Slow cooked chunks of tender beef in a rich and spicy sauce served over a bed of rice. This Slow Cooker Beef Curry is an easy and comforting meal with a kick of spice. It's made with spices you probably already have in your cupboard and it freezes really well too, so you can have leftovers for meals in the week. You can make this as spicy or as mild as you like too.
In my opinion, the best way to cook beef is to slow cook it. It makes the chunks of beef so incredibly tender when it is cooked on low for 8 hours and when cooked in a spicy tomato curry sauce, it takes on so much flavour. It's just really good food! This beef curry in the slow cooker just melts in your mouth.
If curry is a weekend favourite for you, then put this on before you leave for work or the school run on a Friday morning and come home to it cooking away. This beef curry recipe really couldn't be easier.
If you want to try some other slow cooker curries, why not try our Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala, Slow Cooker Chicken Curry, Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry or Slow Cooker Lamb Rogan Josh?
Why you will love it
- Really simple - After you have browned the beef you just dump it all in the slow cooker and leave it to get really tender. A fuss free, hands off dinner.
- Healthy alternative - Lower in calories and fat than a takeaway Indian, and cheaper too. The great thing about making your own curry at home is that you can control exactly what goes in to it.
- Easy spice mix - We have made our own easy spicy mix and it uses spices you probably already have at home.
- Freezes really well - This slow cooker beef curry is perfect for batch cooking as it freezes and reheats really well.
- Adaptable - You can make this curry spicier or make it mild and more family friendly by leaving out the chilli.
- Beef - We used chunks of braising steak (also known as chuck steak) for this curry. It is an inexpensive cut and when cooked low and slow it becomes lovely and tender. We tend to use 10% fat for this recipe, as it gives some extra flavour. You could use lean 5% beef though.
- Oil - We used olive oil to brown the beef, but you could use vegetable or sunflower oil instead.
- Shallots, garlic and ginger - The base of any good curry. The shallots add a lovely sweetness, but you could swap them for a small brown onion instead if you prefer. Save some time by using frozen onion, garlic and ginger.
- Chilli - This is what adds spice to the curry. We only added a whole teaspoon, so it is has a fair kick of heat to it, but you can adjust it to make it milder if you prefer.
- Spices - Garam masala and curry powder are what make up our curry flavours. You could use a curry paste instead.
- Tomatoes - This slow cooker beef curry is in a tomato based sauce. Try to use the best quality canned tomatoes you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference. Cheaper canned tomatoes tend to be really watery, which will result in a thin sauce. If you do use a tin of cheap tomatoes, then add a little extra tomato puree and a pinch of sugar. You could use passata instead.
- Beef stock - Adds an extra depth of flavour and helps to thicken the sauce.
- Tomato puree - This not only adds a little colour to the curry, but it helps to thicken it too.
- Coriander - This adds lots of freshness to the curry.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make slow cooker beef curry - Step by step
One: Preheat your slow cooker to low. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat and then add the steak and brown for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the steak to the slow cooker pot.
Two: Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, chilli, spices, salt and pepperto the frying pan. Mix well and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes.
Three: Add the shallot mixture to the beef in the slow cooker pot.
Four: Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and stock. Mix well and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
Five: Once the curry is cooked, add the spinach and chopped coriander and mix until the spinach has wilted.
This curry sauce is really rich and will rival most Indian takeaway offerings - and throwing it all in the slow cooker/crock pot is just as easy as calling up a takeaway.
You can make this curry even easier by skipping the browning stage and just throw everything in the slow cooker without the oil. It would still work and cook through, you just wouldn't get as much flavour.
This curry is one for those of you that can handle the heat, but you can easily adapt it to make it milder and much more child friendly. If you are making this for kids, skip the chilli (or just use a little if they do like some heat) and focus on the herbs and spices instead.
You could also add chopped mushrooms, aubergine (eggplant) and courgette in at the same time as the beef. This would allow you to use less beef and still have lots of chunky texture.
If you wanted to make this a bit more budget friendly, and reduce the amount of meat used, then swap half of the beef for some lentils or chickpeas. You can also add some chunks of butternut squash or sweet potato to make it go further too.
The Healthy Slow Cooker Book
Did you know we have a whole book of slow cooker recipes? Available in paperback and Kindle, The Healthy Slow Cooker was released in 2018 and is one of the most popular Slow Cooker Books on Amazon. It contains 100 recipes (including this beef curry) that can all be cooked in your slow cooker including, breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and drinks.
Get a copy of The Healthy Slow Cooker now and make your meal prep so much easier.
