Come home to the amazing aroma of this Spicy Beef & Bean Stew that cooked in the slow cooker while you did other things. It’s hot and spicy and utterly delicious!
I’m rather particular about what I put in my slow cooker. As a general rule, I don’t do those dump meals because the texture of vegetables that have cooked all day long is usually something less than desirable. Instead, I focus on recipes that are meant to be braised, simmered for a long time.
This Spicy Beef & Bean Stew Recipe is it. Not only does it pack a bit of heat from diced jalapenos, but it’s also full of hearty chunks of beef, luscious flavorful broth, and hearty beans and hominy. It’s the perfect slow cooker recipe where you can set it and forget it.
I took less than 30 minutes to chop the meat and vegetables, sear the beef, saute the veggies, and throw it all in the slow cooker. Then I just walked away. For hours. What a treat to go about my business, knowing that I didn’t have to cook dinner — because I already had!
What’s the difference between a soup and a stew?
According to Taste Of Home, the biggest difference is the amount of liquid they contain. Soups contain more liquid so the ingredients float, whereas a stew contains less liquid and is on the thicker side.
Is this a soup or a stew?
This is definitely meant to be more of a stew and contain less liquid and be on the thicker side. If you want to be more “soup-like” you can add more liquid during the cooking process.
What do I need to make this beef and bean soup?
- Olive Oil
- Chuck roast
- Salt and pepper
- Bell pepper
- Pinto beans
- Beef broth
- Diced tomatoes
- Jalapenos (or diced green chiles)
- Chili powder
How to make this beef and bean stew:
- Brown the meat. In a large nonstick skillet over high heat, heat the oil. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper to taste. Brown the cubes, in batches in the hot oil, until browned on all sides. Place the browned meat in the crock of a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Cook the vegetables. Add the chopped onion to the drippings in the skillet and cook for three minutes on high heat, stirring. Add the chopped bell pepper and cook another two minutes, until the vegetables are tender and onion is translucent. Transfer the vegetables to the crock.
- Cook in the slow cooker. Add the beans, broth, hominy, tomatoes, jalapenos, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and coriander to the crock. Stir gently to combine. Cover and cook for 6 hours on HIGH or 8 to 10 hours on LOW. Serve hot.
Can I make this less spicy?
If you prefer to lower the heat, feel free to use chopped green chiles instead of jalapenos, but know that this beef and bean soup is flavorful and delicious. It’s perfect no matter the weather since there’s such minimal prep time.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes you can! Make sure the stew has cooled down before you put it in container. You can freeze the soup for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let it thaw overnight in the fridge then simply reheat on the stove. You can read more here about Freezer Cooking: Soups, Stews, and Breads.
Why is the beef in my stew tough?
You may have overcooked your beef. Stew beef should be cooked low and slow. If you don’t cook it this way, the proteins in the meat seize up making the meat tough.
Because this is made in the slow cooker it’s perfect to cook your beef so it’s fall apart in your mouth good!
What kind of beef should I use in a stew?
You want to use a chuck roast. It’s an inexpensive cut of beef that comes from the front shoulder. This beef stew is a perfect example where buying cheap really is better!
Can I put raw beef in a stew?
Simple answer…no. You don’t want to just add the beef directly to your crockpot and hope it turns into a luscious stew. You need to brown the meat first.
Browning the meat first will get you a much more flavorful stew in the end. By browning the meat first, the meat gets a little caramelized. A little extra effort, yes. But well worth it in the end!
Should I flour stew meat before browning?
You don’t need to. I just simply browned the meat in a little olive oil. But if you want your stew a little on the thicker side then yes you can coat the beef cubes in flour (or cornstarch) before browning.
What can I serve with this beef and bean soup?
How I make this good:
For better or worse, my family really does not care for canned soups and chilis. I’ve made homemade for so long, their taste buds just don’t jive with the commercial variety. And quite honestly, I agree. Homemade is always better!
This Spicy Beef & Bean Stew is packed with flavor and fiber, hearty chunks of beef, and a handful of veggies to round things out.
How I make this cheap:
Here are some of the strategies I use to make this beef and bean soup recipe more economical:
- I buy the meat when it’s on sale. In fact I stock up and buy several packages at a time so I always have some in my freezer. Hint: watch your grocery sales as beef chuck roasts and steaks often go on sale this time of year.
- If you can’t find chuck roast for a reasonable price, you can substitute pork shoulder or even browned ground beef or turkey. This bean stew recipe is very forgiving. You can even use half the meat or add more beans in order to stretch your protein purchase.
- Cooking dry beans, instead of buying the can, is often more economical. I bounce back and forth between the two, depending on how much time I have. Whenever I can, I’ll cook a few pounds at a time in the slow cooker and freeze them for later.
- Watch the clearance racks for canned goods that are marked down. Canned jalapenos and chiles are often some of my finds here. If I don’t buy them at a good price, I substitute fresh chopped chiles instead.
Tools I use to make this recipe easy:
- plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
- my favorite skillet – it’s oven safe and has a glass lid. I bought two I love it so much.
- fine mesh sieve – Perfect for rinsing beans. I bought this set in April and love the different sizes.
- 6-quart slow cooker – I’ve had this machine for several years and have been really pleased with it.
Spicy Beef & Bean Stew Recipe
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lb boneless, beef chuck roast cubed
- black pepper
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper (any color) any color, chopped
- 2 40-ounce cans pinto beans rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cup beef broth water, or beer
- 1 15.5-ounce can hominy rinsed and drained
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 4-ounce can jalapenos (chopped) or diced green chiles
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- In a large nonstick skillet over high heat, heat the oil. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper to taste. Brown the cubes, in batches in the hot oil, until browned on all sides. Place the browned meat in the crock of a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add the chopped onion to the drippings in the skillet and cook for three minutes on high heat, stirring. Add the chopped bell pepper and cook another two minutes, until the vegetables are tender and onion is translucent. Transfer the vegetables to the crock.
- Add the beans, broth, hominy, tomatoes, jalapenos, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and coriander to the crock. Stir gently to combine. Cover and cook for 6 hours on HIGH or 8 to 10 hours on LOW. Serve hot.