Add the potatoes, carrots and onions to the slow cooker.
Combine flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, and thyme in a big ziplock bag. Shake, then add the stew meat.
Shake to coat the pieces evenly. (or this can be done in a large bowl)
Brown the meat in the cooking oil on all sides, you don't need to cook the meat through. You may need to cook the meat in batches.
De-glaze the pan with the beef broth. Add the tomato paste, scrape up any brown bits of meat and flour into the sauce. The sauce will thicken and will only take a few minutes.
Add the meat and sauce to the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Add peas at the end of cooking time. Put the lid back on and cook for 15 more minutes to thaw the peas. If the stew thickens too much after being stirred, add water.
Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
How to store: Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. I don't recommend freezing beef stew with potatoes, for potatoes don't do well in the freezer.Can I skip using flour?Yes, though you'll want to mix three tablespoons of cornstarch and three tablespoons of water and add that to the broth mixture at the beginning of the cooking time. Still season your beef and brown it before adding to the slow cooker.Must I sear the meat?You can forgo browning the meat, though it adds more flavor to the stew if you do. If you don't sear your meat, you'll want to skip using flour, the flour will clump if added straight to the slow cooker. Instead, thicken the stew instead use cornstarch and cold water (mix three tablespoons of each well before adding). Add at the beginning of the cooking time.Can I add wine?Yes, though you'll only want to add a 1/2 cup. Wine can be robust in slow cooker recipes. I suggest a red blend, merlot, or pinot noir.Variations
Sweet Potato Stew - Substitute sweet potatoes for a healthier and vitamin-packed stew for the red potatoes.
Onion Soup Mix - Instead of adding salt to this recipe, add a packet of onion soup mix; this will add significant onion flavor to your stew.
No potato stew - Out of potatoes? Don't fret. Make this stew as directed, but without the potatoes. Instead, serve over steamed rice or egg noodles.