In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon for 3-4 minutes or until bacon begins to brown. Scoop out bacon and transfer to a 6 quart stockpot Leave bacon grease in the skillet.
Season cut beef with salt and pepper (to taste) then add beef to the skillet. Brown beef for about 5 minutes, making sure to sear all sides. Scoop out beef and transfer to the pot with the bacon. Continue to leave grease in the skillet.
Reduce heat to medium and add onions to skillet. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic to skillet and cook for 1 minute.
Add beer to skillet and stir until combined with the grease, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.
Pour onion & beer mixture into the pot with the bacon and beef. Add carrots, celery, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, and chicken stock, then stir.
Bring stew to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook stew for 1 hour. Remove lid and add potatoes to pot. Cook stew for 1 more hour, uncovered.
If you'd like a thicker stew, add in 1 tablespoon of flour to the broth and stir thoroughly. Let stew cook for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered.
Serve stew immediately.
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