Simple Beef and Ale Stew is classic comfort food made in the slow cooker.
Keyword: Beef Stew
3poundschuck roastcut into 1-inch cubes
2onionscut into large chunks
3large celery stalkschopped
1 1/2cupschopped carrots
3tablespoonschopped fresh thyme
3 1/2cupslow sodium beef stock
1/2cupall purpose flourdivided
salt and pepper
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Quickly toss the meat with 3 tablespoons flour, salt and pepper. Add the meat to the frying pan and brown on all sides. Do not crowd the pan and cook in batches if necessary. (It took me 4 batches for a 3 pound roast.) Transfer the cooked beef to a bowl and set aside. Add the onion and celery and cook over med-high heat until softened and the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes, stir in the garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer. Stir in the thyme and bay leaves and then add the ale. Stir the mixture being sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Transfer the meat to the slow cooker and add the vegetable/ale mixture on top. Pour the stock over the stew mixture and cover. Cook the stew on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-9 hours. (If using the dump and go method cook the stew on low for 8-10 hours.)
Transfer 3/4 cup of the stew broth to a small bowl and whisk in the remaining flour quickly (and carefully...it will be hot) until there are no lumps. Slowly whisk the flour/broth mixture into the finished stew and allow to cook for another 10-15 minutes to thicken slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Leftover stew can be stored in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 3 days and frozen for up to 6 weeks.