So in 2014 I used my slow cooker a lot. Actually, this is a recipe that I made before Christmas in 2o13. I am this behind posting recipes, what can I say.

I’ve learned a lot since Christmas 2013. I’ve learned never to freeze anything with potatoes. This is probably obvious to many, but I didn’t really learn my lesson immediately. I’d never tried it before. I made this stew in a huge quantity, and I can tell you that it was a terrible idea. This is really good, but it is considerably less good after the potatoes have hung out in your freezer for a bit. Make it and eat it sooner rather than later. Don’t freeze it. Don’t make my same mistakes. 

This is a Rachael Ray recipe (surprisingly) which I came across in the October 2013 issue of her magazine while looking for Halloween ideas. I’ve made a lot of beef stew recipes over the years; it’s the very first thing I learned to cook in college. But I like the beer, the slow cooker, and the all-around simplicity of this one. It’s kind of a great winter no-brainer (but seriously, don’t freeze it).

Beef and Potato Stew (from Rachael Ray Magazine.)

1 pound beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dark beer, such as stout or porter
1 3/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Pat the beef dry, then cook until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker.

Add the onions to the hot skillet and cook 2 minutes without disturbing. Add the butter and garlic. Season and cook, turning occasionally, until the onions are softened, 10 minutes.


Stir in the stock and beer and simmer for 2 minutes; transfer the mixture to the slow cooker along with the potatoes and carrots. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours; season. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.