As the days grow shorter and colder, a creamy, comforting beef stew loaded with seared beef and savory mushrooms fits the dinner bill perfectly — especially if you're a fan of beef stroganoff. The slow cooker works all day, tenderizing the beef and creating a flavorful sauce, and all you have to do is add some cream when you get home and figure out if you'd rather serve it over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
The Best Cut of Beef for This Stew
For this recipe, any cut of stew beef will work well. Choose from rump roast, pot roast, or round roasts, whatever you like best, but avoid pre-cut stew beef so that you can cut large, even pieces yourself. Don't confuse beef tips here for steak tips, which have a looser grain and are better marinated and cooked quickly.
Browning the beef is a necessary step, as it adds both a deeper, richer flavor to the finished stew and helps to start toasting the flour, which will thicken the sauce. You'll be rewarded for doing this, and since you have the frying pan out, use it to brown the onions to add another layer of flavor to the stew.
Slow Cooker Beef Tips With Mushroom Gravy
Prep time: 15 minutes ; cooking time: 8 hours 30 minutes
cremini mushrooms, halved
beef round, rump, or pot roast
plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
freshly ground black pepper
vegetable or olive oil, divided
medium yellow onion, chopped
cloves garlic, minced
low-sodium beef broth
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)
Cooked egg noodles or mashed potatoes, for serving
Place the mushrooms in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker; set aside. Trim off any large pieces of fat from the roast and cut into 2-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl, add 1/3 cup of the flour, the salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 1/2 of the beef and sear until browned on a few sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the browned beef to the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef, reserving any flour left at the bottom of the bowl of beef.
Add the onion, garlic, and thyme to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved beef flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the broth and Worcestershire, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer. Pour into the slow cooker and stir to combine.
Cover and cook on the LOW setting until the beef is fork tender, about 8 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, whisk the cream and remaining 1 tablespoon of flour together in a measuring cup or bowl until smooth. Pour into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 30 minutes more. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.