Hearty Guinness Beef Stew filled to the brim with tender beef, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms, all in a thick and fragrant broth flavored with Guinness and bacon.
A Hearty and Filling One-Pot Dinner
Real beef stew is a simple meal that’s full of complex, meaty flavor. It’s the kind of meal that’s beloved by those meat-and-potato eaters as well as soup lovers, which is not so common. At my house, when beef stew is on the menu, all day everyone asks, “is it done yet?!?!”. Especially this version, using bacon, Guinness, and plenty of veggies. 🍺
Guinness beef stew has an extra depth of flavor thanks to the rich, brewed Guinness stout. I add a whole bottle to this recipe and let it simmer until the beef is fall-apart tender. It makes a wonderful dinner with some skillet bread and a salad, or just on its own. And, the leftovers are amazing!
What You’ll Need
This recipe is full of savory flavors, thanks to the beef, bacon, onions, and of course the Guinness! Let’s take a closer look at the complete list, shall we? (Note: for the recipe card with amounts and other info, scroll to the bottom of this post!)
- Bacon: I use thick cut, but you can use whatever you have on hand. You could also use salt pork or ham.
- Beef Chunks: The beef should be a good cut for stewing, such as chuck. Cut it into 2-inch cubes or chunks.
- Salt and Pepper
- Onions: I use chopped yellow onions, but you could substitute red or white onions.
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is great, but you could also use garlic powder.
- Carrots: The carrots should be cut into 1-inch chunks.
- Celery: I also cut the celery into 1-inch chunks.
- Potatoes: For this recipe, you can use whatever potatoes you have. I use Yukon Gold, but waxy red or yellow potatoes will work fine, and Russet are also good.
- Mushrooms: Leave smaller mushrooms whole, and halve the larger ones for uniform cooking.
- Flour: For thickening the Guinness beef stew.
- Guinness: I use one 12-ounce bottle of Guinness.
- Tomato Paste: Including a small amount of tomato paste adds incredible depth and richness to the dish!
- Broth: My preferred broth is beef broth, but vegetable broth or even chicken broth is also fine.
- Bay Leaves: For herbs, I just throw in a couple of bay leaves, but you could substitute thyme, rosemary, or any other herb you like.
- Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley is a great garnish for this classic stew.
Is Guinness beer different from other beers?
Well, there are many kinds of beer out there—too many to cover in detail in this post! And the Guinness brand has several options, from pale ale to black lager. But traditional Guinness stout certainly stands out from the crowd for a number of reasons. Here are just a few:
- Taste: Guinness is dark and strong-tasting, a robust flavor sort of like the “black coffee” of beers. It’s perfect for adding a robust flavor to beef stew!
- Calories: Beer is generally known for being calorie-laden, but Guinness is actually comparable to light beers in terms of calories.
- Nutrients: If you’re going to have a beer, or use it in a recipe, Guinness may be a good choice thanks to its nutrient profile, which includes a higher fiber content and more folate than many other beer options.
- Affordability: For an imported beer with a long history, Guinness is surprisingly wallet-friendly.
Can I use a different kind of beer?
Of course! You can substitute whatever beer you like or have on hand—or use a small amount of red wine, or just more broth. It’s up to you! Each option will add its own flavor to the stew.
How to Make Guinness Beef Stew
This recipe is easy to make on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or heavy pot. Make sure it has a good-fitting lid for the long simmering time.
- Saute the Bacon. Heat your pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and then add the diced bacon. Cook until crispy, stirring occasionally, and then remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Don’t pour out the bacon grease.
- Brown the Beef. Turn the heat up to medium high, and add the beef cubes to the hot bacon grease (be careful of spatters). Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown it on all sides. Remove from the pot, and set aside.
- Saute the Vegetables. Reduce heat to medium. If the pot looks a bit dry, add a small amount of olive oil. Stir in the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute for a few seconds to release the fragrance. Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, and mushrooms; cook for about four more minutes. Again, add oil if the ingredients seem dry. Sauteing the veggies adds depth to the stew!
- Add the Flour and Liquids. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and oil, and stir well, cooking for one minute. Then pour the Guinness, tomato paste, and beef broth into the pot. Stir well until the flour and tomato paste has all dissolved into the broth.
- Add the Beef, Bacon, and Bay Leaves. Return the browned beef, along with any juices, to the pot. Add the bacon and toss in the bay leaves. Let the mixture come to a boil (turn up the heat if needed). Then turn it down to a low simmer. Cover and cook for about 1 ½ hours.
- Uncover and Finish Cooking. When 1 ½ hours is up, uncover the pot and allow it to simmer uncovered for another half hour or so. The stew should thicken, and the meat should be very tender. Remove from the heat and ladle into bowls. Garnish with parsley if using.
Tips for Success
To make the most of this recipe, check out these easy tips! They’re sure to make your dinner a success. Bon appetit!
- Brown in Batches: You may need to brown your beef cubes in batches. Overcrowding the pan will cause the meat to steam and get very wet, instead of browning it.
- Make a Quick Version: You can make a super-quick version of this recipe by using ground beef instead of stewing beef! Brown it, breaking it into large chunks, and proceed with the recipe as written, except you’ll only need to simmer until the vegetables are tender, or about 20 minutes.
- Make Extra: As delicious as beef stew is on the day you make it, it’s even better after an overnight chill in the fridge! Stew that has had a chance to rest in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight has more time to meld and blend the flavors. So I always recommend making enough for leftovers! 🥘
What to Serve with Guinness Beef Stew
Serving Guinness beef stew is easy! All you need are fresh veggies and maybe some bread. Here are a few favorite options to inspire you!
- Rolls: Fresh rolls always bring a smile, but these Orange Glazed Dinner Rolls are especially sweet, rich, and delicious!
- Salad: A fresh green salad is a great idea, or try this creamy and crunchy Radish and Cucumber Salad with Garlic-Yogurt Dressing.
- Roasted Vegetables: A fresh blend of Roasted Green Beans, Squash, and Tomatoes goes beautifully with this rich and savory stew.
- Mashed Potatoes, of course!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Leftover beef stew can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, place the desired portion in a saucepan and reheat on low until hot all the way through, stirring occasionally.
Can I Freeze Guinness Beef Stew?
- Yes, you can! Place cooled leftover stew in freezer bags or airtight containers, and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Irish Guinness Beef Stew
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
- 2.5 to 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 small yellow onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 pound button mushrooms, halved
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, you can also use cornstarch
- 12 ounces guinness beer
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Add the bacon to a 7-quart Dutch oven, or any other heavy-based pot, set over medium heat.
- Cook the bacon to a crisp and remove bacon from the pot; do not pour out the bacon fat.
- Increase heat to medium-high and to the bacon grease add the cubes of beef and season them with salt and pepper; sear the beef on all sides until browned.
- Remove browned beef from the pot and set it aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir in the onions. If the pot looks dry, add a bit of olive oil.
- Cook the onions for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
- Add in the carrots, celery, potatoes, and mushrooms.
- Cook for 4 minutes. Add oil, if needed.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables; stir and cook for one minute.
- Add the beer, tomato paste, and beef broth; stir until everything is well combined.
- Return the beef and bacon to the pot.
- Add in the bay leaves and bring mixture to a boil; then reduce heat to a low simmer.
- Cover and cook for 1-½ hours.
- Remove lid and continue cooking for 30 more minutes, or until the sauce is reduced and thickened, and the beef is tender.
- Remove from heat; taste for salt and pepper, and adjust accordingly.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.