An easy, hearty stew infused with Guinness
Rumor has it that when Arthur Guinness first signed the lease to an unused brewery in the St. Everyone can respect a decent pour of the black gold, but what your loved ones will really go wild for is how you infuse it with traditional peasant fare in this easy, hearty stew.
- 1 Pound beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 hot sausage links, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 8 red potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- One 15-ounce can beef stock
- 1 bottle Guinness stout
Guinness Stew That's Perfect For St. Patty's Day
Whether you're looking for an Irish-inspired recipe to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year or just a hearty bowl of richly flavored stew to warm up your kitchen, this Guinness stew is just what you need. Tender beef chuck, sweet root vegetables, and a rich dark gravy highlight the malty Irish beer. It makes an irresistible stew that's perfect for pairing with that Irish soda bread baking up in your kitchen this week. Photographer and recipe developer Keith Kamikawa has shared all his key tips for taking those coffee and chocolate notes of Guinness and transforming them into a savory stew that you'll want to make way more often than once a year.
After a few low and slow hours in the oven, your house will smell incredible, and you'll find yourself impatiently waiting for that first spoonful. When it's finally time to pull that pot out of the oven and ladle a scoop of steaming Guinness stew into your bowl, we're betting you'll have a new St. Patrick's day tradition.
- 2 pounds lean stewing beef
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (to taste)
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 2 large onions (coarsely chopped)
- Optional: 1 large clove garlic (crushed)
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree (dissolved in 4 tablespoons water)
- 1 1/4 cups Guinness stout beer
- 2 cups carrots (cut into chunks)
- 1 sprig thyme
Directions For Irish Guinness Beef Stew:
The first step is to prepare all those wonderful veggies.
Prepare the vegetables by cutting the parsnips into strips the same length as the baby carrots. Cut the potatoes into quarters or eighths depending upon the size of the potato. I leave skins on red potatoes. I think they add texture and flavor.
I use a package of pearl onions rather than dicing a large onion and pre-frying it. My husband does not like the texture of onions, so when I use pearl onions I can easily remove them from his serving, without having to sacrifice their delicious flavor.
Dump all of the vegetables into a crock pot. I use a large 7-quart crock pot for this recipe. If your crock pot is smaller you will need to halve the ingredients.
Season the flour with salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Toss in the beef and dredge in the flour, coating each individual beef chunk.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add half of the beef and brown on all sides. This takes 2 to 3 minutes per side, sealing in all the lovely juices and beef flavor. Dump the beef on top of the vegetables in the crock pot and repeat with the second half of the beef.
Pour 1 cup of beef broth into a small measuring pitcher. Add the red wine vinegar and dijon mustard. Mix well together.
Brown the garlic in the same pan as used for the beef. I use pre-minced garlic in oil from a jar, but feel free to peel and mince fresh garlic cloves. Next, pour in the broth, vinegar and mustard mixture, stirring to lift any pieces of beef or garlic from the bottom of the pan. Heat for one minute while stirring. Pour the mixture over the beef and vegetables in the crock pot.
Add the thyme, bay leaves and ground cloves to the crock pot mixture.
Add the bittersweet chocolate chips and brown sugar. For convenience, I use chocolate chips rather than chopping squares from a bar of dark chocolate. True Irish recipes for Guinness stew do not add chocolate, but this is a fusion recipe I created. I find chocolate is wonderful for counteracting the bitter
Add the Guinness to the crock pot, together with the beef stock and water. You can leave out the water and substitute with an additional cup of beef broth, but I find a little bit of water, prevents the flavors being overly intense.
I do believe Guinness is the only option for this stew, unless you live in Ireland and can get your hands on a bottle of Murphy’s stout instead. Any American dark ales or stouts lack the distinctive flavor of Irish stout. Rest assured, the folks at Guinness have never heard of me. I am just Irish and love the flavor of real Guinness in this stew.
Put the lid on the crock pot, and simmer on the low setting for 10 to 12 hours. I know this is not a very accurate time measurement, but all crock pots are different. The stew is done when the vegetables are tender. Check the potatoes too. They are the last to fully soften. Try to avoid lifting the lid of the crock pot too often during cooking. When heat escapes, cooking time is extended.
When the meat and vegetables are cooked through, mix 2 tablespoons of corn starch with about ¼ cup of cold beef broth. Make sure the broth is cold, since hot liquid will make corn starch clump. Mix them well together, ensuring the liquid is smooth.
This stew can be thickened with regular flour in stead of corn starch, but I find it takes longer to fully cook the added flour. I much prefer corn starch, for easy thickening.
Add the blended corn starch and broth to the stew in the crock pot. Mix well and let heat on high for a further 20 minutes. Stir occasionally during this time.
Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves before serving. Ladle into a large bowl. Guinness beef stew is delicious accompanied by Irish Brown Bread.
This stew is lick your lips good. It tastes even better a day or two after cooking, so it is perfect for left overs. It also freezes really well.
- 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)
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.
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 the rest of the Guinness, the beef broth, carrots, parsnips, celery root, and thyme to the slow cooker. Add two teaspoons of salt.
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.
Ingredients in Guinness Beef Stew
In addition to chuck beef and Guinness Beer, here are the other ingredients in Irish Stew.
Garlic and onion – essentials
Bacon – adds extra flavour! Can be skipped, or sub with pancetta or speck
Carrot and celery – potatoes could also be added
Flour and tomato paste – to thicken sauce and the tomato paste also adds some flavour
Guinness Beer and broth/liquid stock – the braising liquids. I prefer using chicken rather than beef broth because it allows the flavour from the Guinness beer to come through better. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like beer at all, it transforms into a deep savoury sauce! Also, all the alcohol is cooked out.
