This Whole30-friendly and gluten-free beef stew is made right in your crock pot and could not be easier! Made for chilly days and busy weeks, this slow cooker stew does not get easier or more delicious than this!
When the weather gets cooler, there’s nothing better than to be cuddled up in a blanket on the couch with a big bowl of this Whole30 slow cooker beef stew. Normally, I feel like beef has the tendency to get tough, but this one is so different. It’s just tender and delightful in every way possible.
Cooking the beef in the slow cooker really helps create the melt-in-your-mouth texture I was looking for. I seared my beef in a skillet before putting it in the crock pot to give the beef a nice golden color and seal in the flavor.
Here’s what you’ll need
- beef chuck
- oil – avocado oil or olive oil both work great
- lemon juice – fresh is best
- pearl onions – you can also use diced white or yellow onion
- baby red potatoes – you can also substitute with fingerling potatoes or large red potatoes that are diced
- carrots – I like to use regular carrots but baby carrots also work
- beef broth – make sure it is gluten-free as some broths contain gluten
- salt – I like kosher salt
- tomato paste
- minced garlic
- whole bay leaves – dried
- fresh thyme – or substitute with 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- tapioca starch – if you are not doing a whole30 you can use cornstarch
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What makes this beef stew gluten-free?
There are a few ingredients to watch for to make this stew gluten-free.
Typically stews are thickened with all-purpose flour. Instead, I use tapioca starch or cornstarch in this recipe to thicken the stew.
If you are are making this stew Paleo or Whole30-compliant, you can use the tapioca flour to thicken the stew. If you do not need to follow these guidelines and instead only need your stew to be gluten-free, you can use the cornstarch instead.
Whole30 Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- 2 lbs beef chuck (cut into 2 inch pieces)
- 1 tablespoon oil (avocado oil, olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 lb pearl onions (or 1/2 large white or yellow onion, diced)
- 1/2 lb baby red potatoes (skins on and cut in half or quarters)
- 1/2 lb carrots (about 3 large carrots, cut in 1/2 inch pieces)
- 32 oz beef broth (make sure gluten-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 whole bay leaves (dried)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
- 2 tablespoon tapioca starch (or cornstarch if not doing Whole30)
- 1/2 cup water or beef broth
- Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of oil. Working in batches, add beef to the pan and brown on all sides, about 30 seconds per side. Don’t crowd the pan. Add the beef to the slow cooker as it gets browned. Repeat with remaining pieces of beef.
- Once you have finished browning the beef, add lemon juice to the pan to help deglaze the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the browned bits on the pan and add to the slow cooker. This is the flavor.
- Add the pearl onions, red potatoes, and carrots to the slow cooker with the beef. Give a quick stir to combine and evenly distribute.
- Pour the beef broth over the beef and vegetables.
- Stir in the salt, tomato paste, minced garlic, bay leaves, and fresh thyme.
- Cook on the low setting for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. You want the beef to be tender and easily shredded. Lightly shred the beef with two forks in the slow cooker. I don’t like mine completely shredded and like to make sure there are still big chunks.
- In a small bowl, combine tapioca starch (or cornstarch) with water or beef broth. Whisk until there are no clumps. Pour into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Let cook an additional 30 minutes to thicken the soup.
- Serve with a sprig of fresh thyme or over mashed potatoes for a complete meal.