Guinness Beef Stew (Slow Cooker)

One of the best things I love about dinner lately is that I can really maximize the use of my slow cooker. I've been working long hours at the pharmacy and having slow cooker meals has really made dinner easier for everyone. By having things ready in the slow cooker for Patrick to manage, we're not defaulting to take out dinners or eating out all the time. This Guinness Beef Stew happens to be one of our favorites this fall since we've made it a few times in the past couple of months! Beef is slow cooked with Guinness Draught beer to lend a complex, rich flavor with baby carrots and potatoes...

This is a hearty meal in of itself, especially with some garlic bread or warm rolls. But to stretch it a bit, it's also great over buttered egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. Leftovers are especially good because the flavor develops even more... that is, if there are even leftovers to begin with! 

Guinness Beef Stew
recipe adapted from Cook's Country

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups Guinness Draught, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound baby carrots
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Season beef with salt and pepper to your tastes and place in slow cooker.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally until softened, for 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and flour, cooking until most moisture is absorbed and pan is slightly dry, for 1-3  minutes. Whisk in the broth, 3/4 cup Guinness, brown sugar and thyme, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to slow cooker and pour over beef. Add potatoes and carrots, cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. 
Just before serving, stir in remaining 1/2 cup Guinness and parsley into slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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