This slow cooker Marsala beef stew will fill your house with the smells of Marsala – it’s the perfect fall meal, ready and waiting for you!
I know I’ve been fighting it and maybe even complaining about it a little bit, but I’m coming to terms with fall’s arrival. Slowly. A thick, hearty Marsala beef stew simmering all day in the slow cooker does wonders for my attitude about colder weather.
Don’t you just love the flavor of Marsala? If you’re not familiar with Marsala, it’s a fortified wine originally from the city of Marsala in Sicily, Italy. There are dry and sweet varieties. Marsala is often paired with mushrooms. I love these Marsala Roasted Mushrooms! One of my husband’s favorite dishes is Chicken Marsala, an easy recipe I make in my Instant Pot. I also love this one pan pasta recipe, Chicken Marsala Pasta.
When Holland House Cooking Wines asked me to create a slow cooker comfort food recipe, my mind quickly went to beef stew with Marsala. What gives more comfort than tender beef in a thick, rich, flavorful broth?
When making this stew, I highly recommend taking the time to brown the meat in a pan to bring out really great flavor. However, if you’re in a rush, just toss the beef cubes with flour, throw everything in the slow cooker and let the low, slow heat work its magic!
The flavors of the beef with the Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine, mushrooms, fresh thyme, and vegetables will warm your soul. Sounds cheesy but it’s kinda true.
Love the convenience of your slow cooker?
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (see note)
- ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 16 ounces white mushrooms, halved or quartered
- 4 large carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces (2 cups)
- 3 stalks celery, cut into ½-inch pieces (2 cups)
- 2 cups frozen pearl onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup Marsala wine (dry, not sweet)
- 2 cups low sodium beef stock
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, more if needed
- 1 cups frozen peas
- mashed potatoes, cooked rice, or noodles for serving
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Toss beef cubes with flour, salt and pepper. Place beef in a single layer in the heated skillet and brown meat on all sides. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan, adding more oil as necessary. Beef will be browned but not cooked through. Place in slow cooker when browned.
- To the same pan, add mushrooms. Spread into a single layer and cook without stirring for 2 minutes. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned (add a splash of beef broth to pan if there’s too much browning). Add to slow cooker when browned.
- Add carrots, celery, and pearl onions to the same pan. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until celery begins to soften. Add tomato paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add marsala wine and cook, scraping brown bits off bottom of pan, for 1 to 2 minutes or until wine has reduced slightly.
- Add vegetable mixture to slow cooker. Add beef stock, thyme, and bay leaf to slow cooker, stirring to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours, or until beef is tender and vegetables are soft. Carefully remove thyme stems and bay leaf.
- In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water until smooth.
- Increase heat to high (if on low) and stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook for 30 minutes or until thick. If not reaching desired thickness, add another 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water.
- Stir in frozen peas. Taste, and add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles.
- Yield: 10 cups.
- Nutrition information is for stew only and does not include rice or potatoes.
- If you use unsalted beef broth, you may need to add up to an additional 1 teaspoon kosher salt. When stew has finished cooking, taste and season to your liking.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Disclaimer: This Slow Cooker Marsala Beef Stew was created in connection with my agreement as a contributor to the Holland House Cooking Wines. Holland House compensated me for the time required to create this recipe and share it with you. All opinions are always my own. Thank you for supporting my blog by reading about brands I use and love in my own home.