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Brown meat: Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and brown; remove and add to 4-6 quart slow cooker.
Sauté onions: Add onions to hot skillet and sauté over medium heat until softened. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the beef broth, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan (see notes for using dark beer in this step). Take off the heat and carefully pour into slow cooker over meat.
Cook stew: Place potatoes, carrots and celery in slow cooker. Whisk together broth, Worcestershire sauce and flour in a measuring jug. Pour over meat and vegetables in slow cooker, then carefully stir. Tuck in herbs, close lid and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
Thicken: Open slow cooker and carefully stir. Pour in cornstarch slurry, stirring to combine well. Simmer WITHOUT the lid for 15-30 minuets on HIGH, until thickened.