This slow cooker Mexican beef stew is easy, full of flavour and great for dumping in the slow cooker in the morning before work. Who wouldn't want to come home to a warming healthy Mexican stew on a cold winter's night?
Beef stew in the slow cooker is one of my favourite easy homemade meals. I have to admit though, that I am often a little unadventurous with it. It's one of those meals I just throw together and know it's going to be good with little work needed in the evening. That is definitely a bonus!
I love my slow cooker as it's so versatile for winter warming stews like this. It's also great for soups and I do mainly use mine for that. However, it is really versatile and definitely a gadget that's worth getting.
I love that I can just throw all the ingredients into the slowcooker in the morning and then come home to a delicious home cooked meal.
This slow cooker Mexican stew is absolutely gorgeous with beef. It has a lovely rich flavour from the chocolate, although it doesn't taste chocolaty. It's definitely a nice change from my more traditional beef stew.
Ingredients for Mexican beef stew
To make this Mexican beef stew you'll need:
- Stewing steak - Use a cut of meat that is good for slow cooking.
- Onion - Red or brown onions are fine.
- Garlic - I usually use freshly crushed garlic but you can use a paste if it's easier for you.
- Chilli pepper - This adds a bit of heat. I leave the seeds in too but you can remove them if you don't want it to be too spicy. As chilli peppers can vary so much in heat you may need to use more depending on how spicy you want it to be.
- Tomato puree - This adds more depth and a richer tomato flavour.
- Beef stock - You can make it from a stock cube, use homemade stock or ready made stock.
- Dark chocolate - Preferably use a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids.
- Cornflour - This is to thicken the stew at the end. You might not need it.
- Seasoning - A little salt and black pepper.
Can you adapt this recipe?
Yes! I've also made this stew with chicken and it's just as good. It's best to use chicken thighs and you don't need to slow cook them for as long. If you slow cook them on high they should be done in about 3-4 hours or on low no longer than 6 hours.
You could also throw in a few more vegetables. Why not add some bell peppers or whatever veg you have in the fridge that needs to be used up?
Can you make this Mexican beef stew without a slow cooker?
Of course you can! You can start off cooking the stew on the hob and then transfer it to the oven to slow cook there.
Start by cooking the onions gently in a saucepan with a little oil. Then add the garlic and chilli pepper and cook for another minute followed by the beef. Seal the beef chunks on all sides and then add the remaining ingredients.
At this point you can put it into the oven on about 150C for 3 hours. Alternatively you can simmer it gently on the hob but keep checking it to make sure it doesn't burn and add a little extra liquid if it is getting dry.
What to serve with this Mexican beef stew?
I served it with lime and coriander rice which is my current favourite way to serve rice as a side dish.
It's also great with couscous with lime and coriander stirred through.
You could also serve this stew with tacos, garlic bread, plain bread rolls or even pasta.
I also like to serve some freshly chopped coriander and freshly diced chilli peppers with the stew so we can add a few extra toppings.
What kind of slow cooker do you need?
You can use any slow cooker for this recipe. I cook this Mexican beef stew in my Crock Pot Express Multicooker which has slow cook and pressure cook functions. What is great about it is that it has a saute function. So, if I want to start off by browning the meat or cooking the vegetables first I can without having to use the hob and then transfer ingredients between different pans.
I can also take the lid off and use the saute setting for reducing a stew at the end.
Storing the leftovers
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge in a covered container for up to three days. Reheat thoroughly in the microwave or a saucepan on the hob before serving.
You can also freeze any leftovers. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating the next day.
More slow cooker recipes
I hope you liked this slow cooker recipe. If so then do check some of my other slow cooker recipes. These slow cooker barbecue ribs are probably one of my family's favourite meals ever!
This slow cooked pork in peanut sauce is delicious too as is this slow cooker chicken tagine!
If you're just looking for a tasty stew then this Bangladeshi beef stew (not a slow cooker recipe) is really tasty too!
Slow Cooker Mexican Beef Stew
- 450 g stewing steak
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 chilli pepper sliced
- 2 tomatoes large, diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 200 ml beef stock
- 20 g dark chocolate I used 74% cocoa solids, grated
- 2 teaspoon cornflour
- Pinch black pepper
- Pinch salt
- Put the beef, onions, garlic, chilli and tomatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker. Stir the tomato puree into the beef stock and dissolve the chocolate in it. Then pour into the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 8-9 hours.
- If the stew is a little thin, dissolve the cornflour in a little water. Pour it into the stew and stir to thicken. With my Crock Pot Express slow cooker I can do this by switching to the saute setting. Alternatively you can transfer the contents to a saucepan and put it on the stove top.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with extra fresh coriander (cilantro) and freshly chopped chilli peppers.
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Do let me know if you make this Mexican beef stew in the slow cooker. I love to get feedback from readers.
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Can I substitute the tomato’s with can diced tomato’s in juice? Great recipe btw, very excited to try!
Yes you can. It'll work well with canned tomatoes. I hope you enjoy it!
Sandra Adams Wilson
Looks really nice, will try it on my husband. On the menu, it doesn't state whether the tomatoes and garlic have to be chopped are just put in the slow cooker.
Hi Sandra, Thanks for commenting. I have just updated the recipe to make it clearer. I usually crush the garlic but it can be chopped too and I dice the tomatoes. I hope you enjoy the stew.
Hi. Can I use cocoa powder instead of chocolate?
Hi Richard, I'm sure you can use cocoa powder. I'm not sure of the exact quantity but I'd probably just as a teaspoonful as a substitute. Do let me know if it works.
Looks absolutely amazing and yet another reason I really need to get the slow cooker out again. Thanks so much for linking up with #recipeoftheweek. Sorry I was particularly slow getting over for this one. I've pinned it to my food board and a tweet will go out shortly 🙂
Don't worry about the delay. I know how difficult it can be to keep up with everything.
Stacey Guilliatt (Nobody Said It Was Easy)
I love a bog standard stew in my slow cooker too but this looks like a yummy variation #TastyTuesdays
I know what you mean. Sometimes you just can't beat a nice tasty stew, even if from the ingredients it doesn't sound like it would be anything special. That's how I feel about my standard one.
I love the sound of the rich beef stew and the fragrant rice! It is a bit chilly outside today and I am feeling inspired 🙂
I still like to slow cook in summer and it's perfect for these slightly cooler summer days.
Love the flavours going into this. The beef looks mouthwateringly tender from all that slow cooking- yum! And a very good idea to pair with the lime and coriander rice as it's light and refreshing- good contrast. Altogether such a great combination of flavours! Nice one.
Thank you. I love slow cooked beef dishes and the rice was a lovely way to make it a bit more summery.
This looks so delicious! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays
Julie V. (@SomebodysDinner)
I have never used cornmeal to thicken stew before. Thanks for the idea. I am excited to try that rice.
Thanks for sharing. I'm pinning this.
Thank you. The rice is so easy and really delicious as a side dish.
yum! Looks delish!