Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie

I came to the breakfast table one morning to find my Real Simple magazine opened to this recipe page. Somehow that struck me as maritally sexy, the fact that my husband had requested this meal in such a quiet, unassuming way. Last night I made it and we all enjoyed it! My kitchen notes follow the recipe.

1.5lb beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 C low-sodium beef broth
1 C dark beer (such as Guinness)
3 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T tomato paste
2 T flour
— Kosher salt and black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, peeled
2 C frozen peas
1/2 C milk
2 T unsalted butter

Combine the beef, carrots, onions, broth, beer, Worcestershire, tomato paste, flour, 1.5 T salt, and 1 t pepper in a 4-6 qt slow cooker. Nestle the potatoes in the liquid.

Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, on low for 7-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours. Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl. Stir the peas into the stew, cover, and warm until heated through, 2-3 minutes.

Mash the potatoes with the milk, butter and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Serve the stew topped with the mashed potatoes.

**I dropped four medium sized russet potatoes into the crockpot for 8 hours and they still weren’t tender. Plus they had absorbed some of the reddish sauce, which I didn’t love aesthetically. Next time I’ll make mashed potatoes separately! No big deal there. Also, my husband requested a meat with more marbled fat for a more tender beef chunk at the end.