Hardy “stick to your ribs” types of meals like my slow cooker sweet potato beef stew are perfect for the colder months. Especially after the overindulgent holidays where you likely ate too much sugar and rich foods.
I literally throw this into the crockpot day after Christmas because it’s the perfect way to start detoxing from excess.
YES, this recipe is Gluten-Free Sugar Cleanse compliant!!
(Looking for the perfect way to reboot and ditch sugar this coming year? HERE’S HOW!)
Super warming… sweet potato beef stew is a killer one-pot meal that also makes excellent leftovers or as part of a meal leading into New Years and beyond.
Truthfully, this is a lazy person’s ideal meal. It’s so easy to make and will take amazing even if you don’t brown the beef cubes ahead of time.
(I really like recipes like this, by the way! Another favorite is my crockpot balsamic shredded beef recipe too.)
A word of caution cooking with bay leaves
This recipe calls for one bay leaf. If you’ve never cooked with whole bay leaves before, please read this.
Bay leaves impart a tremendous flavor addition to meals. I use them often in crockpot or slow cooker recipes because they give such depth to meat and soups.
You can get fresh bay leaves which are imported from California. I personally prefer to buy dried bay leaves because the flavor is a bit less muted and won’t overpower your dish.
These are my favorite bay leaves to buy because the company is great about making sure their spices are gluten free!
Otherwise, you can purchase bay leaves in the spice aisle stored in glass jars. Once you get them home, store the jar away from light in a drawer or cabinet.
When cooking with dried bay leaves, I’d recommend keeping them whole rather than breaking them up and using small pieces.
Before serving any meal cooked with bay leaves, you must remove the bay leaves before serving. Know exactly how many you added to the dish so you don’t accidentally leave any behind.
The reason is that they do not break down in food or disintegrate. Therefore, you can choke on whole bay leaves or pieces of the leaf. If you happen to swallow them, they can damage your intestinal tract.
So I cannot stress how important it is to remove all of the bay leaves.
To help me keep track of the bay leaves, I’ll typically add them to spots on the edge of the dish that makes it easy to remove them. If it’s a slow cooker dish (as this is), I’d insert them before cooking on either side of the crockpot near a handle. Then I know where to look.
What to do with the smaller broken bay leaves at the bottom of the jar? You can grind them up in a spice grinder and sparingly add them to a dish or spice mix. In this case, the bay leaf powder is safe to consume.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Beef Stew Recipe Tips
Some tips for making this meal delicious…
Adjust the seasonings after the dish has cooked. It may need more salt.
Try white pepper instead of black pepper. White pepper has a milder flavor which I’ve come to love.
Use grass-fed beef for improved nutrient density. I love getting my meat from US Wellness Meats that can ship healthier cuts of meat anywhere in the US!
You could also add some carrots to the slow cooker. Just make sure to place them at the bottom so they cook thoroughly.
After the slow cooker sweet potato beef stew is done, you can add peas and/or other greens like arugula or spinach to increase antioxidant content.
There’s also no need to thicken this soup with any sort of flour or starch. It will be thick enough on its own 🙂
Pair Your Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Beef Stew with…
I want to make it a bit easier for you to make easy complete meals rather than just one-off dishes.
Here are a couple of dish options that would go really well with this stew so you can get a meal on the table faster!