Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Beer

March 21, 2013

Last week I wanted to make something for St. Patrick’s day dinner, something Irish-y i.e. Something that included beer, more specifically, Guinness. When in Rome – err – Ireland…

However, in true Irish fashion we met up with my mom and brother and everyone else for Greek Food. Not quite Irish, but oh well. The pubs and Irish food joints were packed to the hill, so we decided to eat wherever was empty, which ended up being a Greek place. The food was good, but took forever – there were also 9 of us so that might have been why.

Although St. Patrick’s day was over, I woke up Monday wanting to still make something. So, I decided to go to the Liquor store to pick up some Guinness. It never crossed my mind what time it was. It was 11 am. On a Monday. And I was going to buy beer – all in the name of cooking. I joked with the cashier that I hadn’t had anything Irish on St. Patrick’s day and that I was going to make a stew with the Guinness, and not actually drink it. I suppose he knew a thing or two about cooking, or has had the conversation before because he mentioned that there were other, better, beers to use for a stew besides Guinness. I also didn’t really need a case of beer (though Adam would have helped me there), and apparently Guinness doesn’t make single serve beers. Not that I know about about Beers, or Stouts, but he suggested Phillips Chocolate Stout for using it in a stew. It was in the single serve beer section, so I though I would try it.

A friend of mine had asked me to post a slow cooker recipe, and also enjoys a good beer or two. This way, you can have both in one.

The great thing about slow cooker recipes is that you can throw it all together, and then be off on your way knowing that a delicious dinner will basically cook itself. That’s the kind of dinner I like, especially when I have finals and assignments to write – and Adam isn’t the chef around here. Although, I’m fairly certain anyone can make a slow cooker meal.

I know it’s technically ‘Spring,’ now, but yesterday it was so windy and cold that our power went out. So, as long as the warm weather holds off, you can still warm up with a bowl of this stew.

Adam and I are headed down to the States this weekend, hoping for some Seattle sunshine – maybe??

After hitting up the liquor store at 11 am, ahem, I went to our favourite butcher shop Meridian Meats & Seafood to get some beef. You’ll need about 1.5 – 2 lbs of stewing beef (they had extra lean, but a little bit of fat would actually add flavouring to the stew when you brown it)

Where’s the Beef. (hah)

Add 2 Tbs. of butter to pan over medium-high heat.

Add the beef in two batches, you’ll want to leave room for browning.

Brown the meat on all sides. Season with salt + pepper as it browns.

Once all the beef is browned, place the piece in the slow cooker. Leave the juice in the pan.

Saute onions and celery in juice for 5 minutes. Add 2 tbs tomato paste. Saute for a few more minutes, adding a splash of the Stout to scrape up the browned bits in the pan.

Once finished, transfer celery and onion mixture to the slow cooker.Add the rest of the Stout, worcestershire sauce, broth, thyme and vegetables to the pot.

Cover, and let cook on Low for 8 hours OR High for 4 hours.

This stew gets even better the next day.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew 


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1.5 – 2 pounds marbled stewing beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 celery staks, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbs. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pint Stout/Porter/Guinness (may I suggest a Chocolate Stout)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 small yellow nugget potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
  • dried thyme
1 Heat the butter in large pan over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in the butter. Do this in two batches to allow beef to brown evenly. Sprinkle salt over the beef as it browns. Once browned on all sides, transfer the beef pieces into the slow cooker.
2 Add the diced onions and celery to the pan in which you just browned the beef. Sauté the onions and celery until they begin to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Cook for a minute or two, then add a little of the Stout, enough to make it easier for you to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Transfer the celery and onions into the slow cooker.
3 Add the rest of the Stout, beef broth, worcestershire sauce, carrots, chopped celery, parsnips, potatoes, turnips, and thyme to the slow cooker.
4. Cover and cook on “high” for 4 hours, or “low” for 8 hours.
I served mine over mashed potatoes, but you can also just have it on its own.
adapted from Simply Recipes.

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  • Reply Julia March 22, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    Girl after my own heart! I love porters and stouts….and stew! A nice heavy beefy stew with my favorite brew in it sounds incredible! Have a fun weekend!!

    • Reply Alicia March 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      Thanks! I’m not a beer drinker, but definitely add delicious flavour in soups and stews! Especially chocolate porter!! Never would have thought. Although I have heard of adding chocolate to chili, and I’ve added cinnamon before so I guess it’s the same thing. Have a good weekend too!

  • Reply Justine March 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    yum! so excited to make this!! thanks! 🙂

    • Reply Alicia March 25, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      hope you enjoy!!

  • Reply Aunt Weez March 24, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    I am making a “Uncle Marvin meat” crock pot supper for tomorrow! Will incorporate your receipe with mine. I forgot about adding a beer/stout/porter to a stew for a change. Thanks for this reminder. Luvs Aunt Weez

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