Irish Beef Stew

Soup and StewSt. Patrick's DayIrishGuinness

Irish stew recipe made with beef, garlic, stock, Irish Guinness beer, red wine, potatoes, carrots, and onions. An excellent, hearty stew.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Beef and Guinness Stew

This particular stew has all of the classic trimmings of a good Irish 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 Irish stew by adding Guinness and some red wine. Every time we make this recipe it gets raves!

How to make Irish Beef Stew

Irish Beef Stew Recipe

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  • 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

1 Brown the beef: 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 well browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over and brown on another side.

2 Add garlic and sauté, then add stock, water, Guinness, wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme Worcestershire, bay leaves, simmer: 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 Sauté onions, carrots in separate pan: 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 onions, carrots, potatoes to beef stew, simmer: 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 bowls. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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Irish Beef Stew in Bowl with Spoon Ready to Eat

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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374 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Michela

    It is now my “go to” go to !!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Patrick

    I have my own recipe but thought I’d try this. I liked it ok, but I think I’ll stick to mine…
    The thyme was good, but I still like the allspice I make mine with. The beer was good, I might keep that, but too much water, I had to cook it down until I could taste meat. I’d just add more broth next time instead of water. Also, you didn’t thicken it, way too soupy. At the end, while still lightly bubbling, I use a half cup saved cold broth whisked into a 3rd cup flour and drizzle it into the stew while stirring vigorously. Makes it thicker and more like stew.
    I didn’t not like it, just like my way better.. sorry

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. george

    I LOVED the flavor of thyme in this stew, although I did take one readers advise and used less(1.5 tsp) Way too many potatoes for me. Definitely worth making again.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. John Tupper

    The taste was a two night oral orgasm! Made the house smell great. Will make again!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Jane

    I made this again but didn’t have tomato paste so used catsup instead, and it worked fine. I was also out of thyme, so used Rosemary, still worked okay. I added mushrooms because, well, just because! This is the only beef stew recipe I have now, it is just perfect.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Irish Beef and Guinness Stew in Bowl ready to eatIrish Beef Stew