Irish Guinness Beef Stew

March 2023 View more

By Kelli Ra Anderson

Irish Guinness Beef Stew

A hearty stew and robust stout are a flavorful marriage dating back almost three centuries in Ireland. Luckily, you don’t have to go to the Emerald Isle to enjoy what is arguably the king of all stews: Irish Guinness beef stew. With its spoon-tender cuts of beef and dark gravy, enriched by the bitter-sweet magic of a creamy Guinness stout, this classic dish showcases how incredible flavor can be coaxed from simple ingredients and easy techniques. It’s traditionally made from humble cuts of meat marbled with collagen-rich tissue—and only a low and slow braise (ideally in cast iron) can transform a bland, chewy bite into a tender, unctuous one. Another must is sequential cooking. Although it’s tempting to commit braising’s cardinal sin (cooking all ingredients at once), adding ingredients sequentially enhances flavor and ensures that different cooking times produce tender meat and smooth (not mushy) vegetables. Slainte!

MAKES 3 to 4 servings


3 pounds chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bottle Guinness beer (stout or draft)
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 large sprig thyme
2 large bay leaves
1 pound of carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch portions
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Irish Guinness Beef Stew


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Lightly salt and pepper the beef and brown in oil in a large Dutch oven (about 4 minutes) over medium-high heat. (Cook beef in small batches to properly sear.) Remove the beef and set aside.

3. Add onions and garlic to the pot, stirring until lightly browned.

4. Add tomato paste and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Stir in the flour and cook the resulting roux 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Deglaze the pan with beer, scraping up browned bits of beef, onions, and tomato.

6.After the beer comes to a boil, add the beef back into the pot, along with the broth and herbs. Stir until the broth begins to thicken. Cover with a heavy lid and place in the oven for 1½ hours.

7. Add in the potatoes and carrots and any additional broth if too much has evaporated. Cover, and return to the oven to cook for an additional hour.

8. Remove the lid and cook for a final 20 to 30 minutes.

9. Serve with a parsley garnish and Irish soda bread.

PRO TIP: Developing a dark brown fond by caramelizing the beef, onions, and roux is the secret to unlocking a rich gravy. Be sure to brown—not steam—these elements, seasoning each step of the way with a little salt and pepper, to build up the deepest layers of flavor.


Photos courtesy of Kellira Media