Cranberry Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker
Adding dried cranberries to the stew adds just a touch of sweetness to the stew broth. They soften and break apart while cooking. The beef could be substituted with pork tenderloin or even chicken breasts.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 10 mins
- 2 pounds beef stew meat
- 4 medium red potatoes, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces (don't need to peel)
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and rough chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 package of your favorite brown gravy mix
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, use less if adding regular table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 6 cups beef broth
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
In a 6-quart slow cooker, place the meat in the insert and add the potatoes, red onion, garlic, and cranberries. Sprinkle the gravy mix over ingredients, plus the salt and pepper. Add the beef broth and gently stir to combine. Place the rosemary in the broth.
Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 5 or 6 hours.
Remove the rosemary, gently stir again before serving.
Optional: For a thicker broth, remove a few of the potatoes and mash them with a fork into a paste. Add back in the stew and stir again.
Cook's Note: For more veggies in the stew, feel free to add 2 diced carrots or parsnips at the beginning of cooking. If you add a lot of vegetables, increase the broth to 7 cups.
Vegan option: Sub out the meat, gravy mix (there actually are vegan brown gravy mixes available) and beef broth for the following:
pounds cremini mushrooms (baby bellas), trimmed and sliced
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt
Add 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Add 6 cups vegetable broth
Before placing everything in the slow cooker, put the mushrooms, salt and dried time in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 5 minutes so the mushrooms will release a lot of their moisture. Discard the moisture from the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the insert and proceed with the stew ingredients as written.