Main Course

Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This protein-packed dish is the perfect healthy winter comfort food.

Few foods offer hearty comfort as well as a hot, tasty, well-made beef stew. Here’s a way to make it healthy as well: Choose lean, grass-fed beef. Most restaurant beef stew is made with fatty, low-quality factory-farmed beef, complete with a nice (unwanted) helping of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones.

Not so with grass-fed. You’ll get everything you need from beef—iron, B, and the highest-quality protein—without any of the “ingredients” you don’t want. And speaking of iron, we need it—badly. (Especially growing kids!) There are actually two kinds of iron in our diet—heme iron and non-heme iron. The heme kind is far more absorbable but is only found in animal products.

This stew is as easy as pie to prepare—you assemble the ingredients in a flash in the morning and return home to a rich, warm, fragrant dish that is sure to satisfy on any chilly winter night!

Notes from the Clean Food Coach

For faster preparation, use the manual pressure cooker setting on your Instant Pot.

  1. Add 1 Tbs. olive oil to the instant pot, and set to sauté. Add beef, Italian seasoning, cracked pepper, and salt, and brown meat lightly, turning frequently, for 3–4 minutes. Transfer beef to a bowl to rest.
  2. Add onion, celery, and carrots to Instant Pot and sauté until onions begin to soften. Stir in garlic, potatoes, and mushrooms, and gently turn everything over a few times.
  3. Turn off the sauté function; drain and discard juices from the reserved beef; and add meat to the Instant Pot. Add broth, tomato sauce, red wine, and Worcestershire sauce, and stir gently to combine. Lock lid and set to manual, high pressure for 35 minutes.
  4. In small bowl, combine cornstarch and water, and whisk with a fork until dissolved. Set aside. Remove peas from freezer and set aside. When cook time has completed, let the Instant Pot rest 10 minutes, then release pressure valve.
  5. Carefully remove lid, stir cornstarch slurry again and add to stew, stirring gently about 30 seconds to thicken. Stir in peas, taste, and adjust seasoning, if necessary.


  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 medium celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb. young red or purple potatoes, unpeeled and chopped
  • 6 oz. mixed wild mushrooms of choice, sliced 
  • 1½ lbs. pounds stew beef (sirloin best)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • ¾ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1½ cups beef bone broth 
  • 1 14-oz. can tomato sauce 
  • ½ cup burgundy wine
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch (or kudzu)
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  1. In large slow cooker (at least 3.5 quarts), scatter onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. Top with beef cubes, and sprinkle garlic, Italian seasoning, cracked pepper, and salt evenly over meat.
  2. In medium bowl, combine bone broth, tomato sauce, wine, and Worcestershire sauce, and mix gently to combine. Pour evenly over meat and vegetables.
  3. Cook on high about 4 hours, or on low about 6 hours, until vegetables are tender and meat is cooked through, but not overdone.
  4. In small bowl, combine cornstarch and water, and whisk with fork until dissolved. Remove slow cooker lid, and stir in cornstarch slurry to thicken stew slightly. Stir in peas. Taste, and adjust seasoning, if necessary.