Because of my sweet husband's no-carb diet right now, I left out the potatoes and instead made a small batch of mashed potatoes that I could serve the stew over top of for the kiddos. He has also missed drinking an occasional beer, so the beer flavor in the stew was an added bonus.
The added bonus for me was getting to use my cast iron dutch oven. I LOVED it!!! I love the red color on the outside, and I love the way the food cooked in it, and I loved how easy it was to clean! My hubby and kids gave me an awesome Christmas present!