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Beef and Guinness Stew Recipe: How to Cook The Perfect Irish Stew From Scratch

Updated on August 21, 2016
Beef And Guinness Stew Recipe
Beef And Guinness Stew Recipe | Source

Beef and Guinness Stew

Beef and Guinness stew is a popular Irish dish; especially during the colder months of the winter. There are different cuts of beef suitable for this dish, however stewing beef works very well and is reasonably inexpensive.

A good beef stock is essential in this stew. There are good varieties available from most supermarkets these days. If you have the time, make up a batch of your own and freeze it; that way when you need it, you only have to defrost it overnight. Beef bones make a fabulous base stock for soups and stews.

Cook and Rate

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Irish Stew

A Pint of The Black Stuff

A Pint of Guinness
A Pint of Guinness | Source

A Traditional Irish Tradition

Guinness (a black stout) is often used in Ireland as an accompanying culinary delight to enhance richness, flavour and thickness in hot pots, stews and casseroles to adding debt to sausages, black puddings and flat breads, from local village corner cafes to top notch hotel city restaurants.

On the 17th of March every year, pubs and restaurants throughout the emerald Isle will advertise their Guinness laden wares in celebration of St Patrick's day: from Guinness Oysters to Guinness Stew to Guinness Beef Steaks.

By no means is the celebration of this great day unique to Ireland; wherever there are descendants of the Irish isle (from New York to Australia) you will find a big party on the 17th of March. Most likely with traditional Irish dishes and gallons of the black stuff and of course the usual craic parading through the streets.

You will need

This recipe serves six people. You will need the following.


  • 2 Ibs of stewing beef cut into medium chunks
  • olive oil for frying
  • 2 large onions sliced into quarters
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 4 large carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 sliced red pepper
  • 6 potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 330 ml of Guinness
  • 500 ml of beef stock
  • 1 tbs of tomato puree
  • 1 tbs of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs plain flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 to 4 thyme sprigs (optional)
  • chopped parsley to serve
  • salt and pepper to season


  • Put the beef into a clean freezer bag, add in the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake to coat the beef evenly with the seasoned flour.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium setting, toss in the beef and brown.
  • Once the beef is nice and brown, add the crushed garlic, onions and red pepper. Cook for a few minutes till the onions and pepper are softened.
  • Add the puree and the Worcestershire sauce, stir to mix. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Pour in the Guinness. Bring to a simmer. Stir well to remove all the bits from the bottom of the pot. Simmer gently for 15/20 minutes.
  • Pour in the beef stock. Bring back to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add in the potatoes, carrots, bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
  • Bring to the boil, reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, till the beef is deliciously tender and the vegetables are cooked.
  • Remove the bay leaves.
  • Season to taste and sprinkle over a litte chopped flat leaf parsley.

To accompany this dish...

Serve this succulent beef and Guinness stew with a glass of cool stout. If you don't care too much for stout opt for a glass of full bodied red wine, serve at room temperature in an large open wine glass. If you can't resist a good helping of gravy, you may need some slices of crusty white bread or fresh crisp rolls to mop up the leftovers. Of course the other option is you simply grab a spoon and dig in.

Cook's Tips

  • The idea behind the freezer bag or a clean plastic bag to coat the beef in the flour, is simply mess control and more importantly it works a treat.
  • The added flour helps thickens the gravy without any fuss.
  • Browning the meat seals in the juice, thusly keeping the meat tender and juicy.
  • Adding the onions, garlic and peppers after sealing the beef prevents the meat from taking on too strong a flavor from these pungent ingredients, allowing the flavors to seep into the gravy adding a milder flavour and not over ruling the succulent meat.
  • The puree adds a little dept and colour to the dish plus a back ground flavour.
  • Worcestershire sauce compliments most meats, especially beef and adds a richness to the gravy.
  • Adding the Guinness first intensifies the flavor of the stout in the dish and allows the alcohol content to evaporate as it simmers.
  • Removing the bits on the bottom of the pot into the sauce adds even more flavor and also for the more novice cook, prevents burning the bottom of the pot.
  • Adding a good volume of stock will cook your meat and vegetables evenly and leave a good portion of liquid which will result in plenty of gravy.
  • The stock will reduce and thicken to a rich gravy. There is nothing worse than adding water to a stew, because you have misjudged the amount of stock you will need. The result: the flavor is diluted and the richness lost.
  • The potatoes and carrots must be chunky to prevent the vegetables disintegrating into the gravy and becoming little chucks of mush.
  • Bay leaf loves soups and stews.
  • Thyme loves meat and potatoes.
  • Parsley adds a little flavour and colour.

© 2011 Gabriel Wilson


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