This slow cooker Guinness beef stew is slowly braised in the stout beer for a complex depth of flavor. Cooked low and slow, you’ll have tender and delicious beef with vegetables in a super flavorful broth.
2 1/2 pounds chuck steak, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes (or stew beef)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Guinness stout beer (14.9oz)
1 pound yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
5 carrots, 4 chopped into 1/2 inch slices, 1 grated
4 celery ribs, 3 chopped into 1/2 inch slices, 1 rib finely chopped
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp better than bouillon beef paste
1 cup beef broth
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup stew broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
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.