Smoky Beef Stew

April 8, 2013

Need a reason to sip beer at 9am? This is it.


My series of “I need my hands free at dinnertime” slow-cooker recipes continues. This week with a slow cooked beef stew!


I bought this stew beef over the winter and put it in the freezer. Now that The Great Thaw is upon us, I figured I better use it before summer is here.


This recipe is a super-simple layer-this-on-that-and-set-to-low type. Nothing to it. You can use any veggies you like (onion..mmm).


When I was in middle school, my friend’s mom would always make a beef stew in the winter and it would stay heated all day long. We’d pop into the kitchen and slurp mugs of it whenever we needed a pick-me-up.

Beef stew for morning snack? Sure.

Beef stew for lunch? Yum!

Beef stew to warm up after riding bikes? Why not.

Beef stew for hors d’oeuvres. You bet.


The smoke in this recipe comes from smoked paprika plus a smoked brown ale that Matt had on tap. If you’re not the type of household to have kegs full at all times, then feel free to use any brown ale you can find. Or omit the beer and use red wine. Or just broth!


Ready set go! I actually liked that the scent on this was mild and it didn’t fill my house with food smells all day long, especially because I had friends over for lunch and I didn’t want the lunch to smell like beef.



Slow Cooker Smoky Beef Stew

by Kath Younger

Keywords: slow-cooker entree soup soup/stew beef carrots potato beer Super Bowl Weeknights winter

Ingredients (Tons – 6-8 bowls)

  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1 pint cremini mushrooms
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 4 potatoes, about a pound
  • 1 pound stew beef
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup brown smoked beer
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp or 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


Layer all ingredients in the order above. Cook on low for 9 hours.

Powered by Recipage

Served with Greek yogurt, per usual!


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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

I already sent this along to my mom! She got a slow cooker in January and is loving making new recipes in it!


2 K April 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Yum! My dad used to make Guinness beef and veggie stew when I was growing up. There was nothing better on a drizzily day than a piping hot bowl ladled up with love and served with a well-buttered slice of my Mum’s fresh Portuguese sweet bread! I think I may be due for a visit home!
Also the colouring of Matt’s homebrew is lovely. Beer and chocolate, for me, the denser and more deeply flavoured the better! :) Now I’m just waiting to see who’s going to be first to take offense at your “If you’re not the type of household to have kegs full at all times.” since it seems that certain readers seem to use any excuse to jump to the conclusion that you are bragging! :p Although, if there’s something worth singing about from the rooftops, a good homebrew is it! :) All of those Negative Nellies who seem to keep popping up lately are just envious! Keep on doing what you’re doing Kath! Especially if it is making you happy! I am loving all of these slow-cooker recipes lately. I have always been the one to spend hours in the kitchen. However, I recently took on extra responsibilities at work and the Crockpot is the only way I can get my husband to cook for me! :) Okay, I am going to halt my rambling now! I guess that’s what I get for commenting directly after finishing my morning coffee! Happy Monday everyone!


3 Ashley Cook April 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

This looks amazing! My mom used to make us a simple beef stew when it was cold outside. Seeing this dish and with how the weather is where I am, it reminds me of home. I like that there is a slight twist with the beer added in. I am going to have to go to the store so that I can give this a try. Thank you for sharing!


4 Paige April 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Would you suggest adding more broth at the end, if you prefer more of a soup consistency? Your finished product looks almost more like the consistency of a casserole.


5 KathEats April 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I just didn’t get much broth in my bowl. But it’s a stew (thick) not so much a soup


6 Susan H @ The Food Allergy Chronicles April 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Yum! I grew up with my mom cooking Beef Bourguignon…using red wine and beef broth. As my son is allergic to beef…I have adapted the recipe by using a cubed pork roast and vegetable broth. I love the idea of using a smoky ale and smoked paprika! Must try!! :)


7 Karen April 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm

No offense, but truthfully, all I can say is yuk! I have strong childhood memories of my mom’s beef stew too, only in my case, I despised everything about it – the pungent beefy smell wafting throughout the house, the gross taste…come to think of it, that frequent dinner might have been a major factor in my turning vegetarian at the ripe old age of 12. Just sayin’ 😉


8 mary @ minutes per mile April 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I am all about the slow cooker these days. But now that springtime’s upon us, I’m having trouble thinking of less-wintery slow-cooker meals… maybe white chili or a light soup? Stews and such just aren’t speaking to me in springtime!