What to serve with a slow cooker beef curry
Curry and rice is a classic combination, but we have also have this with potato wedges too! But you could also just make a couple of our Easy Homemade Flatbreads and use them to scoop up all that delicious curry sauce. Maybe brush some garlic butter on the flatbreads too. A Peshwari Naan is always a great side to a curry too.
If you choose to have it with rice, add a teaspoon of turmeric when boiling your rice to give it a gorgeous golden colour and also a healthy boost. We have a full recipe for Turmeric Rice, which will go really well with this curry.
Store: You can keep leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Freeze: This recipe serves 2, but you can easily double the batch and then freeze the leftovers (with rice) in individual portions. Just make sure it cools fully before freezing. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Defrost: Defrost the curry in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: To reheat, add it to a pan and heat on low, stirring often, until it is piping hot. You can also reheat it in the microwave.
We used braising steak (also known as chuck steak) for this curry. It is a cut of beef from the shoulder and can be fairly tough so is best for slow cooking. When slow cooked, this fairly inexpensive cut of meat will result in a rich dish that is full of flavour.
Making your own curry at home, rather than ordering a takeaway, is always going to be a healthier option. You can control the amount of oil that goes in it, you can use less meat and you can add more vegetables.
Yes, this is a delicious gluten free curry. Just make sure that there is no cross contamination.
You don't have to, but we really recommend it as it adds such a depth of flavour. Basically, you want to trigger the Maillard reaction. It is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavour. You don't have to though, and you can just throw everything in to the slow cooker and leave it if you are really short on time.
This curry is cooked on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
Yes, if you want to make a quicker version of this slow cooker beef curry, then you can make it on the stove instead. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger, add the spices and beef and brown for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.
We think this curry sauce is the perfect consistency. However, if you want to thicken it a little, then take the lid off the slow cooker for the last 45 minutes. You could also add a cornflour slurry about an hour before it has finished cooking, but that would change the flavour. Using good quality tinned tomatoes will help to make sure you don't have a watery curry.
There really is no rule here, just make sure that the beef joint you are using can fit in your slow cooker. We use a Crock Pot DuraCeramic Slow Cooker and we love it. What I love most about it is that you can put the bowl insert on the hob too. So, we thicken the gravy on the hob, in the slow cooker bowl. You can also sear the meat in it first. I also love that it has a clear lid, as I am so impatient that I want to keep looking and seeing what it is doing. If you don't have a clear lid, then lifting it to see will release lots of the heat and add to the cooking time.
• Save yourself some time and make this the ultimate dump meal by skipping the browning stage and add everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
• Add some extra vegetables by stirring in some spinach just before serving, or cooking some chunks of butternut squash when the beef goes in the slow cooker.
• This is easy to freeze in portions, just make sure it has fully cooled before freezing.
• If you don't want this spicy and you want it more kid friendly, then leave out the chilli and let the herbs and spices shine through. Or, you could add some extra yogurt.
• Or, if you want an even spicier curry - try adding some curry powder.
• If your sauce is a bit too watery, then you can thicken it with some cornflour. Mix 2 tablespoon with a little water to make a 'slurry' and then stir in to the sauce.
More beef recipes
If you’ve tried this beef curry recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Slow Cooker Beef Curry
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 400 g (14 oz) Braising steak (chuck roast) - trimmed of fat and cut in to chunks
- 170 g (0.75 cups) Shallots - small; diced
- 3 (3) Garlic clove - crushed
- 1 tablespoon Fresh ginger - peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon Chilli flakes
- 2 tablespoon Garam masala
- 2 tablespoon Curry powder
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 400 g (14 oz) Chopped tomatoes - canned
- 2 tablespoon Tomato puree
- 1 Beef stock pot
- 20 g (1 cups) Fresh coriander (cilantro) - finely chopped
- 60 g (2 cups) Spinach
- Preheat your slow cooker to low. Heat 1 tablespoon Olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat and then add 400 g Braising steak (chuck roast) and brown for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the steak to the slow cooker pot.
- Add 170 g Shallots, 3 Garlic clove, 1 tablespoon Fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon Chilli flakes, 2 tablespoon Garam masala, 2 tablespoon Curry powder, and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper to the frying pan. Mix well and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the shallot mixture to the beef in the slow cooker pot.
- Add 400 g Chopped tomatoes, 2 tablespoon Tomato puree and 1 Beef stock pot. Mix well and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- Once the curry is cooked, add 60 g Spinach and 20 g Fresh coriander (cilantro) and mix until the spinach has wilted.
