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This slow cooker beef stew is braised in Guinness stout beer, giving it a complex depth of flavor. This easy beef stew recipe slowly simmers in your crockpot all day, giving you tender pieces of beef and tender vegetables.
When it comes to slow cooking meats, the vegetables don’t always fare well. Cooking vegetables for 8 hours usually leaves you with mush, here are some tips to combat that.
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For the potatoes, I use yukon gold or red potatoes. These hold up well when used in stews and give you a great final consistency, even after 8 hours. Carrots and celery lend so much flavor to the cooking process, but are the mushy culprits when cooked for too long. My secret for my stew, is to grate some carrots and mince some celery. This will not only flavor the beef/broth while it cooks, but will naturally thicken the sauce too. I don’t add my sliced carrots and celery to the slow cooker till the final 3 hours and they come out perfectly tender.
Best Beef For Slow Cooking
When it comes to slow cooking beef, you can take cheaper tough cuts of beef and turn them into juicy tender ones. The slow cooker takes the tough fibers of the meat and breaks them down during the long cooking process. I like to use chuck when making my stew because it is affordable and reaps the benefits of the slow cooking process. The fat on it also allows the meat to remain moist and gives it extra flavor while cooking.
Before starting the slow cooking process, we will sear the steak. Searing steak is when you flash brown the surfaces to seal all the juices in and give the meat more flavor. This also gives the fat a chance to render and add to the flavor.
After searing and removing the steak, I add the onions and garlic to soak up all the delicious flavors the meat left behind. Sautéing the onions also gives the stew an extra depth of flavor, instead of an overpowering raw onion taste. Next, I poured the Guinness stout beer and deglazed the pan. Make sure to scrape all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, thats where all the flavor is!
Slow Cooker Steps
Now it’s time to set the slow cooker up. The seared beef, sautéd onion/garlic/Guinness mixture, minced celery, grated carrots, tomato paste, beef bouillon paste, potatoes, herbs, and beef broth. You’ll set your slow cooker to low for 8 hours.
When there is 3 hours left on the cook time, stir in the chopped carrots and celery. This will prevent overly mushy vegetables at the end of the long cooking process.
Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew
At the end of the 8 hour cooking period, carefully taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with bread, crackers, or even a bit of rice!
This hearty Guinness beef stew with seared chuck steak, tender yukon gold potatoes, and perfectly cooked vegetables with my special technique, is the perfect comfort food.
Interested in more slow cooker recipes?
- Slow Cooker Short Ribs
- Slow Cooker Beef Chili
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
- Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken
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- 2 1/2 pounds chuck steak (cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes (or stew beef))
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (chopped (1 cup))
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 14.9 ounces Guinness stout beer (1 can)
- 1 pound yukon gold potatoes (peeled and quartered)
- 5 carrots (4 chopped into 1/2 inch slices, 1 grated)
- 4 ribs celery (3 chopped into 1/2 inch slices, 1 rib finely chopped)
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon beef paste
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup stew broth (for cornstarch slurry)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
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- Cut beef into 1 1/2 inch cubes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven over medium/high heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, in batches, sear/brown the pieces of beef all over. Repeat with all the beef pieces. When they are done being seared, put in the slow cooker.
- Lower the heat to medium, add in the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add in the garlic and sauté an additional minute until fragrant. Pour in the Guinness and allow pan to deglaze for 3 minutes, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Pour this over the beef in the slow cooker.
- In the slow cooker add in the potatoes, the grated carrot, finely chopped celery, tomato paste, bouillon paste, beef broth, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Carefully stir all the ingredients, place the lid on top, and set the slow cooker on low heat, for 8 hours.
- When there are 3 hours left, add in the sliced celery and carrots, stir, and replace the lid [see note]. In a small bowl add the cornstarch and spoon some stew broth inside, stir until cornstarch has been absorbed. Pour cornstarch slurry into the slow cooker, stir, and recover for the remaining 3 hours.
- At the end of the 8 hours remove the bay leaves and thyme stems, taste, adjust salt/pepper, and serve!
- I wait to add the sliced celery and carrots so they do not turn to mush in the long 8 hour cooking process. By adding the grated carrot and finely chopped celery in the beginning, you reap the benefits of the flavor and enhance the texture of the stew.
- If you are refrigerating leftovers, you can skim the fat off of the top prior to reheating.
- Cooking chuck on low for 8 hours allows the tough fibers to become deliciously tender, I do not recommend slow cooking for less time.
- I use cornstarch as a thickener for the stew liquid, you can also use all purpose flour. I do not dust my beef with flour because it tends to burn when searing which in turn alters the taste of the entire dish.