Guinness Beef Stew
Guinness Beef Stew is hearty, rich and perfect for supper on St. Patrick’s Day (or any other day, really)! The beef cooks low and slow in a mouthwatering stout flavored gravy until fall apart tender. It is pure comfort in a bowl!
Oh, Guinness stew, how I love thee!
I simply can’t resist a pot of stew, simmering for hours, infusing my home with the most amazing smells. Give me a bowl and I’m in heaven!
But it is St Patrick’s Day, after all, so I thought it was time for something Irish inspired.
I say “Irish inspired” because even though nowadays you can find Guinness stew in pubs in Ireland, the most traditional Irish stew is made with only mutton, onions and potatoes.
It was only after the Irish immigrated to the United States (somewhere in mid-1800s) that the stew evolved to include beef and stout.
If for you flavor trumps tradition, I have a feeling you will love this Guinness beef stew and will want to make it all year round! ♥️
To make Guinness stew, you will need:
- Beef – In Ireland, stews are traditionally made with lamb or mutton. I like using beef instead. You can ask your butcher for stew meat or buy a chuck roast and cut yourself.
- Guinness – The ingredient responsible for this stew’s richness! Its deep, roasted wheat flavor adds a new dimension to the dish. I like using Guinness Extra Stout for an even deeper flavor!
- Bacon – For flavor and fat! We’ll brown the beef in the bacon fat. 😋 😋 😋
- Onions and Garlic – the “flavor base”. This recipe calls for two onions.
- Carrots and Potatoes – Use Yukon Gold or waxy potatoes. Russets don’t hold their shape well when cooked for a long time!
- Beef Broth – Homemade or store bought. You can use chicken broth instead if you prefer.
- Flour – To thicken the stew slightly.
- Tomato Paste – Adds sweetness.
- Worcestershire Sauce – Adds a touch of umami-ness!
- Brown Sugar – A little bit of sugar balances the bitterness from the stout.
- Oil – Just a bit, to get things going, as the bacon will contribute with some fat as well!
- Herbs – The thyme does a great job of balancing all the flavors in the stew, while the parsley adds a touch of freshness at the end.
- Salt and Pepper – As always, don’t forget to season! 😊
How to Make Beef Guinness Stew
I hope you are ready for a true soul-warming meal! This stew takes a little while to cook – as every stew does – but it is so worth it.
To cut on some of the prep time, you can ask your butcher for stew meat. It is mostly likely chuck roast cut into 1-inch cubes.
And since I know many of you will ask, you can also make this recipe in the slow cooker or Instant Pot! I will add the instructions down below.
Here’s how I make Guinness Beef Stew. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
Step 1: Cook the bacon and sear the beef.
- In a large pot, cook the bacon in a little bit of oil. Remove and reserve.
- Season the beef generously.
- Brown the beef on all sides. Work in batches so not to overcrowd the pan. You want every piece of beef to be in contact with the hot pot, so it gets nice and brown. Reserve with the bacon.
Step 2: Prepare the Guinness broth and cook the beef.
- Sauté the onions until beginning to caramelize. Stir in the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Stir in the flour and tomato paste. Cook for a minute or two, until the paste is dark red color.
- Pour in the Guinness, scraping all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
- Add back the beef and bacon, along with the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to a simmer.
- Cook for 1 hour.
Step 3: Cook the veggies.
- Add the potatoes and carrots. Continue cooking until the veggies are cooked and the beef is fall apart tender.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Stir in the parsley and serve!
Making Guinness Stew in the Slow Cooker
Follow all the instructions for cooking the bacon, searing beef, sautéing onion and garlic, adding flour + tomato paste and deglazing with the Guinness on the stove. You can use a skillet instead of a Dutch Oven for that.
Transfer everything to the slow cooker, then add the broth, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. Then, add the veggies and cook for another 2 (or 4) hours. Stir in parsley, adjust seasoning and serve!
Making Guinness Stew in the Instant Pot
Using the Instant Pot sauté function, cook the bacon and reserve. Then, brown the beef in batches, reserving it with the bacon.
Sauté the onions until lightly browned, then the garlic until fragrant. Stir in the flour and tomato paste, cooking until the paste color deepens. Deglaze with the beer.
Pour in the broth and add the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, thyme and seasoning. Close the lid, set the valve to the “sealing” position and cook on high for 30 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Add the veggies, cover and set the IP to “sealing” again. Cook on high for 4 minutes. Release the pressure naturally, then turn the IP to the sauté mode and simmer until the stew is thickened.
Then, stir in parsley and adjust seasoning!
- Do not skip searing the meat! You want it every side of each piece of beef to get a dark crust. That’s the secret to a rich, flavorful stew!
- Resist the temptation to add the vegetables at the beginning. Adding them halfway through the cooking time will ensure they are tender, yes, but not mushy.
- If, at the end, your stew is not thickened to your liking, you can make a slurry by mixing equals parts of flour with cold water, beer or broth. Pour it slowly into the stew, mixing well to prevent any lumps! The stew then needs to come to a boil to activate the starch.
What to Serve with Guinness Beef Stew
Serve this delicious stew with a crusty loaf or Irish soda bread.
For even more sustenance, you can serve it over something starchy, like rice or – why not – mashed potatoes. Colcannon is also a great call if you want to keep the Irish theme going! ☘️
Oh, and don’t forget the Guinness to drink! Cheers!
Frequently Asked Questions
Stouts are known for their bitterness. That is why we add a little bit of brown sugar to the stew, to bring a little sweetness to balance the overall flavor of the dish! If it’s still too bitter for you, you can increase the amount of sugar.
Yes, in fact, I think stews taste even better the next day! Just make sure to let it completely cool before refrigerating – covered – for up to 2 days.
The short answer is yes, but I find that potatoes get mealy when frozen and thawed, so I would wait to add the veggies when reheating.
Reheat your Guinness stew on the stove, over medium low heat, adding more broth or water if necessary. It should take around 15 minutes to warm up!
Guinness Beef Stew
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 3 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 ½ cups Guinness beer
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 ½ cups beef broth
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- In a large Dutch Oven or pot, over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the bacon and cook until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Working in batches so not to overcrowd the pot, brown the beef pieces on all sides, about 1-2 min per side. Remove and reserve with the bacon.
- Turn the heat down to medium. If necessary, add a little more oil. Stir in the onions and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Stir in the flour and tomato paste, mixing until well combined. Cook for a minute or two, until the paste turns a dark red color. Then, pour in the beer, using a wooden spoon to scrape all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the beef broth, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the beef and bacon back into the pot, plus the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour.
- Add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and continue cooking until the beef is falling-apart tender and the veggies are cooked, about 1 more hour.
- If, by this point, the stew is not thickened to the desired consistency, raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Let it cook, uncovered, until thickened. You can also add a slurry of equal parts flour and cold liquid (water, beer or broth) to thicken even further.
- Discard the thyme sprigs and taste for seasoning, adjusting salt and pepper if necessary.
- Stir in the chopped parsley and serve!