Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
45 Mins
Total Time
8 Hours
Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

A nutty dark beer adds richness and depth to the stew. Be careful not to choose a beer that's super-hoppy; it will taste too bitter. To get 2 pounds of trimmed meat, you'll probably need to purchase a 2 1/2-pound roast.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of beef to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning until well browned on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef; remove beef and any juices from pan.

Step 2

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onions and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup stock, remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer. Carefully pour mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Add beef, potatoes, carrots, thyme, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.

Step 3

Combine remaining 1/4 cup stock and flour, stirring with a whisk. Stir flour mixture into stew; cook 15 minutes or until thickened. Stir in mustard and vinegar. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Sprinkle with parsley.

Ratings & Reviews

ktleyed's Review

December 26, 2013
I made the recipe as written, but added more meat and made this for Christmas. I started it out in the crockpot, but about half way, I transferred it to the over at 325 for I was afraid the carrots and potatoes weren't going to be cooked through since the crock pot was filled up so high. I must admit it was fantastic! Will make again, only this time in the oven for the whole time.

jflynn999's Review

December 15, 2013
Made this for dinner tonight and got rave reviews. Used Fosters premium ale and red potatoes. Served with sourdough bread for slurping up the great gravy at the end of the meal. Will definitely make this again!

dgarret2's Review

December 20, 2013
This was very good - very interesting/complex flavor. The "whole sprigs of thyme" was a lot easier to deal with instead of pulling off leaves and chopping as I have always done. Just pulled out the leafless sprigs when done. For those who do not know much about beer, you may find you need to go to a specialty beer/wine store to find Nut Brown Ale. There seems to be two styles (northern England and London) which I have not yet figured out which is better. A person at our local grocery advised that typical American light beer is not what this recipe needs. I used a brown ale (versus nut brown ale) that did not result in an unpleasant bitter taste. This is one recipe that the beer flavor does not get lost but is pleasant. I personally don't like beer but think it works great in this recipe. Another reviewer used Root Beer instead -- I would expect that would completely change the flavor of this recipe and would not recommend that approach.

Carrie622's Review

January 20, 2014
This beef stew was outstanding! The preparation was a little time consuming, so allow yourself the full 45 minutes to trim the meat, cut the vegetables, and cook everything. I was unable to find a nut brown ale here in Germany, so I used Newcastle Brown Ale. I am not a beer connoisseur, but I think the flavor was nice. I also had to substitute 1 tsp. dried marjoram leaves for the thyme because I was unable to find it at the local store. This was delicious, and I plan to make it again in the future.

carolfitz's Review

January 30, 2014
Made to recipe except used a bottle of Ommegang Abbey Ale and added two celery stalks cut same size as the carrots. Done after 5 hours on low. Served with mushroom-spinach salad and crusty bread. Great winter meal.

StephMerrifield's Review

January 02, 2014
This was outstanding! Made exactly as written (used pearl onions and baby carrots as nearly identical subs) and we liked it so much we made it again the next week. The second time I made it, I skipped step 3 entirely because we were hungry when we got home and didn't want to wait, and I think it was equally as good- without as much of a strong taste. My husband thought both times it was good and tasted the same, so clearly it's just a matter of preference. Either way it's a KEEPER! and a bag of frozen pearl onion makes it even faster to prepare.

Chrysalis101's Review

December 24, 2013
Really tasty & very easy too. Will definitely add it to our dinner rotation. Used a nut brown ale & it added a lot of flavor. I actually don't like beer, but thought the flavor of the stew was spot on.

Esmith767's Review

April 25, 2014
Fantastic! I have made this several times and loved it every time. Try: -few more carrots -boiler onions -baby potatoes this keeps the onions and potatoes more intact over a long cooking time.

sbwieczor96's Review

January 22, 2014
Made it like the recipe but added peas. I was home while it was was cooking in the crockpot and stopped it at 6 hours and then added peas, mushroom and the rest of the beer ( bought a 2 pint) instead of the stock. Think 7 hours is a bit to much since so much was cooked before hand.

guysdahlink's Review

January 08, 2014
I made this the other day. There were sub-zero temps in WI and the time was right! I did not have any nut brown ale (not a big fan) but we do like our Miller High Life and I used that instead. Did not add red wine vinegar (out of stock) and used a teaspoon or so of dried thyme instead of the sprigs. Husband said it could of used more salt (which he added to his own bowl) but I thought it was just fine the way it is. Very, very good! The beer flavor was there, but not overpowering...a nice flavor addition. Will make again for sure.