2 lbs beef chuck, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled, quartered
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine
1 12-oz bottle of dark ale (I used Guinness stout)
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaf
1 tsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 lb pearl onions, peeled (I use frozen pearl onions, defrosted)
14 oz large button or cremini mushrooms
Dry the beef with a paper towel, and set aside. Place flour in a large bowl.
Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over low-medium heat. Dredge a third of the beef cubes in the flour, shaking off the excess, and add to the pan (add as much as will fit without crowding). Brown the meat on all sides, and place in a 4-quart slow cooker or Dutch oven. Dredge and brown the remaining meat in batches, and add to the cooker.
Add the quartered onion, mustard, wine, ale, thyme, tomato paste, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the pot. Set the slow cooker to LOW for 6 hours, or cook in the Dutch oven over low heat, covered, for 2-1/2 hours.
At the end of that cooking time, add the pearl onions.
Trim the stems and cut the mushrooms into quarters. In a nonstick frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over low-medium heat, shaking the pan frequently, until the mushrooms begin to give off their liquid and turn light brown. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Stir the mushrooms into the stew.
Cook for a total of 7-1/2 hours in the slow cooker, or 3-1/4 hours on the stovetop.
Serve over buttery egg noodles or rice.