Thick, rich, and loaded with flavor, Guinness beer is the star of Guinness Beef Stew. This traditional Irish stew is perfect on cold nights or celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

spoonful of Guinness Beef Stew

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I love Ireland. I love the people, the country, the history, the hospitality, and the food. This Guinness Beef Stew is a perfect example of the kind of humble but oh-so-delicious fare the Irish are known for.

Guinness Beef Stew

There’s nothing quite like the smell of this delicious stew bubbling away slowly on the stovetop, though you can also cook it in a Dutch oven in the oven. It’s so super easy to make, and while it does take a bit of time to cook, the results are oh-so-worth it.

a bowl of guinness soup

I’m not a bit sad that there are no potatoes in this stew. If the family is home visiting, I might add some potatoes during the last 20 minutes of cooking time to stretch the stew a bit, or I’ll serve it like the Irish do, with a side of buttered boiled potatoes

Inspired by a recipe I found in an old Irish cookbook, Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen, this is an easy stew to make, and the best part is that it tastes even better the next day! Grab a can of Guinness beer and treat everyone to an amazing Irish recipe!

hot spoonful of Guinness Beef Stew

Why I love this recipe

  • It’s easy AND delicious! Such a robust meaty flavor and the sauce is amazing!
  • It’s an affordable dish made with inexpensive stewing beef.
  • It cooks low and slow and is perfect on cold nights or for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

ingredients to make Guinness and Beef Stew

Gather these ingredients

    • Lean stewing beef – See my tips below.
    • Cooking oil
    • All-purpose flour
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Salt and pepper
    • Onions – Coarsely chopped.
    • Garlic cloves – Crushed.
    • Tomato paste – 1 small can, dissolved in 1 can of water.
    • Guinness beer – Drink the rest; sláinte!
    • Carrots – Cut into chunks.
    • Sprigs of thyme

how to make Guinness Beef Stew

How to make the best Guinness Stew

  1. Add the stew cubes to a bowl and toss with oil. 
  2. Season the flour with salt, freshly ground pepper, and the cayenne. Toss the meat into the flour mixture.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a wide skillet over high heat. Work in batches by adding the meat to the skillet and browning it on all sides. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
  4. Add the onions, crushed garlic, and tomato paste plus water to the skillet, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. 
  5. Transfer the contents to a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed stove-top pot large enough to hold the contents.
  6. Deglaze the skillet with some of the Guinness beer and bring it to a boil to dissolve the caramelized meat juices in the skillet. 
  7. Add the deglazing liquid to the rest of the stew. 
  8. Add the carrots and thyme to the pot and mix well. Adjust the seasoning. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 3 hours or until the meat is very tender. Or, cook it in a 300-F oven for 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  9. Adjust the seasoning and serve!

making beef stew with carrots and thyme

Tips & suggestions

  • To tenderize the meat, cover the stew meat cubes with parchment paper or plastic wrap before tenderizing to reduce splattering.
  • Use a food processor to make short work of chopping the onions. 
  • You can prep this Guinness Beef Stew recipe ahead of time up until the point of simmering the stew. Just pop the pot into the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.
  • Buy already cubed stew beef to make it easier, though you may have to cut the cubes a bit smaller.
  • Make your own stewing beef by cutting up a chuck roast or any pot roast cut. Just trim away visible fat and gristle and cut the meat into cubes.

white bowl of stew

Serving suggestions

This thick, rich, and hearty Guinness Beef Stew is perfect all on its own with a slice of buttered crusty bread. You can also dress up this meal with a side of boiled buttered potatoes, serving it like the Irish do. Or, add an Irish spinach salad or a crunchy kale salad

Guinness stew

Storage

Store any leftover beef stew in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the leftovers. Package them in freezer-safe plastic bags or containers for up to a month.

beef and carrots stew

Check out these awesome Irish recipes while you’re here

a bowl of Guinness Beef Stew

spoonful of Guinness Beef Stew
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Guinness Beef Stew

Thick, rich, and loaded with flavor, Guinness beer is the star of Guinness Beef Stew. This Irish stew is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Adapted from Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 6
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Ingredients
 

  • 2 lbs. lean stewing beef
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 2 oz can tomato paste, dissolved in 1 can of water
  • 1 ¼ cups Guinness beer
  • 4-5 carrots, cut into 1" chunks
  • Fresh sprigs of thyme

Instructions
 

  • Trim the meat of any fat or gristle, and cut into 2" cubes. Toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil. You can also buy the stew meat already cut into this size and trimmed.
  • Season the flour with salt, freshly ground pepper and cayenne. Toss the meat in this mixture.
  • Heat the remaining 2 T. oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Brown the meat on all sides.
  • Add the onions, crushed garlic and tomato puree/water to the pan, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Transfer the contents of the pan to a baking pan or Dutch oven.
  • Pour some of the Guinness into the frying pan. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the caramelized meat juices in the pan. Pour onto the meat with the remaining Guinness beer.
  • Add the carrots and the thyme. [Leave the thyme sprigs whole, for better flavor.] Stir, taste, and add a little more salt if necessary. Cover with the lid of the casserole/Dutch oven and simmer very gently until the meat is tender, about 3 hours.
  • The stew may be cooked on top of the stove or in a low oven at 300. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Notes

Reposted from March 2013 here on RE.
Cuisine: Irish
Course: Main Course
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a bite of carrots and beef stew