Maple Barbecue Beef Slow Cooker Recipe

Maple Barbecue Beef. This is a sweet, tangy sauce combination that would make a leather gardening glove taste good. I pull out this combination whenever we have nothing planned for dinner and I need to whip something up spur-of-the-moment. Salt from soy sauce, sweet from maple syrup -- you can't go wrong, here! :-)

Maple Barbecue Beef from A Year of Slow Cooking

The dirty little secret about cookbook writers is that when they (okay, me) are on a deadline to finish writing a project they (me again!) don't actually cook.

Oh sure, they eat really really really well during recipe-testing, but when they are in the midst of edits and the kitchen table has papers stacked where dinner dishes should be, they sometimes forget all about dinner.

In this case, it's a good thing, because I made up a pretty phenomenal beef dinner using only the odds and ends of stuff I had in the house because I may have (accidentally) forgotten to go grocery shopping.

The Ingredients
serves 4 
Maple BBQ Beef in the Slow Cooker Ingredients (only 5!)

2 pounds frozen solid and maybe even frostbitten stew meat
1/3 cup soy sauce (LaChoy is gluten free)
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes (or 1 large onion, peeled and diced. We didn't have any.... gah.)
2/3 cup beef broth

The Directions

Use a 4 or 6-quart slow cooker. Your food will cook a bit faster in a 6-quart because it's not as filled -- that's okay, just check it after 7 hours.

Dump everything into the pot. Because my meat was frozen, I didn't have the opportunity to stir it. 

No worries.

Cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for about 5 or 6 hours. If you are home during the day and can stir it once to disperse the ingredients, go ahead and do so after a few hours. 

If you are not home, don't worry about it. Just stir well before serving.

Your meat is finished when it can break apart with a spoon. 

Serve with mashed potatoes and/or roasted vegetables (pictured is roasted carrots from my mom's garden and sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil and sage).

The Verdict

Major winner. 

I was actually sweating bullets the day I put this into the pot because I couldn't take the time to leave to go get dinner-type-food and I had thrown away all the chicken in the house because of a recall.

 I needed to use the stew meat up, and I wanted to finish up the broth before it went bad. 

Everything about this worked -- the maple played nicely with the salty soy sauce to create a beautiful barbecue-teriyaki sauce. 

Now that I know this works so well, I'm going to be using it more often instead of leaning towards honey or brown sugar. 

What a nice surprise!!


Happy Slow Cooking!!

Maple syrup pairs with onion and soy sauce to make a beautiful glaze to cook stew meat or an inexpensive roast. Only 5 ingredients, you probably already have everything in the house! Recipe from

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at March 22, 2017

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What they say about this article

  1. Hi -
    Could I cook the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker at the same time?

  2. Hi Coryelle, yes. They will get the sauce on them and be flavored by the sauce. If you'd prefer that they aren't coated in the sauce (it'll be like beef stew if the veggies are in there)--
    you can make a packet out of foil or parchment paper for the vegetables and place it on top of the meat.

    I hope this helps a bit!

  3. I made this last night, got some pre cubed organic stew meat and dumped all the ingredients in the slow cook (only took five mins prep!!!) IT TASTES SO GOOD.... today is cold and snowy and I heated up a bowl and ate the luscious meat and yummy broth - sooooo nice! Thanks for the recipe !! I used 1 whole onion instead of the flakes and yum!!

  4. I have a bunch of beef strip packages in my freezer. Could I use that in place of stew meat?

  5. Hi Christina, absolutely!!

  6. Stephanie - this looks good but I haven't tried it yet.

    Just popping in with a "Public Service Announcement" - costco has a 6qt crock pot on coupon for only $29.99 and it has a free Little Dipper included. I've always wanted one and my daughter wants a crockpot for when she moves out in January, so I bought it and I'm going to steal the Lil Dipper!

  7. I made this but added 1 cup of Ruby Red Port Wine.

  8. Made this last night and it was a hit with my family. I ended up just using whatever steak meat I had in our freezer and did a quick microwave defrost - cut meat into large chunks. Tossed all together and cooked on high! Thanks for another great meal. This is a keeper

  9. I made this tonight and added a half cup of actual BBQ sauce. The result was great. Had a super BBQ flavor.

  10. Anonymous3/07/2021

    I used frozen chopped onion (because I had some), and added some garlic and ginger and a big pinch of red pepper flakes. This recipe is a keeper!

  11. Anonymous3/23/2021

    Hi Stephanie. Thanks for your lovely sense of humor and real life stories. Would pork work for this? If yes, would pork butt or shoulder be best? (I have some in the freezer...) thank you

  12. I made this last night and it was delicious! I had a 4 lb. piece of frozen brisket. I was a bit worried that it might not translate well to this recipe but it worked just fine. I followed the recipe exactly as written and added a whole sliced onion. I cooked it on high for just over 6 hours, given the size of the meat. It ended up just perfect as I was able to lift the meat out in one piece without it falling apart yet it was fork tender. I made a large pan of gravy which was silky smooth and very flavorful. Thanks for posting such an EZ and delicious recipe.