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French Beef Stew with Cheese Toast

This beef stew is a perfect meal for a chilly autumn day. I don't know where I first got this recipe, but I have had it a long time. I love slow cooker recipes, because when you don't have the time in the evening to prepare a meal, the slow cooker provides! Meaning that you can throw a bunch of ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and then in the evening, you have a delicious home-cooked meal. This French onion beef stew has a wonderful flavor that is a delight to the taste buds. To make this stew extra special, serve it with cheese toast; it is delicious!

Bon Appetit


Before serving (any meal), taste the dish to see if it needs salt and pepper. Add and adjust your meal according to how it tastes.

For those new to broiling (but really want to make the cheese toast), there is typically a broil option on your oven (most ovens with have a button that says 'broil'). My broiler option automatically heats the oven up to 500 degrees F. You move the rack up, so that it is about 4 inches from the heating element. Make sure that the pan you use is safe to use while broiling.

When broiling, keep a close eye on your toast. Turn half way in-between cooking to ensure it browns evenly.

Preparation time is 15 minutes. Cook time is 7 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.


  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can of chicken broth

  • 1 cup apple juice

  • 4 to 5 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

  • 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

  • Kosher salt and pepper

  • 3 tablespoons flour

For Cheese Toast:

  • 4 thick slices of country bread

  • 1 cup gruyere, Swiss cheese, OR sharp white cheddar

  • 1 teaspoon thyme

  • 2 to 3 pinches granulated garlic powder, optional


Tie a piece of kitchen twine around the thyme sprigs, and place them in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Add the chicken broth, apple juice, carrots, and onions; mix to combine. Season the beef with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; sprinkle with the flour. Add the beef and any excess flour to the slow cooker, and mix to combine. Cook, covered, until the beef and vegetables are tender, 7 to 8 hours on low OR 4 to 5 hours on high. Fifteen minutes before serving taste, and add up to 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper if needed. May serve with cheese toast. Serves 4.

Directions for Cheese Toast:

When the stew has 10 minutes left to cook, heat broiler. Place 4 thick slices of country bread on a foil-lined broiler-proof baking sheet. Sprinkle bread with 1 cup cheese, and 1 teaspoon thyme; add the granulated garlic powder if desired. Broil until the cheese starts to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Serves 4.


(edited by Anna Weicht)

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