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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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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343 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Arubagirl

    I haven’t made this yet, but have a question. I know nothing about beer or wine. Not a fan of either. Can something milder be substituted for the strong Guinness Beer? I don’t mind the wine, as long as it’s not too bitter.
    Thanks.

  • N Blais

    Great taste!
    I use moose meat and any european lager instead of Guiness and beef. Thickens up fine the next day if there is any left! (I also use more potatos than called for)

  • Susan

    My husband, who is 25% Irish, made this stew today. It was super-good but tasted largely of thyme (and was a bit sweet), and it never did thicken up. I had him mix some of the cooled broth with a few teaspoons of cornstarch and added it back to thicken it up. When we make it again, we likely will reduce the water to maybe 1 cup and cut back on the sugar.We served the stew with some homemade bread. Yum!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • [email protected]

    Make sure you brown the meat and do so in small batches so it falls apart later. Mine didn’t. Still tasty.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Sheri

    I have made this twice and it has an amazing taste! The whole family (all 6 of us) like it and that is rare. :)

    xxxxxyyyyy

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