Irish Beef Stew

Americans have a curious way of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. We pinch each other if we forget to wear something green, we make green foods regardless if they have anything to do with Ireland, and we adapt traditional Irish recipes to our own taste.

The last is the case with this Irish beef stew. As any Irish person will tell you, lamb is the preferred meat for a good Irish stew. But here in the states we eat a lot more beef than lamb, so when we want to make a stew to celebrate all things Irish, it’s usually done with beef. This particular stew has all of the classic trimmings of a good stew—meat, stock, plenty of root vegetables—with the addition of some Guinness extra stout, for its malty flavor and some Irish authenticity.

The recipe originally came to me through my friend Tomas, who got it from a chef friend in Europe, who had adapted a Bon Appetit recipe for stew by adding Guinness and some red wine. Every time we make this recipe it gets raves!

Updated from the recipe archives, first posted 2006.

Irish Beef Stew Recipe

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Please use beef chuck stew meat that is well marbled with fat. Lean stew meat will end up too dry.

Save prep time by prepping the onions, carrots, and potatoes while the stock with beef is simmering in step 2.



  • 1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 teaspoons of salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups beef stock or broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup of Guinness extra stout
  • 1 cup of hearty red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots and/or parsnips (3 to 4 carrots or parsnips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1 Sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt over the beef pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large (6 to 8 quart), thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Pat dry the beef with paper towels and working in batches, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over and brown on another side.

irish-beef-stew-method-600-1 irish-beef-stew-method-600-2

2 Add garlic to the pot with the beef and sauté 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the beef stock, water, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, then cover and cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.


3 While the pot of meat and stock is simmering, melt the butter in another pot over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Sauté the onions and carrots until the onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step 2 has simmered for one hour.


4 Add the onions, carrots, and the potatoes to the beef stew. Add black pepper and two teaspoons of salt. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off any excess fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


Irish Beef Stew on Simply Recipes

Never miss a recipe!

Subscribe to Simply Recipes free via email:

Showing 4 of 266 Comments

  • Vicci Henderson

    Hi…I made the Irish stew last night…and I must tell you that it is fantastic!!! My husband and I ran around all day yesterday getting the ingrediants…we used a stout ale…and Charles Mitchell Bella Rosa Italian style red wine…(we live up in Placerville) and have such great wineries in the area….I love your blog…and I plan on making lots of your yummy sounding recipes! The only different thing I added to the stew were whole fresh mushrooms…only because we love them…Great recipe..Thank-You! Vicci

  • Robin

    This looks exactly like the beef stew my mother has been making for ages. My family is welsh not irish but nontheless the stew is fantastic. We serve it with any hot crusty bread and lots of butter. This stew also freezes well if you take it off the heat just before the potatoes are soft (while they still have their corners). We ladle it into plastic containers and have stew all winter.

  • sojourner

    Day after tomorrow we’re forecast to have lows into 40’s – hurray! Here in OK that means opening the windows for the first time since April, taking long walks through the riotous color our sweetgums, dogwoods, and maples muster, slipping on acorns under the leaves, and trying not to step on the walking sticks. In anticipation I decided to try this recipe out. WOW! Delicious, a keeper! Very different from the usual beef stew.

    I added an oxtail for richness (actually my husband, whom I had sent grocery shopping, bought a small package of stew meat instead of a large one, so …), 2 shakes of McCormick’s Montreal Steak seasoning for spice, and a sprig of fresh rosemary from the garden, as well as some oatmeal as a thickener. After browning the meat and combining all the ingredients in the skillet, I tossed everything except the potatoes and carrots into the crock pot for 5 hours. Added the veggies during the last hour. Fantastic! Thanks for posting it.

  • Sheeijan

    I made this over the weekend. Wonderful rich flavor, and perfect for cold nights. I froze about half of it for later. I didn’t have Guinness on hand so I used Newcastle Brown Ale, hopefully that was close enough. I also used Yukon Gold potatoes, yummy! The meat was incredibly tender and delicious. My husband ate two bowls of it for dinner tonight!

View More Comments / Leave a Comment