Winter weather was upon us this weekend and we got a pretty good dusting. I’d say it was less than an inch but that’s the most we’ve gotten this year. It then proceeded to ice over and the federal gov’t decided to delay itself on Monday and open at 11am. It was nice, but I didn’t take advantage of it because I’m a goodie two-shoe and like getting into the office at 7am — ha, riiiight.
This beef stew is full of intensity. It’s super dense and rich and guess what? It has BEER and CHOCOLATE. Oh, oh, AND it’s a slow-cooker meal so that means you can let this baby simmer away while you’re at work and come home to the most amazing, mouth-watering smell permeating throughout your house. You can dig right in, too. I love slow cooker meals. They definitely help a working foodie out. Not to mention, the flavors get to party together all day so it’s got super awesome flavor by the time you get to have a taste.
I’ve never made beef stew with beer or chocolate but you cannot omit these! You don’t really taste them in the stew but you need them in there to give the dish the well-rounded flavor that it has. Everything in here comes out fork-tender and it’s such a hearty and dense dish that you probably can only have one bowl. Dare I say that it’s even better the next day? Serve this with crusty sourdough bread or a French baguette and you have yourself a delicious comfort dish for the cold winter days — which I hope doesn’t stay around much longer!
I halved the original recipe and it still filled up my entire 4 qt. crockpot. Or at least I think it’s 4 quarts, maybe 6? Guh, I’ll check tonight cause it’d probably help y’all out. My mom gave it to me so I’m not sure, but all I know is that my entire crockpot was about to overflow, haha
Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew
Yield: 8-10 servings
2 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed & cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups low-sodium beef stock
1 cup Guinness Draught
1/2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. dried thyme*
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
5-6 baby red potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into quarters
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tbsp. corn starch
Enough water to dissolve corn starch
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil on medium high heat. Drop in half of your beef and brown all four sides, about 7-8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker insert and repeat with the other half of the beef.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining vegetable oil and add your onions and cook until they’re lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, 1/2 cup of beer, sugar, thyme, chocolate, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil then transfer to slow cooker insert.
- Add the carrots, parsnips, and potatoes to the slow cooker. Mix it around a little bit with a wooden spoon. Then cover and cook on low for about 9-10 hours or high for 6-7 hours.
- When ready to eat, pour in the remaining 1/2 cup of beer then dissolve the corn starch in water and stir it in the mixture in the slow cooker. Cook for another 15 minutes on high (turn the slow cooker on high if you had it on low) until sauce thickens.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Serve hot with crusty bread.
Julie’s notes: I’m not a huge fan of the thyme flavor so I added only 1/4 of tsp. of thyme instead of 1/2 tsp. You may go according to the recipe or you may add in a little at a time (HA!) and gradually increase it. I also prepared the veggies (scrubbed, peeled, cut) the night before and put them in a cold water bath overnight so they didn’t turn color (especially the potatoes). This just made it easier for me in the morning. All I had to do was brown the beef and throw everything in the crock pot.
Adapted from Blissfully Delicious