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This Is The Best Beef Stew Slow Cooker Recipe I’ve Ever Made

December 5, 2023
Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect beef stew recipe for a very, very long time. Beef stew is just one of those winter staples that I feel like everyone loves to make—and the number of bloggers who have shared some kind of recipe is simply proof of that. Everyone has some kind of “best” version of this classic cold-weather dish. And yet, I still haven’t found one that I truly love. Until recently, that is.

In my on-going research to find my favorite beef stew, I came across this Cranberry Cider Braised Beef Stew with Rosemary Polenta from Half Baked Harvest that seemed particularly intriguing. Not only is it made in a slow cooker (swoon), but it also includes a vibrant flavor from fresh cranberries, and it’s served on top of a polenta. The recipe seemed easy enough, so I gave it a try. And wow, am I glad I did.

This recipe is not only bursting with delectable fatty flavor, but the meat is also cooked perfectly. I find some beef stews I’ve made have ended up with meat that was not very chewable, when really I want meat that will simply melt in your mouth. I feel like a beef stew should be easy to eat, so having to cut into my meat was not an option. Thankfully, this recipe made the meat perfectly, and the meat was so tender, I was able to pull it apart with a spoon.

Serving it on polenta is also the only way I will ever eat beef stew again. While some would say stew should be served with a crusty bread, with this beef stew recipe, you don’t even need it. The polenta was hearty and filling enough. Also, while this recipe does call for a rosemary polenta, I did have one night where I just made a simple pot of quick polenta and it was just as good. Just in case you want to be lazy like me.

All in all, this beef stew recipe will absolutely be on my meal rotation this winter—along with these soup recipes, and of course, even more slow cooker recipes. Because the lazier the meals, the better!

Read next: The Coziest Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

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