- Save yourself some time and make this the ultimate dump meal by skipping the browning stage and add everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Add some extra vegetables by stirring in some spinach just before serving, or cooking some chunks of butternut squash when the beef goes in the slow cooker.
- This is easy to freeze in portions, just make sure it has fully cooled before freezing.
- If you don't want this spicy and you want it more kid friendly, then leave out the chilli and let the herbs and spices shine through. Or, you could add some extra yogurt.
- Or, if you want an even spicier curry - try adding some curry powder.
- If your sauce is a bit too watery, then you can thicken it with some cornflour. Mix 2 tablespoon with a little water to make a 'slurry' and then stir in to the sauce.
- Serve with our Turmeric Rice for an added health boost.
Hi! Me and my husband have quite big portions as we are very active and add more protein. If I add double the amount of meat to this but it’s only for the 2 of us but we will be having it for dinner over 2 days, would you recommend changing any of the quantities of the other ingredients or just add the extra meat in and nothing else? Thanks!
This recipe makes 4 portions, so you could make the whole recipe and divide that between two. Or, you could do the recipe for 4 and then just add some extra tomatoes and seasoning.
First time attempting a curry in the slow cooker. The recipe was simple and all the ingredients were easy to pick up at the store. The end result was fantastic. Served it with rice and naan bread. It went down a treat with the family. Will definitely be making this again
I’m keen to add some fresh chillis to add colour and spice. Would you recommend doing this as well as the chilli flakes and chilli power or as a substitute? I want it to have a kick but not be overly spice. Any advice would be great.
Also: How much natural yogurt do you recommend string through at the end if the curry is a little on the hot side?
Thanks - I’m looking forward to trying this over the weekend!
It really depends on how much heat you can handle. This does have a nice kick of heat already, so adding fresh chillies as well might be overpowering. I would leave out the chilli flakes. Just add yoghurt until it is as mild as you like - a tbsp at a time.
I made this yesterday and it was amazing. I doubled the recipe since I was cooking for a crowd and I noticed that the spices were too much so I used the 2 tablespoons for each spice for the doubled recipe. I make a lot of Indian food so I felt the spices would be overwhelming. Is it supposed to be a tablespoon or a teaspoon? It was still fantastic and fragrant even after cutting down the spices. Let me know.
Yes, it is tablespoons. This is meant to have a lot of strong flavour, but can always be adjusted to suit your own tastes. I am glad you all enjoyed it.
I love curries and this beef cooker is wonderful. I love the fact it can be made in the slow cooker. It's wonderful to set it and forget it, then arrive home to the amazing aroma of curry ready and waiting to be eaten.
Beef stock pot? Is this a cup of stock or a stock cube. Looking forward to making this.
They are called stock pots. It just adds an intense beef flavour. You can just add a stock cube, but no water needed.
Looking forward to trying this out, but I'm a tad confused and quite surprised by the amount of shallots that you have in ingredients. Seems like a massive amount for 2 portions.
Should be good either way.
Our supermarket shallots here are really small. If the ones you have are large, then 3 will probably be enough. We like lots of onion/shallots as a curry base.
Could you replace the yoghurt with coconut milk?
Yes, you could. You could also add a little butter or cream. But, you can also leave it out completely.
I want to make this for 8 people do I just double everything?
Yep! Just make sure your slow cooker is big enough for everything :)
This is the second time I’m making this it was lovely and tasty last time can’t wait to have it again tonight
I hope you enjoy it just as much this time.
Hi! When I put the fat free Greek yoghurt in and stirred it through it curdled in the curry. Any idea why?
It could be because the yoghurt was too cold when adding it. Try bringing it to room temperature before adding it.
Great recipe and easy to follow. My wife and 94 year old mother loved it. ( Went easy on the chilli )
Had this with roast curried potatoes & rice + Geeta's Mango Chutney. Wow !!!
So glad you all enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting <3
Was so looking forward to this curry on a chilly May Sunday ... daughters remarked that it tasted of a casserole... knowing I don’t eat casseroles ... went by the recipe
Thanks for your comment. I am not sure what you mean by it tasted of a casserole? The seasonings are Indian, rather than traditional casserole seasonings, so it can't be that. Do you mean the consistency? If it was too watery, like a casserole, there is a section in the notes on that, on how to thicken it at the end. Different slow cookers will cook things differently, so sometimes it needs to be thickened, as mentioned in the notes. It would be great to hear back from you, so we can see what you mean and hopefully you can enjoy the curry again next time :)
Just made this for dinner tonight can’t wait to try it
I hope you enjoy it :)