Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew is the perfect recipe for me. My mother, her mother, and my father’s mother have always been able to make a fabulous beef stew with no recipe. Through the years, it has become clear that in order to be successful in the kitchen, I really have to have a real recipe, one that has been tested after being written down. My problem with recipes is that every new cook is trying to put their own “spin” on classic dishes. So when what I really want is just plain ole beef stew, that’s exactly the recipe I just can’t seem to find. This one fits the bill, however. The only change I make is that rather than using a bottle of the nut brown ale that the recipe calls for, I use whatever I happen to have on hand. I have used hefeweizen and oktoberfest ales for sure. You want something middle-of-the road to use in a beef stew. Save the chocolate porter, I.P.A. and Guinness for drinking. If you happen to be snowed in, like I am today, you can also totally leave out the potatoes if you don’t happen to have any.