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Cut the roast into large chunks about 1 ½ inches in size.
Salt and pepper the raw meat to season.
In a large heavy bottomed dutch oven (7 quarts/litres or more) heat the canola oil over medium high heat.
Brown the beef chunks on all sides, working in small batches so as not to crowd your pan.
When all the beef is browned, remove it temporarily from the pot.
Add the chopped onions to the pot. (plus the garlic if you are using it)
Cook for a few minutes to soften the onions.
Add the browned beef back to the pot along with the Irish Ale (You can just use more beef stock as a substitute if you prefer.)
Cook slowly in a 300 degree oven for about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Add all of the vegetables to the pot.
Season again, lightly, with salt.
Be sure to add the potatoes last, so that they are on top. This is so you can test them easily with a fork to judge if they are done.
Add the beef stock to pot. (Reserve about a cup to make a thickening slurry after)
Return to the oven for about an hour or until the potatoes are fork tender.
In a bottle, shake together the reserved stock (or an equivalent amount of water) and the flour, to make a thickening slurry.
You can use a whisk or even an immersion blender if you like to ensure that there are no lumps in the thickening. To be doubly sure you can also strain the thickening through a sieve if you like.
At this point, if the pot is very full, I remove about half of the contents temporarily, using a slotted spoon to leave all of the broth behind. This will make thickening the gravy much easier.
Very slowly pour the thickening slurry into the pot while stirring constantly so no lumps can form. You can use part or all of the thickening slurry to get the gravy to your personal desired consistency, If it is still too thin for your preference, just make a little more of the slurry.
Add the vegetables and beef back to the pot if you removed them, and simmer for just a couple of minutes. Taste the gravy and again lightly season if required.
Serve with freshly baked Irish soda bread.