Our Irish Beef Stew is classic Irish-inspired comfort food made with tender beef, carrots, celery, and onions simmered to perfection in a savory Guinness beer broth. A hearty recipe perfect for those chilly days.
Our Guinness stew may not be your traditional Irish stew recipe. Our take on this classic comfort food dish is made with tender chunks of beef, slices of carrots, celery, and sweet onions simmered in a savory Guinness sauce.
And, to make this stew extra flavorful and delicious, we add in some crispy bits of bacon for a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the rich and complex flavors of the Guinness beer broth.
Serve a big helping of our stew over a pile of warm mashed potatoes and you have one of those hearty meals that keeps you warm on a cold night!
How to Make Irish Beef Stew with Guinness:
The best beef stew takes time to make. Patience is key but the reward is an amazingly rich and flavorful Guinness stew. Here's a quick rundown of how to make it.
Scroll to the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over low-medium heat. Add the bacon and cook it until it is as crispy as you like. Take the bacon out of the pan, and drain all but 2 tablespoons of grease.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper then add the pieces to the pan. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Brown the beef on all sides then remove to a waiting plate. Repeat with the remaining beef.
- Add the onion and garlic, and cook until the onions begin to soften.
- Next, add the carrots and celery, and stir to combine. Sprinkle in the flour, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in the Guinness beer, beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, and marjoram. Stir to combine making sure the tomato paste is well distributed.
- Return the beef and its juices to the pan. The liquid should just cover the beef. If it doesn't, add more broth until it covers the beef.
- Bring the liquid to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 2 hours. Remove the lid, and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until the beef is fall apart tender and the stew is the desired consistency.
- Taste, and season with salt and pepper, and remove the thyme sprig.
- Serve with cheesy mashed potatoes, a soft yeast roll, Irish soda bread, or a tall glass of Guinness.
Tips for Success:
- Use well-marbled beef for the best flavor and texture. For traditional Irish stew, look for lamb instead of beef.
- Brown the beef before adding the Guinness beer broth as this will add a nice depth of flavor.
- Don’t skip sauteing the onions, carrots, and celery – this adds extra flavor!
- Simmer your Guinness stew until all of the vegetables are tender and cooked through but not mushy.
- The key ingredient in an Irish Beef Stew is the beer – make sure you use good quality Irish stout for that authentic flavor!
- To really maximize flavors, simmer the stew slowly so that more intense flavors can be created, leaving a thicker gravy behind.
- Add crispy bacon for an extra smoky flavor.
- Finish off your beef stew with herbs such as chopped fresh parsley or fresh thyme just before serving.
Refrigerator: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freezer: Let the stew cool slightly then transfer it to the refrigerator to cool completely. Place it in freezer-safe containers or Ziploc bags and freeze for up to 2 months.
Reheating: Reheat refrigerated soup on the stovetop or in the microwave on low heat until warmed through.
To Thaw: Place frozen stew in the refrigerator until thawed then reheat. The taste and texture of frozen soup may change slightly.
What kind of beef is best for Irish Beef Stew?
The best cut of beef for Irish Beef Stew with Guinness is a well-marbled, tougher cut of beef like chuck roast, round cuts, brisket, or even oxtail. These cuts break down during cooking and help create the delicious gravy that gives the stew its classic flavor.
However, you can also use more tender cuts such as sirloin steak in Irish Stew if you don't have chuck roast on hand.
What vegetables do I need?
For this stew, you need carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. You can also add potatoes or other root vegetables like turnips or rutabaga.
Since we served our stew over mashed potatoes, we didn't add potatoes to the stew itself. The addition of mushrooms is also popular in this stew for an even deeper flavor.
For extra flavor, add a bay leaf as well as any herbs such as parsley, thyme, or rosemary.
Is Guinness beer necessary in Irish Beef Stew?
No, it doesn't have to be Guinness brand beer but you will need an Irish stout. It's the key ingredient in this beef stew recipe.
Is bacon or pancetta optional in Guinness stew?
Yes, bacon and pancetta are optional additions to Irish Beef Stew. They add a smoky flavor that pairs well with the richness of the Guinness and beef broth.
If you don't have them, just leave them out. Neither are traditional ingredients of this classic stew.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional, *See note)
- 2 to 2 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch chunks
- Salt and pepper, to season the beef (We usually use ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ of pepper.)
- 2 small onions, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 large carrots, diagonally sliced ½ inch thick
- 2 large celery ribs, chopped
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 11.2 ounces Guinness Stout
- 2 ½ cups beef broth
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- ½ teaspoon marjoram
- Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over low-medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until it reaches the desired crispness. Remove the bacon from the pan, and drain all the grease except for 2 tablespoons.6 slices bacon
- Season the beef with salt and pepper then add the pieces to the pan, work in batches if needed. Brown the beef on all sides then remove to a waiting plate.2 to 2 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck roastSalt and pepper
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan, and cook until the onions begin to soften.2 small onions2 garlic cloves
- Add the carrots and celery, and stir to combine. Mix in the flour, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.3 large carrots2 large celery ribs3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Pour in the Guinness, beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, and marjoram. Stir to combine making sure the tomato paste is well distributed.11.2 ounces Guinness Stout2 ½ cups beef broth3 tablespoons tomato paste1 fresh thyme sprig½ teaspoon marjoram
- Return the beef and its juices back to the pan. The liquid should just cover the beef.
- Bring the liquid to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove the lid, and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until the stew reaches the desired consistency.
- Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Remove the thyme sprig. Serve with mashed potatoes, rolls, or Irish soda bread.
- See post for tips, FAQs, and storage options.