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A savory bowl of my Best Irish Beef Stew with Guinness is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And to warm up during the last chilly days of winter! It’s a hearty bowl of happiness with just a bit of a brogue!
Everything’s better with Guinness, Including Irish Beef Stew
I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but here in Western Washington, March is still in the lion stage and shows no signs of going out like a lamb anytime soon. It’s drizzly, chilly, gray, and just plain yucky.
In short, it’s stew weather. More specifically, Irish Beef Stew weather, since St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner.
If you’re wondering what makes this dish Irish as opposed to regular beef stew, it gets down to one important ingredient. A good tot of Guinness.
As you may or may not know, Guinness is an Irish dry stout made from hops, barley, and a specific kind of yeast. Arthur Guinness started brewing it in Dublin in 1759. It’s been a crowd-pleaser ever since, and not just in pubs. Back in the day, some Irish hospitals actually served Guinness to new mothers because it has a high iron content.
Guinness is great addition to lots of recipes, including Short Rib Tacos or Chocolate Guinness Cake from Taste of Home.
However, with the exception of straight from the tap in a tall glass, my favorite way to enjoy Guinness is in Irish Beef Stew. The bold, malt, and barley flavor of Guinness gives a nice depth to the dish.
What Do You Need to Make The Best Irish Beef Stew with Guinness?
Obviously, you’re going to need Guinness to make this stew. I used Guinness Draught but Guinness Extra Stout will work too.
You’ll also need beef but you can absolutely use lamb if you prefer. Lamb is definitely the more traditionally Irish but can be harder to find in the U.S. Either way, your Irish Stew will taste delish.
In addition to the meat and Guinness, you’ll need…
- Tomato paste
- Beef Broth
- Corn starch (can sub more flour)
How Do You Make The Best Irish Beef Stew with Guinness?
The Best Irish Beef Stew with Guinness is a pretty straightforward recipe. Anyone who has made stews in the past should have no problem with it.
You’ll start by dredging your beef or lamb in a little bit of seasoned flour, then searing the meat on all sides in a pan of hot oil. The flour will help thicken the stew. Searing the meat beforehand helps to seal in the juices to keep it tender after cooking.
Sear the meat in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Otherwise, it won’t brown properly. Most of the vegetables will go right into the pot raw but I recommend cooking the onion until soft, using the same pan you used to cook the meat. Cooking the onion first brings out the sweetness.
When you’re done with cooking the meat and onions, you’ll deglaze the pan. This is done by adding the Guinness to the pan with the heat still on, then using a spatula to scrape any browned bits from the bottom before pouring the liquid into the pot. Deglazing the pan adds flavor and will help thicken the stew.
The Best Irish Beef Stew with Guinness: The Easy Part
At that point, you’re just going to add most of the remaining ingredients to the pot and let them cook.
I prefer to use a slow cooker for my Irish Stew, but you can make it on the stove too. Just bring everything briefly to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about two to three hours.
During the last hour, you’ll take a little of the liquid from the pot and whisk in some cornstarch. (If you don’t have cornstarch, you can substitute flour but you might need a little more of it.) Then pour it back into the pot and let it cook for the last hour. This will help thicken the stew.
In the last ten minutes, add the frozen peas. The peas are optional but I think they add a nice touch of sweetness to the stew. Plus, they look pretty.
My Best Irish Beef Stew with Guinness is a hearty and delicious dinner for St. Patrick’s Day or any day. Try making it this week!Print
The Best Irish Beef Stew with Guinness
- Yield: Four Two-Cup Servings
- 1 lb stew meat (beef or lamb) cut into 1-inch cubes, patted dry
- 1 lb yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 celery ribs, sliced
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped into medium dice
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup Guinness (Draught or Extra Stout)
- 2 cups beef broth (or water with tablespoon of beef flavored Better Than Boullion)
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 T flour
- 1 T corn starch (Can sub flour. See note in blog post)
- 4 tsp oil, divided
- 1 tsp salt, plus extra for seasoned flour
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoned flour
- Season flour with a little salt and pepper, then place in a paper or plastic bag. Add the meat to the bag and shake so each piece is coated.
- Add 2 tsp. oil to a pan over medium-high heat. When pan in hot and oil is shimmering, place half the cubes of meat into the pan and sear on all sides. Remove the first batch of seared meat and set aside. Add an additional tsp. of oil to the pan and sear the remaining meat. Set aside when done.
- Add another tsp of oil and the chopped onions to the same pan. Cook until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the cooked meat to the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with the potatoes, carrots, celery, and cooked onions.
- Lower the heat on the stove and deglaze the pan by adding the Guinness and using a spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the liquid intot the slow cooker.
- Add the beef broth, tomato paste, dried thyme, salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir gently to combine the vegetables, leaving the meat layer undisturbed. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours. (See blog for stovetop cooking instructions).
- Remove about half a cup of cooking liquid from the pot. Shift the cornstarch into the hot liquid and stir vigorously with a fork, trying not to leave any lumps. Return liquid to the slow cooker and cook for an additional hour.
- 10 minutes before serving, stir the frozen peas to the slow cooker.