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!
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!