There’s nothing like comfort food in the winter. This hearty recipe for Mexican beef stew is a take on traditional beef stew with added flavors and textures. Give our spicy beef stew recipe a try! It’s one of our favorite Stew Recipes to make this Winter.
So what makes it stew instead of soup? Typically, when you stew meat, you cook it low and slow in liquid (also called braising). Slow cookers are perfect for braising tougher cuts of meat and making them melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Just like with our traditional beef stew recipe, this cooks all day in the crock pot and makes the house smell amazing!
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Is this beef stew spicy?
Honestly, I’d call this family-friendly spicy. That means it has mild green chiles in it, and a little bit of pepper and spices. That means that people with a low spice tolerance will call it spicy, while those who love spicy Mexican food will think it’s not.
Since my kids were little, we’ve had half the family who enjoys spicy food and half who doesn’t. So I’ve always cooked on the milder side, then put various hot sauces on the table so everyone can add what they like.
What makes this a Mexican beef stew?
Adding some favorite Mexican flavors to the regular recipe makes this beef stew spicy and more like a cross between chili and stew. This way, you get stew vegetables along with the meat and beans.
What’s new in this spicy beef stew recipe? Corn, beans, green chiles and peppery spices.
How to make this recipe for Mexican beef stew
Since this is a slow cooker recipe, the directions are pretty simple! It’s not absolutely necessary to brown the beef before adding it, but it does increase the flavor.
Start by dredging the stew beef cubes in flour, salt and pepper. Dredging just means coating the beef well. You can do this in a zipper bag or in a bowl.
Add the oil to a skillet, and brown the stew beef over medium-high heat. I tend to do it in batches because I can’t fit it in all at once. You’re looking for a brown sear on the outside edges of the beef cubes.
Add that beef to the crock, then add all the other ingredients except the corn (save that for later).
Cook on Low heat for 7-8 hours. I don’t recommend using High for less time with any stew recipe. It’s important that the beef cook low and slow in order to get tender.
About 30 minutes before serving, add the corn to the stew and stir gently. Allow to heat through.
If desired, serve with fresh chopped cilantro as a garnish. My family also likes to add a dollop of sour cream on top like they do with chicken tortilla soup.
Can this spicy beef stew be made gluten-free?
It is quite easy to make stew gluten free! I use a 1-to-1 replacement flour when dredging the beef cubes. You will also want to double-check that the beef broth or bouillon you’re using is gluten-free.
All the other ingredients are naturally gluten-free.
I love having a big pot of stew. After dinner, it’s easy to save the leftovers for lunch another day. If you don’t plan to use the leftovers within a few days, you’ll want to freeze them.
Use a zipper freezer bag (I use two to avoid leaks) and fill with cooled stew. Freeze flat–I put it on a baking sheet in the freezer and then remove the baking sheet once it’s hard. If you prefer, use freezer-safe food containers; it will just take longer to thaw.
Down the road, it’s easy to thaw that flat frozen stew in the freezer. You can reheat it on the stovetop, in the microwave, or back in the slow cooker. The amount of time varies on the method. Just keep checking until the vegetables are heated through and the meat reaches 325 degrees.
What to serve with spicy beef stew
Since this hearty recipe includes protein, carbs and vegetables, it is really a whole meal all in one bowl! If you’d like you could serve bread or rolls on the side. Or, keeping with the Mexican theme, bake up some cornbread.
More beef soups and stews
Looking for more beef soups and stews? We have plenty to choose from!
- Slow Cooker Vegetable Ground Beef Soup
- Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe
- Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Beef Stew
- 2 pounds stew beef
- 4 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish
- In a bowl or plastic bag, toss the stew beef with the flour, salt, and black pepper until well-coated.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil. Then, in batches to avoid crowding, brown the meat on all sides.
- Remove the meat and add to the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker EXCEPT the corn.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 7 to 8 hours. About 30 minutes prior to serving, stir in the corn and allow it to heat through.
- Serve the soup topped with freshly chopped cilantro, if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 877mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 43g