Pre-Season the Beef Stew Meat: The night before, season the stew meat with salt, pepper, garlic powder and seasoning salt. Add the garlic cloves and put the meat and garlic in the refrigerator overnight.
If you forget to season the meat the night before, just season it at the beginning of this recipe, before adding any other ingredients to the slow cooker.
Make the Stew
- Pre-cook the onion (this step is optional - see blog post above for more details) by putting the chopped onion coated lightly with olive oil in a bowl. Microwave the chopped onion for 2 minute increments, stirring after each time to soften the onion before it goes in the slow cooker. Usually about 4 minutes is enough.
- Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker: seasoned beef, garlic cloves, onion, celery, carrots, barley, thyme or parsley, water/broth, tomato paste. Mix well.
- Cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours. I prefer to cook stew on low because the low and slow cooking makes the meat more tender. But you could also cook this on HIGH for 3 to 5 hours.
- Season as needed with more salt and pepper