1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Put 2 tablespoons of the flour, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in a bowl. Add the beef cubes and toss to coat.
Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the beef cubes on all sides, 5–7 minutes. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker. Add the thyme, bay leaf, beef broth, stout, tomato paste, celery, onion, garlic, carrots, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir to coat the meat. Cover and cook on high for 2-1/2 hours. When the timer goes off, add the potatoes and cook for an additional 1-1/2 hours. When the timer goes off again, remove 2 cups of the sauce.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons flour and cook, whisking constantly, for about 1 minute. Add the 2 cups sauce and simmer until thick. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker and stir well. Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with the parsley.
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