Ok, now you have everything! Start to time manage your time. The next steps are for your prep cook (A.K.A loved one / kids). By the way, If people are coming over, I peel everything that has a skin. If not, I skip this part and just give the skin a good scrubbing.
Cut all the root veggies into 1/2 inch cubes. Make them easy to pick up and eat by a fork or fit in a soup spoon. This is great for presentation and understanding what the fuck you are eating and what those flavors are.
Now turn your attention to the meat. Season it liberally with some course Kosher salt - since it is much tastier than the stuff from Morton's - then and some fresh cracked pepper. Put it aside for 10 min.
Mince the garlic.
Measure out the beer, tomato paste, sugar, soy, thyme, starch. This will make things go faster.
Place all the chopped vegetables into the crock-pot that has been on warm.
In a large, heavy bottomed skillet (like from Granny, Ma-maw - for grits and stuff), heat olive oil at medium to medium-high heat. Add beef to the pan and "sear" brown on all sides, only about 2 minutes. The inside will be raw. That's OK! We want to sear and brown the skin - it's a protein thing. Look it up on Serious Eats.
Add garlic and cook for about one minute, do not burn the garlic! Things should be kinda smoky.
Remove the beef and add to the Crock-pot on top of the vegetables.
Immediately add butter to the skillet until it's melted. Then add beef broth, beer, tomato paste, sugar, soy sauce and fresh thyme (no stems or schwag ;). This will create your base.
Using a wooden spoon, stir the liquids as well as scrape the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, allow to boil for at least two minutes.
Lower heat to low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
Add cornstarch and water and stir together. Go ahead and taste it. It should taste delicious. This is the last time you can really add salt or pepper or even more thyme. The taste will become more intense in the slow cooker.
Pour this broth mixture into the Crock-pot over vegetables and beef. Add bay leaves and cook on high for 4-6 hours on low.