Tossing all the ingredients into a slow cooker makes this Italian-inspired beef stew virtually a hands-off meal. The long simmer time is the secret to the beef's fork-tender texture and rich-tasting tomato-based gravy.
Combine potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and beef in a 6-qt. or larger slow cooker. Stir together tomatoes, tomato paste, 1¾ cups broth, wine, salt, and pepper; pour over the beef mixture. If using fresh thyme and rosemary, tie the sprigs together with butcher's twine or secure in a cheesecloth bag. Add the herb bundle to the stew, gently pressing into the liquid, or sprinkle in the dried herbs.
Cover and cook on Low until the beef is tender, about 8 hours. Remove and discard the herb bundle, if using.
Whisk together cornstarch and the remaining ¼ cup broth in a small bowl; stir into the stew. Gently stir in beans; cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the stew is thickened and the beans are heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in spinach by the handful; cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
6-qt. or larger slow cooker; butcher's twine or cheesecloth
Trim beef and cut into cubes. Chop carrots, celery, garlic, and onion up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate stew for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months.