker. I also cooked it on low for 9 hrs., the meat was super tender! Thanks for this great recipe!
    • Reply
      Jessy
      November 23, 2016 at 9:37 pm Awwww, I'm so glad you like it! That's a good idea with the cornstarch. I'll add a note to the recipe for others- thank you for the feedback!

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