Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

Among Ireland’s most iconic pub foods, this rich and robust Irish Beef Guinness Stew recipe will make your taste buds sing and have you coming back for seconds!  Succulent beef and tender veggies in a deliciously rich gravy made with Guinness!

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What is Guinness Stew?

Nothing speaks comfort like a good beef stew.  Variations of beef stew are found around the world and a few famous examples include France’s Boeuf Bourguignon, Hungarian Goulash, Germany’s Pichelsteiner, and Belgium’s Carbonnade à la Flamande (recipe coming).  The first one is simmered in wine, the second generously seasoned with paprika, and the third simmered in beer.

Today we meet Ireland’s iconic version:  Beef Guinness Stew.  Or Guinness Beef Stew.  Whichever way you prefer to say it, it’s delicious just the same!

As its name suggests, what sets Ireland’s beef stew apart from others is its inclusion of Guinness stout.  The alcohol is evaporated as the simmers low and slow and you’re left with a deep and robust flavor with fork-tender beef, waxy potatoes and the sweetness of parsnips and carrots.

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Guinness Beef Stew is traditional Irish pub fare.  You’d probably be hard-pressed to visit a pub in Dublin and not find it on the menu.  When it comes to dining out in Ireland, Pub food is among the best for homestyle meals with bold flavors and good prices.  Dublin has many to choose from  – everything from The Brazen Head (Dublin’s oldest pub) to Mulligan’s (where celebrities like John F. Kennedy and Doris Day dined), Arthur’s Pub, Sheehan’s, Temple Bar Pub, and The Quay’s Bar.

Several of these are located in the heart of Dublin’s cultural quarter quarter, the Temple Bar district, and are especially renowned for their Guinness beef stew, a favorite among tourists and locals alike.

pubs in dublin

Tips for Making the BEST Guinness Stew

Beef and Guinness Stew is easy but there are a couple of steps that are absolutely imperative for the flavor.  First and foremost:  Brown the beef!  Don’t be impatient and skip this step.  It’s crucial.  So take the time to brown the beef in batches, every last piece.  Once you’ve done the browning followed by briefly sauteing the vegetables, you can transfer everything to a slow cooker if you prefer.

The other thing is this:  Don’t throw out the browned beef bits in the bottom of the pan!  That’s where a ton of the flavor is, caked onto the bottom of the pan.  Leave it and deglaze (scrap off the browned bits) when you add the Guinness.  If you follow those two steps and the rest of the recipe as follows, you’re going to have one amazing Irish Beef and Guinness Stew!

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What to Serve with Guinness Beef Stew?

Guinness beef stew is a hearty and flavorful dish, so you’ll want some sides that complement it without being too heavy or competing for flavor.  However, if you want to reduce the serving size of the stew and bulk it up with a hearty side you can do that as well.  Here are a few options:

  • Irish Soda Bread or any good crusty bread – perfect for mopping up every last drop of stew!
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Buttered Noodles
  • Leafy Green Salad or Kale Salad
  • Fruit Salad – try our Waldorf Salad for a nice sweet-savory balance.
  • Roasted Vegetables

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Beef and Guinness Stew Recipe

Let’s get started!

There’s no need to buy an expensive cut of beef for a beef stew that’s going to simmer for a long time.  Get an inexpensive, well-marbled cut.  You can ever go wrong with a chuck roast (what I’m using here).

Cut the beef across the grain into into 1-inch pieces.  Sprinkle with some salt, pepper and the flour and toss to coat the pieces.  Set aside.

cutting up the meat and tossing in flour

Fry the bacon in a Dutch oven or heavy pot until done then remove it with a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan. (I’m using this Le Creuset Dutch oven but nearly as often use my Lodge Dutch oven which is a fraction of the cost.)

Working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the pieces, generously brown the beef on all sides.

cooking the bacon and browning the meat

Transfer the beef to a plate and repeat until all the beef is browned.  Don’t wash out the pot when you’re done, leave the blackened bits on the bottom of the pot (that’s where a ton of flavor be!).

browning the meat

Add the onions and fry them, adding more oil if necessary, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.

**At this point you can transfer everything to a slow cooker if you prefer.  Follow the remaining steps and then cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours**

cooking the vegetables

Add the Guinness and bring it to a rapid boil, deglazing the bottom of the pot (scraping up the browned bits on the bottom).  Boil for 2 minutes.

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Return the beef and bacon to the pot along with the remaining ingredients.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Dish up the stew and enjoy it hot with some crusty country bread or Irish soda bread.

This stew tastes even better the next day.

Enjoy!

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For more traditional recipes enjoyed throughout Ireland be sure to try our:

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet March 9, 1017

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