This easy Guinness beef stew recipe features tender meat, filling veggies, and plenty of robust flavors.
It’s hearty, flavorful, and so comforting, you’ll look forward to leftovers.
The next time you need a simple yet satisfying dish for the weekend, give this Guinness beef stew a try.
Between the melt-in-your-mouth meat and bold beer-based broth, it’ll warm you up from the inside out.
And don’t worry, it’s totally safe for the kids! Guinness has an alcohol content of just 4.2%, and that burns off while it cooks.
Irish Beef and Guinness Stew
A lot of good things have come out of Ireland. So with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes from the Emerald Isles.
Beef and Guinness stew is the kind of homegrown dish your grandma used to make.
It’s a filling and flavorful culinary masterpiece. And yes, if you ever pop across the pond, you’ll find it in practically every pub you visit.
Of course, adding beer to soups, stews, and chilis is nothing new. You’ll find all kinds of recipes out there that do the same.
But there’s just something extra special about Guinness beef stew.
Guinness is very dark and earthy. And when you add it to beef stew, it brings a ton of savory flavor.
- Bacon – Bacon brings a ton of salty-meaty flavor. Plus, you’ll cook the beef and veggies in the leftover grease, making everything more addictive.
- The bacon should be crispy and cut into small pieces so it distributes throughout the pot.
- Boneless Beef Chuck – You’ll use chuck because it’s readily available, affordable, and best cooked low and slow, which is exactly what you need for a stew. Cut it into small, two-inch pieces, and let it simmer until it falls apart under your fork.
- You could also substitute sirloin or round roast, but those will cost a little more.
- Seasonings – The seasonings you’ll need for this recipe are pretty simple: salt, black pepper, minced garlic, fresh thyme, and sugar. They’ll give the stew the perfect balance of sweet, savory, salty, and herby flavors.
- Veggies – Although you can go heavier on the veggies if you like, I stick to the big three: carrots, onions, and celery.
- Guinness – Use any dark beer you like for this recipe. But for authentic Guinness beef stew, Guinness is the only way to go. It lends its flavor to the broth nicely, making it robust and earthy.
- Tomato paste – Tomato paste is another bold ingredient. Combined with dark beer, it provides a unique flavor, unlike anything you’ve tried.
- Chicken stock – Finally, you’ll cover everything with chicken stock. Add more or less depending on how thick you like your stews.
- Beef broth works, too, of course. But it will bring an even richer flavor, which can overpower the beer.
If you want, you can also whip up some creamy mashed potatoes. You won’t put them in the stew, but it tastes great poured on top of them.
How to Make Guinness Beef Stew
1. Prepare all the ingredients per the recipe card.
The recipe’s steps flow much more smoothly if you have everything ready beforehand.
So, chop the veggies, and cut the bacon and beef chuck. If you’re using fresh garlic, mince it, and have the thyme sprigs ready to toss in.
Use kitchen twine to make a small bundle, and it’ll be easier to remove them at the end.
2. Cook the bacon and beef.
Start by frying the bacon pieces until they’re brown and crispy. Then, transfer them to the cooking pot, and cook the beef in the bacon fat.
Add it to the stew pot when it’s nicely seared.
3. Cook the onions and garlic, then add the beer.
In the same skillet you cooked the bacon and beef, cook the onions until tender, mix in the garlic, then pour over the Guinness.
Be sure to stir regularly and scrape the sides of the skillet to get all that goodness.
4. Transfer the liquid to the stew pot and add the broth.
Once the Guinness mixture is ready, pour it into the stew pot with the meat. Then, add the veggies, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, and black pepper.
Finally, cover all the ingredients in chicken broth.
5. Simmer the stew for two hours (at least).
Cover the pot and simmer the stew over low heat. Let it cook for approximately 2 hours, checking on it occasionally.
When you raise the lid, stir the soup. If you don’t like fatty foam on your stew, skim it off the top at this time, too.
After 2 hours, raise the heat to medium-high. Remove the lid, and bring the stew to a low boil.
Allow it to cook at that temperature for another 15 or 20 minutes to thicken the stew.
6. Remove the thyme and season.
Carefully find the thyme sprigs and pull them out. Then, season the stew a final time with salt and pepper to suit your tastes.
7. Serve and enjoy.
You can eat the stew by itself or over mashed potatoes. It tastes phenomenal either way.
Tips and Tricks
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while making this stew:
- Add extra veggies for a heartier stew. Baby potatoes are a great addition, as are frozen peas, corn kernels, and mushrooms.
- Thicken the stew with cornstarch (if necessary). The stew should thicken nicely on its own during those last 15 minutes of cooking. If not, add a little cornstarch.
- Don’t skip the sugar. Without it, the stew can be somewhat bitter. It may seem silly, but that teaspoon of sugar makes all the difference.
- Use a Crockpot. Break out the slow cooker if that’s easier than cooking on the stovetop.
How to Store Guinness Beef Stew Leftovers
I never have leftovers, but if you made a big batch, here’s how to store it:
Transfer the completely cooled stew to an airtight container. Then, place it in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
Reheat it in batches on the stove.
If you’re likely to have leftovers, avoid adding potatoes. They don’t freeze well or hold very well in the fridge, either.
Instead, cook them separately when you’re ready to eat.
Additionally, don’t save the leftovers with mashed potatoes, either. They’ll go watery in the fridge and might ruin the stew.
You can also use freezer bags to freeze the stew (without potatoes). It should remain fresh for up to 3 months.
Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it on the stove.
More Hearty Soups and Stews You’ll Love
Texas Cowboy Stew
Old-Fashioned Beef Stew
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Green Chili Chicken Soup
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