Slow cooker braised steak and onions is an easy beef dinner recipe. Tender chunks of beef steak, braised in a thick gravy. It's an easy alternative to a Sunday roast, and it's ideal for meal prep and freezes well.
What you'll love about the recipe
- An easy beef dinner made with just a few everyday, budget-friendly ingredients
- Slow cooker braised steak and onions is a comforting, hearty and filling meal
- Onions, garlic and herbs add plenty of flavour - and they are good for you!
- Easy to batch cook and freeze ahead. Browning the meat is optional, if you're in a rush just dump and go
- Allergy-friendly. Slow cooker braised beef is gluten free, dairy free and egg free
Braising steak. This economical cut of beef is widely available in butchers and supermarkets. You could also use stewing steak or chuck steak. You can either use cubed beef as I've done here, or two or three large pieces of beef.
Onions. Just normal white onions are ideal for this recipe, but you could also use red onions.
Garlic adds an extra layer of flavour. You can omit it if you don't like garlic.
Herbs. I used some thyme and a couple of bay leaves. They make the recipe more flavourful, and even quite small quantities of herbs can be nutritious. You could also sprinkle a little parsley onto the finished dish.
Tomato puree or paste. A tablespoon of tomato puree adds a little extra depth to the gravy, and will help to tenderize the meat. However, it's not essential if you'd prefer not to use it.
Stock. This will form the basis of the delicious gravy which is made as the beef and onions are braised in the slow cooker. I used half of a beef stock cube as a whole cube can be a bit too strong and salty.
If you want to make braised steak with red wine, replace 100ml of the stock with a small glass of red wine. You might also like this slow cooker beef bourguignon.
I find there's no need for extra seasoning in the stew as stock is generally very well seasoned.
Cornflour or cornstarch. This is an easy way to thicken a beef stew in the slow cooker. Cornflour is naturally gluten free.
How to make slow cooker braised steak and onions
I often don't brown the meat when I'm cooking beef in the slow cooker. I can't tell much difference in how the finished dish tastes, although sometimes it's nice to have a little colour on the meat.
If you have a slow cooker with a metal insert, you can brown meat in the pot on the hob. Otherwise, you'll need to use a frying pan. Heat the pan, add a drizzle of oil and stir fry the meat for a few minutes. If you are making a double batch of the recipe, brown the meat in two batches.
Add the beef to the slow cooker along with the sliced onions, garlic and herbs.
In a jug, stir together the cold stock, cornflour and tomato paste. The cornflour must get stirred into a cold liquid first so that it doesn't go lumpy.
Tip the stock mixture over the meat and mix together. Add the lid and cook on low for 8 hours, or 4 hours on high.
- If you want to use whole steaks and can't find braising steak in one piece, cut inch thick steaks from a joint of topside of beef. This makes the most delicious slow cooker steak and gravy.
- If you prefer, you can also add some vegetables to the stew - see this slow cooker beef shin recipe for suggestions.
Serving and storage
Like many stews, this easy slow cooker braised beef and onions tastes even better the next day. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days and heat it through on the hob until piping hot.
Or why not cook up a double batch of the recipe and pop it in the freezer for dinner on a busy day?
Frequently asked questions
Braising steak needs long slow cooking in order to be tender. Cook braising steak in the slow cooker for around 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
It's not essential to brown meat before adding it to the slow cooker. It will cook through thoroughly without being browned. However, if you do have time to brown the meat, it will add a little extra flavour. As the meat starts to brown it caramelises which adds a slightly richer, meaty flavour.
Other slow cooker recipes
If you enjoyed this slow cooker braised steak and onions, you might also like these other healthy slow cooker recipes.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Slow Cooker Braised Steak and Onions
- Slow cooker
- 500 g braising steak or stewing steak or chuck steak
- 2 onions peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and very finely chopped
- few sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree optional
- 300 ml beef stock
- Browning the beef is optional. I often don't do it, but if you have the time it will add a little extra flavour and colour. If you do want to brown the beef, heat a frying pan and add a drizzle of oil. Fry the beef for a few minutes until it starts to brown. Don't overcrowd the pan - if necessary brown the beef in two batches.
- Add the beef, sliced onions, herbs and garlic to the slow cooker.
- Stir the cornflour into the cold stock. The liquid must be cold, otherwise the mix will have lumps. Add the tomato paste, then add the mixture to the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- You can either use steak which is cut into cubes, or two or three large pieces of steak. If you prefer, you can use a topside joint of beef which has been cut into 3cm slices
- Tomato puree is optional but will add extra depth of flavour and help to tenderise the meat
- For a steak and red wine stew, substitute 100ml of the stock for a small glass of wine
- If you want to add vegetables to the stew, see this slow cooker beef shin recipe
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.