Slow Cooker Drunken Beef Stew

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Have you ever had those slow cooked baked beans called borracho beans or drunken beans? They are spicy beans simmered for hours in stout beer. I don’t know exactly what the beer does to the beans, but it’s wonderful! Since we’ve got the alcohol theme and the slow cooker theme going with recipes lately, I was thinking of other things to try out.

I had part of a bottle of cream stout in the fridge that was leftover from a chocolate cupcake experiment. Soooooo… I decided to give it a whirl in slow cooker beef stew. Since it has stout in there, I figured I better call the creation Drunken Beef Stew like the beans. The flavor was really good although I wouldn’t place it as “beer” flavored.

Slow Cooker Drunken Beef Stew Slow Cooker Drunken Beef Stew

  • 1 lb ground beef (93/7)
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 4 large carrots, cut into chunks (150g)
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 6 oz cream stout or other dark beer
  • 2 cups beef broth

Brown the ground beef and break into chunks while cooking. I have a Ninja Slow Cooker that allows me to brown right inside the slow cooker, so it saves me a step and one less dirty pan. Add the browned beef and other ingredients to the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Divide evenly among 4 bowls and serve with a loaf of crusty bread and a side salad. Yep, that’s how easy it is to make. Makes 4 servings at approximately 251 calories each – 28g protein, 17g carbs, and 8g fat.


  • I used the 93/7 ground beef from Walmart instead of going the usual route of stew beef. I broke the beef into chunks and they turned out almost like little meatballs in the stew. If you like, you can use a pound of stew meat or other cut of beef instead.
  • I had leftover onion half from the slow cooker pork so I used that. It was approximately 1 cup when sliced. You don’t have to be exact with your onion measurements as stew is very forgiving with amounts of veggies. Use more or less of the onions, carrots, and mushrooms as you like.
  • I used a British no name brand of cream stout beer since that’s what I had in the house. Wow, don’t I sound cultured. 😉 Sam Adams makes a cream stout also that is pretty available in grocery and liquor stores. You can use any dark stout in its place like Guinness or other dark beer. In a pinch for a non-alcoholic version, you can use strong brewed coffee.

I had a couple servings leftover and took them for lunch this week so I can vouch that it reheats well. I didn’t try freezing it though so I don’t know if that works or not. I don’t know how much of the alcohol simmers off while it’s cooking, but I didn’t taste or feel it in there so I felt safe having it at work. Shhhhh. 😉

Have you tried borracho beans? Do you use stout in other dishes? Do tell. I need help deciding what else I can use it in.

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