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Irish Guinness Beef Stew

This Irish Guinness Beef Stew is super cozy and packed with tender beef, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms. They all simmer together in a rich, aromatic broth jazzed up with stout, tomato paste and smoky bacon. Perfect for a chill day!

overhead shot of a white dutch oven filled with guinness beef stew.

Beef stew is one of those awesome, no-fuss meals that somehow tastes incredible. It’s perfect for anyone who loves a good, hearty meat-and-potatoes kind of dish, and even soup fans get on board with it – which is pretty cool. At my place, whenever I say we’re having beef stew, everyone’s like, “Is it done yet?” all day long. We get extra excited for my special version that’s loaded with crispy bacon, a hearty splash of Guinness, and loads of veggies.

Beef Vs Lamb For Irish Stew

The classic Guinness Stew is usually whipped up with lamb, especially if you’re keeping it traditional. But, in North America, we tend to use beef in our stews. I’ve tried making it with lamb myself, and I’ve gotta say, beef just hits the spot better for me.

side shot of guinness beef stew studded with chunks of beef and vegetables.

Ingredients You’ll Need

This might look like a long list of ingredients, but hey, it’s a stew, and that’s where all the magic happens. Each item adds its own unique touch, layering flavors upon flavors to create something special.

  • 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.

What Beer To Use In Guinness Stew?

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.

How to Make Irish 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 cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Don’t pour out the bacon grease.
  • Brown the Beef. Turn the heat up to medium-high; stir the beef into the pot, season it, and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  • Saute the Vegetables. Lower heat to medium. Add a bit of olive oil if dry. Cook onions for 2 minutes; add garlic, then carrots, celery, potatoes, and mushrooms, and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add the Flour and Liquids. Sprinkle flour over the veggies and cook for 1 minute. Add Guinness, tomato paste, and beef broth, stirring until well combined.
  • 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 and then turn it down to a low simmer. Cover and cook for about 1 ½ hours.
  • Uncover and Finish Cooking. Uncover and simmer for another 30 minutes until the stew thickens and the meat is tender. Remove from the heat, ladle into bowls, and serve.

Recipe Tips

  • 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.
  • Beer Options: 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.
  • 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.
close up shot of guinness beef stew in a bowl.

What to Serve with Irish Stew

Serving Guinness beef stew is a breeze, and pairing it with the right sides makes it even better! Start with Orange Glazed Dinner Rolls – their sweet and rich flavor is always a hit. Add a Radish and Cucumber Salad with a creamy, crunchy texture and a zesty yogurt dressing for a refreshing touch. A medley of Roasted Green Beans, Squash, and Tomatoes complements the stew’s rich savoriness perfectly. And don’t forget the classic favorite – Mashed Potatoes!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 
  • To reheat, place the desired portion in a saucepan and reheat on low until hot all the way through, stirring occasionally.

    Cozy Dinner Ideas

    overhead shot of a white dutch oven filled with guinness beef stew.

    Irish Guinness Beef Stew

    Katerina | Diethood
    This Irish Guinness Beef Stew features tender beef, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms, all cooked in a thick broth flavored with stout, tomato paste, and bacon.
    5 from 11 votes
    Servings : 8
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
    Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

    Ingredients
      

    • 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
    • 2.5 to 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly 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

    Instructions
     

    • 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 the 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 the 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.
    • Serve.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 451 kcal | Carbohydrates: 22 g | Protein: 36 g | Fat: 24 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 110 mg | Sodium: 846 mg | Potassium: 1410 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 5 g | Vitamin A: 4043 IU | Vitamin C: 18 mg | Calcium: 60 mg | Iron: 4 mg

    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.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American, Irish
    Keyword: beef stew, guinness beef stew, traditional beef stew recipe
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