Heat a large frying pan with olive oil on medium heat and add the onions. Fry for 5 minutes then add the garlic. Stir around for another minute then remove the onions and garlic with a slotted spoon and place in the slow cooker.
Turn up the heat to high in the frying pan, add more oil if needed and add the beef. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. The idea is to sear the meat with a rich dark colour quickly. After a few minutes this should have sealed. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the slow cooker. There should be frothy juices left behind from the meat in the pan.
Pour the whisky into the frying pan and and stir for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add 1/2 of the stock. Pour the remaining half in the slow cooker. Stir the juices around in the frying pan and when bubbling well carefully pour into the slow cooker. Add the seasoning, paprika, herbs and the potatoes. Mix well and put the lid on. Cook for about 6 hours.
About 2 hours before serving, place the mushrooms in the pot. Stir well and replace the lid. After about and hour and a half check the consistency of the liquid. (Slow cookers to tend to produce a lot of liquid). The idea is to get a runny to thick gravy consistency. Add cornflour mixed with water if needed to thicken, stir and cover.
Serve in a deep bowl with bread on the side. Garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley (optional).
Herbes de Provence
Herbes de Provence is a mix of savory, fennel, basil and thyme. If you cannot find dried Herbes de Provence use dried thyme or dried mixed herbs.