Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew

The cooking editors say cooks should be careful to choose the mellower Guinness Draught rather than Guinness Extra Stout for this stew. “When we enhanced the beer’s complex coffee/chocolate flavors by adding bittersweet chocolate to the slow cooker, our testers raved about the beefy, stout flavor. We added the Guinness in two stages to get the best of its flavor – at the beginning for a base flavor and at the end for a fresh kick,” they wrote.

Also, be gentle when stirring in the flour or the fork-tender beef will fall apart.

4 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 11/2-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups Guinness Draught
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook half of beef until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker insert and repeat with additional 2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef.

Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil, onions, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to skillet and cook until onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add broth, 11/4 cups stout, sugar, thyme, chocolate, and bay leaves and bring to boil, using wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits. Transfer to slow cooker insert.

Add potatoes, parsnips and carrots to slow cooker insert. Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 9 to 10 hours (or cook on high for 6 to 7 hours).

Set slow cooker to high. Whisk flour and remaining 1/4 cup beer until smooth, then stir mixture into slow cooker. Cook, covered, until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper, and discard bay leaf. Serve.

Yield: 8 servings