If molasses were a beer, it would be a Guinness stout—rich, thick, dark, caramel-y, deeply flavorful. It is Ireland's most popular brew with, get this, more than 10 million pints sold every day around the world. (That's a lot of beer!)
Around here in Sacramento, Guinness is a favorite for St. Patrick's Day, and you can find stacks of Guinness displays at practically every store that sells beer.
Naturally, Guinness has made its way into flavoring many dishes, including breads like our Guinness Bread with Molasses, and desserts like our Chocolate Guinness Cake and Guinness Brownies, as well as stews like this one.
What's in This Beef Stew?
Guinness beef stew is Ireland's answer to Belgian carbonnade, with chunks of beef and with stout instead of ale, and with root vegetables such as parsnips, carrots, and celery root.
Check out these other "beef and beer" stew recipes:
How to Cook for Tender Beef and Soft Vegetables
This stew we are making in a slow cooker (though you could make it in the oven as well). The controlled low and slow cooking is perfect for tenderizing the flavorful but tough pieces of beef chuck roast, while keeping the root vegetables intact.
The trick is to brown the meat first, before adding to the slow cooker. That way you get all of the wonderful flavor from the browned meat in your stew.
How to Store Leftovers
Like many stews, this one is actually better the second day (and even better the third day). Leftovers can be stored for up to five days or so, and can be gently reheated on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave.
You can freeze the leftover soup, but the potatoes and other root vegetables tend to break down when thawed and reheated. It will still taste good reheated, but know that these vegetables will be softer.
Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew
If you would prefer to make the stew in the oven, cook everything in a large Dutch oven. After you add the liquid, bring it to a simmer on the stovetop then put it, tightly covered, in a 225°F oven for 6 hours (or a 300°F oven for 4 hours).
Note that different people have different sensitivities to bitter flavors. If Guinness Stout tastes bitter to you, then the stew will taste bitter as well. If it doesn't taste bitter to you, the stew should not taste bitter.
You can either use celery root, young turnips, or potatoes in addition to parsnips and carrots. If you use turnips, make sure you only use young turnips, which are smaller and sweeter than regular turnips. Regular turnips can be quite bitter.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 pounds (900 g) well marbled chuck beef roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pint (16 ounces, 475 ml) Guinness extra stout (make sure you use extra stout and not draught)
- 3 cups (700 ml) beef broth
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3 to 4 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 pound (280 g) celery root, potatoes, or very young turnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Brown the beef, transfer to slow cooker:
Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in the butter, starting with the fattiest pieces of meat, fat side down in the pan. This will allow some beef fat to render out. Work in batches as to not crowd the pan.
Sprinkle salt over the beef as it browns. Once browned on all sides, transfer the beef pieces into a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.
Sauté onions and celery, transfer to slow cooker:
Add the onions and celery to the pan in which you just browned the beef. Sauté the onions and celery until they begin to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and mix well. Cook for a minute or two, then add a little of the Guinness, enough to make it easier for you to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan.
Transfer the celery and onions into the slow cooker.
Add Guinness, broth, root vegetables, thyme, salt:
Add the rest of the Guinness, the beef broth, carrots, parsnips, celery root, and thyme to the slow cooker. Add two teaspoons of salt.
Cook in slow cooker:
Cover and cook on "high" for 4 hours, or "low" for 8 hours. When done, add more salt to taste. If you want, sprinkle with fresh parsley to serve.