Alex's Slow Cooker Beef and Gravy

Alex's Slow Cooker Beef and Gravy

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 9 hours
Total Time 9 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 1 and 1/2 kilograms stewing beef (brisket, crest or short ribs), cut into two-inch cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained
  • 3 tablespoons red wine (Alex used port)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 to 6 cups bone broth (you may substitute water IF using a beef cut with bones)

For the gravy

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 button mushrooms chopped or thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


  • Sprinkle the beef cubes with salt and pepper. Place in a resealable bag. Add the flour. Seal. Toss to coat each piece of meat lightly.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Spread the beef cubes in a single layer and brown all sides. You may have to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  • Transfer the browned beef to the slow cooker.
  • Pour off the oil from the pan (save to reuse another time) leaving only about two tablespoonfuls. Add the butter and heat until melted.
  • Saute the onions, garlic, tarragon, sage, cayenne and capers until the onion pieces are translucent.  Pour in the wine. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any stuck bits. Continue cooking until the mixture is almost dry.
  • Tip the contents of the pan over the beef in the slow cooker. Add the bay leaf. Pour in enough bone broth to cover the meat. Sprinkle in more salt and pepper. How much depends on how well seasoned the broth is. Turn the slow cooker on LOW and cook the meat for eight hours. The actual cooking time depends on the quality of the meat. So, use "eight hours" as a guide.
  • On the stovetop, make a roux for the gravy base. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the mushrooms. Cook for a minute. Scoop out and set aside. 
  • In the remaining butter, dump the flour all at once, and stir until smooth. Add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for six to seven minutes to make a brown roux.  
  • Take about a cup of broth from the slow cooker and pour slowly over the brown roux, stirring as you pour. Cook until the mixture has thickened.
  • Scrape the gravy into the slow cooker and stir well taking care not to break apart the tender beef cubes. Taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed. Turn the slow cooker to HIGH and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Serve your slow cooker beef and gravy with bread, rice or noodles while hot. Optionally, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving.