After stirring it all together, to the right is what it looked like when I turned it on. The stew is supposed to cook for 8 to 10 hours on low and then you're supposed to mix together butter and flour and add it to the stew, allowing the broth to thicken. I did not do this last step partly because I didn't really care in this case about thickening it and partly because, with my fiance being called to stay overtime at work, I forgot about finishing the recipe before he got home.
This is what it looked like when it was done cooking.
Now, I made a half a recipe, according to which I should get three servings out of it. Of course, that all depends on how big of a serving you make. My fiance and I each ate out of small bowls and ended up having two servings each. Then my fiance took all the leftovers to work the next day (yes, he had to work on BOTH New Year's Eve and New Year's Day) and finished it for lunch. So, one could argue that we got five servings out of it, or just that we got three servings as the recipe said. Anyway, my fiance loved the stew and I thought it was decent, but not my best stew ever. I think it might be interesting to try it with a darker beer.
In terms of cost, I spent $14.05 on the ingredients for this recipe, but of course I got more onions and more celery than the recipe called for. We already had the spices and garlic, but we had purchased an 18-pack of the Tecate beer, which came to $14.69. So, assuming that we could this as having made three servings, we actually spent $9.58 per serving. If we had needed to buy the spices and garlic as well, it would have come to a whopping $11.58 per serving. However, the big expense was obviously the beer and since we were purchasing an 18-pack and then only using one can, it seems unfair to add the whole pack on, so I'll say that this stew would cost approximately $20.87 to make if you needed to buy everything (about $6.96 per serving) or $14.87 as I cooked it (about $4.96 per serving). So, although this is definitely not a super expensive meal, it is not as cheap as some of the ones I've made in the past. Also, because it's a traditional stew that includes beef and potato (both higher calorie items) and the beer, this is not as low-calories as some of the other dishes that I've made: it comes out to about 584 calories per serving. Now, of course, all of this was calculated assuming that we got three servings out of this dish. If you were to serve yourself smaller bowls (like we did originally) and eat it with something on the side (say, a large salad), you could probably get five or six servings out of this dish. That would make it out to be only about 292 calories per serving and a cost of $2.48 per serving. That would be much healthier and much nicer on the graduate student budget.