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There's nothing like a Gluten Free Beef Stew when it comes to comfort food and this one is a super easy, budget-friendly slow cooker recipe too.
With a rich gravy and melt-in-the-mouth chunks of beef, this slow cooker beef stew is just dreamy!
I absolutely love stews and casseroles and I'm so excited I've finally mastered a gluten free beef stew.
This recipe is gluten free, coeliac-friendly and dairy free. Plus making it in the slow cooker makes it much more energy efficient.
I love to serve it up with a big helping of cheesy mash. And of course you could even make the gluten free dumplings from my casserole recipe if you like.
Making a beef stew in the slow cooker is even more comforting because it involves minimal kitchen time.
Plus your house will smell absolutely divine for hours while it cooks!
There's a full recipe card below with the quantities and instructions, but here are the main ingredients and ideas for any substitutions:
- Diced Beef: I just used a pack of lean diced beef, but a cut like beef shin would work well. Because it's being slow cooked, it will tenderise and fall apart. Cheaper cuts of meat often work well and keep the costs down.
- Bacon Lardons: I find these add a lovely flavour to the stew. You can omit them but it gives a lovely saltiness to it.
- Onion: I use a white onion in this stew recipe but a red onion or shallots would work too.
- Carrots: You can't have a beef stew without carrots, and they're a great cheap and seasonal veg. Perfect for using in the winter months.
- Mushrooms: If you don't like mushrooms you can omit these and replace with some extra carrots or even diced swede. However I think they add a lovely umami flavour. They also have a great, meaty texture which helps to bulk out the stew and bring down the costs.
- Red Wine: If you don't want to add this you can omit it and replace with extra water. However to me, a good beef stew should always have red wine!
- Herbs: I use fresh bay leaves, dried thyme and dried rosemary to flavour this stew. Feel free to chop and change if you don't like any of the herbs used.
- Gluten Free Beef Stock: I always use the Knorr Rich Beef Stock Pots in this because honestly, the flavour of anything else doesn't compare! You could use a gluten free beef broth instead, simply replace the water with the broth. However, the flavour won't be anywhere near as rich so I'd definitely recommend sticking with the stock pot.
- Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce: I use the Tesco Free From Worcestershire Sauce but I believe Henderson's Relish is also gluten free.
- Tomato Puree: Using tomato puree (or tomato paste) helps to give a rich colour to the stew and adds flavour as well.
How to make gluten free beef stew
Making a hearty beef stew in the slow cooker is really very simple.
I highly recommend browning the meat off before adding it to the pan, as this will give it a lovely flavour and make the bacon lardons go nice and crisp.
Then I also recommend frying off the vegetables for a couple of minutes.
This prep work only takes about 10 minutes but is absolutely worth it as it gives it that classic, beef casserole flavour.
Once everything is fried off, add everything to the slow cooker, pop the lid on and let it work its magic.
Which slow cooker do you use?
I use a Crockpot 3.7-litre slow cooker I was gifted from a family member - I think this is the newer model of mine.
I know a lot of people are worried about the cost of living and looking for cheaper alternative to turning on the gas or electric oven.
The good news is slow cookers are actually pretty efficient to run!
I've done a bit of research online and it looks like a slow cooker costs roughly 16p a day to run, compared to 87p a day for an electric cooker.
What if I don't have a slow cooker?
If you don't have a slow cooker you can make this gluten free beef stew in the oven.
To do this, cook the meat and veg as per steps 1 and 2 in the recipe, then add them back into a lidded casserole dish with all the other ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 160C / Gas Mark 3 and then place the dish, with the lid firmly on, in the oven for 3-4 hours until the meat falls apart.
But ultimately this recipe is made for the slow cooker so I'd definitely recommend it as the best and most efficient way to make it!
How do I thicken beef stew without gluten?
This gluten free beef stew recipe uses a plain gluten free flour when browning the meat, which helps to thicken the gravy too.
If you still find the gravy is too thin, you can mix 1 tsp cornflour with 1-2 tbsp of the stew gravy then add it back into the slow cooker.
You'll find as you mix it in the stew will thicken, and cornflour is naturally gluten free.
Do I have to brown stew meat before slow cooking?
The simple answer to this is no, however I do recommend browning the meat before slow cooking when it comes to a beef stew.
This is because browning the stew meat and veg beforehand adds a richness to the stew and a whole new depth of flavour.
You can of course just chuck everything into the slow cooker from raw but taking a few minutes to brown it off is totally worth the effort.
How to make slow cooker beef stew and dumplings
If you want to add gluten free dumplings to your slow cooker beef stew it's really very simple!
All you need to do is follow the instructions in my gluten free chicken casserole recipe on how to make the dumplings.
I'd then recommend adding these in the last hour of cooking. That way they absorb lots of the gravy and finish the beef stew off nicely.
My gluten free slow cooker beef stew recipe
This recipe makes enough for four portions of gluten free beef stew in the slow cooker.
It's easy to scale up and down and you can also freeze any leftovers to reheat and enjoy at another time.
And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.
- 2 tbsp plain gluten free flour
- 400g diced beef
- 100g bacon lardons
- 25g butter
- 1 white onion (chopped)
- 2 carrots (cut into chunks)
- 500g mushrooms (halved)
- 150ml red wine
- 200ml hot water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 gluten free beef stock pot
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
- Heat the butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Coat the diced beef in the flour and then add to the pan with the bacon lardons and fry for 4-5 minutes until the beef has browned on all sides. Pour into the slow cooker and put the pan back on the heat.
- Add the onion, carrot and mushrooms and fry in the pan for 2-3 minutes on a low-medium heat until the veg starts to soften and brown. Remove from the heat and pour into the slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker and stir well. Place the lid on and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low on 7-8 hours, until the beef is tender and falls apart, and you have a lovely, thick gravy. Serve with mashed potato or crispy jacket potatoes.
- If you're pressed for time you can omit the steps 1 and 2 and just add everything straight to the low cooker. However, frying the beef and veg first gives this a lovely, rich flavour and is 100% worth the few minutes' extra time and effort, I promise!!
- Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat thoroughly before eating.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 521Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 693mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 39g
Need more slow cooker recipe inspiration?
Here are some more gluten free slow cooker recipes you can try out once you've made this Gluten Free Beef Stew.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- Gammon in Ginger Beer
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Chickpea and Potato Curry
If you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!
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