Crockpot Cocoa Beef Stew

Don’t let the cocoa in this recipe turn you off.  This is good stuff!

Cocoa Beef Stew

Cocoa Beef Stew


2 to 3 pounds beef stew meat (I use sirloin)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced thinly
1-1/2 cups carrots, sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup. dried cranberries
1 T. cocoa powder
3 cups beef broth (I used Better Than Broth mixed with water)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp. fresh chopped ginger (I use the ginger in the squeeze tube)
1 T. tomato paste (I use this out of a squeeze tube)
1/4 cup brandy (peach is best!)
salt & pepper to taste
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped


I like to season the meat with salt, pepper, cajun seasoning, Lawry’s Salt . . whatever you like . . but it’s better if you do it the night before.

Browned Beef

Browned Beef

It isn’t necessary but I prefer to brown the meat in a little oil. Transfer the meat to the crockpot. Brown the onion and garlic in the pan drippings, ten pour all of that into the crockpot.

Combine all the remaining ingredients, except parsley, in the crockpot and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or until meat is tender. Add the parsley at the end or sprinkle it over the stew once it’s in the serving bowls.

If you want to thicken the juices a little in the end, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1/2 cup water, stir to remove all lumps, then pour into the juices and heat on high, stirring, til thick enough.

Serve over pasta or rice and sprinkle with a bit of parmesan cheese. Great with homemade rolls!


  1. For the sweet potatoes, I will use whatever I have on hand.  Could be butternut squash, or any winter squash. Today when I made it, I had pie pumpkins left over from an after Thanksgiving sale so I used one of those.
  2. If your meat is not the most tender cuts, you can brown it in the pressure cooker and pressure cook it for a few minutes before adding to the crockpot or place it in the crockpot, along with the beef broth,  juice, onions and garlic and cook it on high for a few hours, then add the remaining ingredients and cook on low. You don’t want to cook the sweet potatoes on high or for too long.
  3. If you want to make it really good . . throw in a little stewed okra. That’s what I did tonight!


  1. 1

    Deb K says

    You seem to have the same reaction to most crockpot food that I have. It’s edible but not delicious. It sounds like you are endorsing this one. So, I’m tempted to try it. But what a crazy ingredient list! Cranberries, OJ, cocoa powder and brandy? Are you possible sipping too much brandy while you are cooking? Just kidding. I’ve not known you to steer me wrong, yet.

  2. 2


    I had the same reaction as Deb K about the ingredients……..cocoa powder……cranberries…OJ…..brandy??? LOL Thanks for posting this, though……intending to give it a try sometime soon.

  3. 3

    Katherine says

    I thought it was a crazy ingredient list as well and read it to my husband. He says it sounds like a Persian type stew and that it sounds delicious. I think I was just stuck on the traditional Irish type beef stew idea. So, I will change the name and try it.
    I forget, is there an easy way to email the post to myself? Thanks for the dinner idea.