Thyme and bay leaves – to add a hint of flavour the sauce.
Is this Irish Stew?
While you might think this is a traditional Irish stew recipe because of the Guinness it contains, a quick bit of internet research will show you that traditional Irish stew is said to have been made with lamb or mutton, not beef or Guinness.
You can think of this recipe as a &ldquomodern-day&rdquo Irish stew recipe. When the Irish started to immigrate to the U.S. in the 1800s, they found that lamb was expensive and mutton wasn&rsquot commonly raised. Beef was cheap and plentiful so it quickly replaced the lamb and mutton as the meat of choice for stew.
The addition of Guinness to beef stew is an even more recent evolution of Irish stew and you&rsquoll be hard pressed to find an Irish stew recipe these days without it! And for good reason, too &ndash it&rsquos a delicious addition to stew!
What to Serve with this Guinness Beef Stew
Crusty bread is always a great side for any kind of stew, including this one. Biscuits are also a welcome sight at the dinner table and bacon cheddar biscuits would be delicious with this stew. And even more festive if you use Irish cheddar in them!
If you&rsquore at the point now where you&rsquore planning a full menu of St. Patrick&rsquos Day recipes, you might want to make some fun Irish drinks and add a few desserts too:
- With a chocolatey Oreo crust, creamy Baileys cheesecake filling, and rich Baileys ganache topping, my Baileys Irish cream cheesecake is an absolute dream of a St. Patrick&rsquos Day dessert!
- Or maybe you don&rsquot think you&rsquoll have the time to make a cheesecake. Let&rsquos talk brownies, instead! These Irish cream brownies are loaded up with Baileys in the brownie itself and the ganache on top. And because this recipe has a gluten-free option, they&rsquore sure to make everyone at your party happy!
If you&rsquore not a huge fan of this holiday, but still feel compelled to participate in the hype, this Guinness stew recipe may just be your pot of gold at the end of a rainbow!
Guinness Beef Stew
Guinness Beef Stew is a hearty rich stew using dark Guinness stout in the braising liquid giving it a rich and earthy flavor. This traditional Irish Stew is the perfect comfort food for a cold night. Slow simmered in a Dutch oven, the flavors in this stew come together wonderfully. Make sure you have some nice warm crusty bread to dip into the gravy!
One of the best meals I had on a recent trip to Ireland wasn’t in one of the fancy restaurants that I spent hours researching on the Internet before the trip. No, it was in a local pub where we sat at a communal table with strangers (who soon became friends) and listened to local musicians playing in the corner. Both dishes we ordered shone that night. The first was a Guinness stew and it inspired me to come home with hopes of replicating the meal. (The other – because I know you are wondering – was the traditional Irish Cabbage and Bacon, and yes, I want to replicate that too if I can!)
Aside from the Guinness, the beef is the most significant ingredient in this stew. If you pick up “stewing beef” from the grocery store, you may likely be disappointed. Often with “stewing beef” you don’t know what cut of beef has been used. Sometimes, in fact, it can look like just scraps of beef from many other cuts. Badly cut stew cubes can leave you with a stew that looks odd and the pieces can be tough because you don’t know what cut you’re dealing with. The biggest piece of advice I can give you when making a stew at home is to buy a chuck roast and cut it into cubes yourself. That way, you can trim as much or as little of the fat off as you please, you can make the cubes big enough so that when they shrink during the cooking process they don’t look too small, and you know that you are working with chuck. It’s not hard to cut a big piece of chuck into cubes. Do it.
One of the most important steps in making a beef stew is the first – the browning of the beef. This really does have an affect on the finished dish and you can’t rush it, so plan for this step to take up to 30 minutes. I know you’ll be tempted to over-crowd the pan when you brown the beef so that you can get as much done as quickly as possible, but I promise you this will only slow you down. When you over-crowd a pot, the moisture that comes out of the meat has no hot empty surface area on the bottom of the pan from which to evaporate. As a result, the moisture just accumulates and stops the meat from browning, and browning the meat gives flavor not only to the beef, but to the sauce that you’re going to make as well. So, don’t over-crowd the pan. Start browning the beef, open the Guinness, pour it into a glass and go get another can from the fridge for this recipe.
Once the beef has browned, set it aside and start adding the chopped vegetables and tomato paste. Let that tomato paste toast in the pot to enhance and give some depth to the flavor of the stew. Then, you can pour in that Guinness and scrape up all the delicious brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot.
Add to that some really good beef stock so that there’s enough liquid in the pot to almost cover all the beef. If the beef cubes are poking their heads just above the liquid’s surface, that’s perfect. Bring this mixture to a simmer. Now, this is important… when I say “simmer”, I mean just that. I do not mean “boil”. When the stew is simmering, you should see just gentle bubbles rising to the surface. A more rapid boil won’t do the beef cubes any favors and might toughen them. Take it easy, enjoy your glass of Guinness and let the stew simmer. After a little over an hour, you’ll add the larger vegetables to the pot. I add these vegetables two thirds of the way through the cooking time because I don’t want them to be mushy, but tender. Leave the carrots, rutabaga and potatoes in larger chunks so that they’ll be tender in about 45 minutes time.
If at that time, you want to reduce the sauce to thicken it a little, remove the lid and let the stew continue to simmer for a few minutes.
Now, you could serve this stew with some crusty bread (like No Knead Bread), but even better would be some Irish Soda Bread to soak up any juices that are left in your bowl. If you still have another can of Guinness left, feel free to enjoy that in a glass, but a nice medium to heavy bodied red wine would go nicely too.