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Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

25 mins Cook
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There’s no comfort food like a hearty stew. Irish Beef and Guinness Stew might just be the king of them all! The Guinness gives the sauce an incredibly rich, full-bodied flavor, and the beef is so tender. Although slow cooking takes time, it is surprisingly easy to prepare. Stove, oven, slow cooker or pressure cooker – instructions for everyone.
This is a reader-favorite recipe that was included in my first cookbook, Dinner, by popular demand!

Beef and Guinness
Irish Beef and Guinness Stew NomNomWow

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

Irish stew is probably the mother of all stews. I mean, you know anything that simmers for hours is going to be a good thing. But this… This is the stew of your dreams. Perhaps the tastiest broth of all stews, with a rich dark brown flavor, the best of the best.
This is the stew I make in company when I want to impress!

Guinness Beef Stew With its creamy sauce, this is the stew to make when you want to impress!

What kind of beer goes in Guinness Stew?

The not-so-secret ingredient added to Guinness stew is Guinness beer, which gives the broth its rich flavor and color.

Guinness is very dark, almost black, which is why the sauce in the stew is such a beautiful dark brown. Guinness is also much richer than most beers, and just look at the thick, creamy head (foam) that Guinness is known for.

It’s widely available these days – in Australia you can find it in most liquor stores.

Meat in Guinness Stew – beef OR lamb

Traditionally, Guinness stew is made with lamb. But in many parts of the world, including Australia and North America, Guinness stew is more often made with beef.

I hope the Irish aren’t offended! I made it with lamb and I honestly prefer the beef.

Tip: Use large cuts of beef.
Don’t even think about using small cuts of beef. These need to be in large chunks so they cook long to get all the flavor in the sauce! If the pieces of beef are too small, they cook too quickly and disintegrate in the stew before it has had enough time to develop a rich flavor.

Ingredients in Guinness Beef Stew

Besides ground beef and Guinness beer, here are the other ingredients of Irish stew.

  • Garlic & Onion – Essential
  • Bacon – Add extra flavor! Can be served without or with pancetta or minced meat
  • Carrots and celery – can also be added to potatoes
  • Flour and tomato paste – thickens the sauce and the tomato paste adds a bit of flavour;
  • Kat Good beer and liquid sauce/broth – a liquid stew. I prefer to use chicken broth instead of beef because it brings out the Guinness flavor better. Don’t worry, there is no smell of beer, it has become a deep sauce!
    In addition, all alcohol was boiled.
  • Thyme and bay leaf – Adds a touch of flavor to the sauce.

How to make Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

Although this Irish beef and Guinness stew takes time to cook, it’s surprisingly simple. The steps are no different than common stews such as classic goulash:

  • Brown the beef – well done, which is key to flavor. Not only did the beef itself brown, but the brown bits left on the bottom of the pan (loved) added extra flavor to the sauce;
  • Stir-fry base – onion, garlic, bacon (speck or pancetta), carrots and celery;
  • bring the flour and the tomato paste to a boil;
  • add the liquids – beer, broth and herbs;
  • simmer uncovered for 2 hours until beef is tender, then simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes to allow sauce Reduce slightly to let beef “fall apart.”

Yes, it takes hours, but your patience will be rewarded with beef so tender you can eat it with a spoon!

One thing I do differently from most Guinness goulash recipes (including many traditional Irish recipes) is thicken the sauce slightly with flour. If you don’t do this step, the sauce will be very runny and although it’s still delicious, I really prefer the sauce to be more runny.

What to serve with Irish Stew

Serve the Beef and Guinness Stew over mashed potatoes or cauliflower for a low carb option. How about a warm, crispy Irish soda bread to clean your bowl?

I’m so glad I have a bucket of these in the freezer. I cook almost all day, but everything is given to me.
As soon as I click to post this, I’ll be so excited to heat up some Irish stew for dinner!

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

There's no comfort food like a hearty stew. Irish Beef and Guinness Stew might just be the king of them all! The Guinness gives the sauce an incredibly rich, full-bodied flavor, and the beef is so tender. Although slow cooking takes time, it is surprisingly easy to prepare. Stove, oven, slow cooker or pressure cooker - instructions for everyone. This is a reader-favorite recipe that was included in my first cookbook, Dinner, by popular demand!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
25 mins
total time
35 mins



  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2.5 lb / 1.25 kg beef chuck , boneless short rib or any other slow cooking beef (no bone)

  • 3/4 tsp each salt and black pepper

  • 3 garlic cloves , minced

  • 2 onions , chopped (brown, white or yellow)

  • 6 oz / 180g bacon , speck or pancetta, diced

  • 3 tbsp flour (all purpose/plain, Note 3 for GF)

  • 440ml / 14.9 oz Guinness Beer (Note 1)

  • 4 tbsp tomato paste

  • 3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock/broth (or beef broth – Note 4)

  • 3 carrots , peeled and cut into 1.25 cm / 1/2″ thick pieces

  • 2 large celery stalks , cut into 2cm / 1″ pieces

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 sprigs thyme (or sub with 1 tsp dried thyme leaves)


Cut the beef into 5cm pieces. Pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Add the beef in batches, browning the beef all over. Remove to a serving platter.
Repeat with the remaining beef.
Reduce heat to medium. Add oil if the pan seems dry.
Cook garlic and onion for 3 minutes until tender, then add bacon.
Cook until bacon is browned, then stir in carrots and celery.
Add the flour and stir for 1 minute to cook the flour.
Add Guinness, broth/chicken broth and tomato sauce. Mix well (so that the flour is well dissolved), add the bay leaves and thyme.
Return beef to pot (including any juices). Fluid level should be just covered - see video or photo.
Cover and reduce heat to lightly foam. Cook for 2 hours - the beef should be very tender now. Remove the lid and simmer for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, or until the beef falls apart when touched and the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
Skim fat from surface, if desired. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Remove bay leaves and thyme.
Served with creamy mashed potatoes! !


Guinness, a dark, full-bodied Irish beer, is the main spice in this stew sauce. You can't taste it in the finished dish, it just melts into a wonderful sauce. In Australia, you can find Guinness in all major liquor stores. Unfortunately, there is no alcohol-free alternative. If you can't drink, use 2 cups water + 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce + 2 ground beef bouillon cubes in place of Guinness. This would make a classic beef stew. Taste the FAB, it's not Guinness Irish stew! Other cooking methods: - Oven: Cover and cook at 160C / 320F for 2 1/2 hours. Depending on the recipe, remove and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes to reduce the sauce. - Steam: Reduce chicken broth by 1 cup. Once the Guinness and stock/broth have been added to the pan, bring to a boil, taking care to scrape up the bottom of the pan. Transfer everything to a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients according to the recipe. Cook over low heat for 8 hours. If the sauce needs to be thicker, close the lid of the slow cooker (if you have this function) and bring to a boil, pour some of the sauce into a separate saucepan and place it on the stove. - Pressure cooker: follow slow cooker directions, cook on HIGH for 40 minutes (may seem longer than most, but we're using chuck here, which takes a long cook until tender and that the pieces are also large). Flour: I like my braising sauces to be a little thick, not runny, so I always add flour to thicken the sauce a bit. Some recipes say to dust the beef with flour before it's browned - I don't like to use this method because the flour will burn and seep throughout the stew. Beef broth vs chicken broth – I use chicken broth because it's a bit milder and allows the Guinness to be more pronounced. But beef broth works great too, and you can still taste Guinness! ! Nutrition per serving, mashed potatoes not included. This nutrient is overrated because it does not take into account the fat that comes off the surface.
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