9 Bonnie April 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Wow this looks really good! I am going to have to try this :)


10 Sarah April 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm

If you were to do this over, do you think you’d consider adding the vegetables closer to the end of the cooking period? Nine hours seems like a long time for frozen peas, which are already cooked anyway. The beer sounds interesting!


11 Chrissy April 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I agree about the peas. They really only need to be warmed for a few minutes and then they don’t turn a sickly green color. Love beef stew! I have a recipe that calls for a dab of whole grain mustard and it really adds some dimension. Oh and I don’t judge you for having a full keg in the house – I admire you! :-)


12 cathy April 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I love mushrooms, but haven’t tried them in the crockpot yet. That stew sounds delish. Here is another good one :)


13 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs April 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Even though the finished product doesn’t look all that appetizing, I bet it was delicious! That’s always the case with slow cooker meals :)

I’m always jealous of your in-house beer supply!


14 Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food April 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Any recipes that uses beer and is super easy is a winner in my house!


15 Mommypage April 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Wow, that is an amazing recipe! The smoky beef looks so fresh. I’m surprised you added beer to it, I bet that makes it even more flavorful!


16 Erin Shmidt April 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm

looks awesome! Do you ever add a splash of red vin. (I use pom red vin) to the meat at the end? Tyler Florence does it and it adds a brightness to it. Makes everyone always ask what’s in it.


17 Lisa @ bakebikeblog April 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm

so hearty and delicious!


18 Jane @ Not Plain So Jane April 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Can’t wait to play with my crockpot again. I think it’s too warm here for stew though!


19 Maria Tadic April 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm

This looks good. I love a good smoky flavor in soups! I use a drop or two of liquid smoke if I’m out of smoked paprika or other spices. Works like a charm!


20 Steve April 8, 2013 at 8:46 pm

The best smoky beer I’ve had is called Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier. It’s hard to find but you might find it at a specialty beer/wine shop.


21 Kylie @ immaeatthat April 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Another delicious recipe:) and it has Worcestershire sauce in it so it has to be amazing haha:)) I just wanted to say that I just found out yesterday that I matched with a dietetic internship and couldn’t be more thrilled. I remember reading your post on ‘becoming and RD’ a year or two ago and thinking ohmygoodness I still have SOOO much work to do. But now step one is done! Without you and this blog I don’t know if I would have ever thought that healthy food could be fun and exciting. So thanks for that:)


22 KathEats April 9, 2013 at 7:44 am



23 lynn @ the actor's diet April 8, 2013 at 10:31 pm

i used to be obsessed w a boy named stew in junior high. it was so traumatizing i haven’t eaten beef stew since!


24 Melissa April 9, 2013 at 12:31 am

Mmm…sounds good and so easy!


25 Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 3:01 am

Slow cooking stew is so nice. I love this hearty meal on a cold day and where i live it is cold so I have stew a lot. Your meal does look so yummy lol


26 Ella P April 9, 2013 at 4:17 am

Port wine works splendidly IN stews, WITH stews and AFTER stews….

Greetings from a “Port-wine-kegged” household 😉


27 BusyWorkingMama April 9, 2013 at 5:56 am

I’m constantly on the hunt for slow cooker or one-pot recipes. I like the addition of mushrooms, peas and celery to the been stew.


28 Rebecca King April 9, 2013 at 7:14 am

Looks great. I love stew but new put beer in it before. Have to try that.


29 Sara @ fitcupcaker April 9, 2013 at 7:31 am

I need more crockpot recipes. This looks delicious! I am always searchin online for healthy ones


30 Hope April 9, 2013 at 8:18 am

This looks so good. Do you think it would be ok to cook this on low for about 10 hours?


31 KathEats April 9, 2013 at 8:22 am

Yes, or have your cooker switch to warm after 8 if that works?


32 Hope April 10, 2013 at 8:29 am



33 Elizabeth April 9, 2013 at 11:08 pm

We had a local Scotch Ale on tap at our house over the winter and I added it to my beef stew–yum!


34 KathEats April 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm



35 Neil Butterfield April 19, 2013 at 7:21 am

Nothing like a hearty beef stew to warm one up on a cold night. One of my all time favorite meals.


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