Irish Beef Stew with Guinness beer, a hearty dish for your Saint Patrick's Day celebrations. It's a healthy and delicious stew made with diced beef, potatoes, carrots, celery and parsnips, cooked slowly in a rich and flavourful sauce made with tomato paste, beef broth and Guinness beer. Easy to make, this is a dish fit for a king.
Stews are my kind of comfort food, they go down very well no matter the season, and usually even the fussiest of eaters love a good bowl of hot stew. Stews have been around for so long, and you can tell why, they are not only delicious, but you can throw in pretty much any meat and vegetable you have.
And, bonus point, it's all made in one pot, so no need to worry about a mountain of dishes to clean after. A good stew is best cooked slowly, so that the meat can become tender, and the full flavours can be released. Beef is one meat that you can't rush, otherwise it will be chewy and tough to eat.
A slow cooker would be great, but you can cook it on the stove top too and achieve the best results. Just leave it to cook on a slow heat; depending on the size of the beef chunks, it can take anywhere between 1.5 and 2 hours.
Now, if you are in a rush, you can increase the heat, but you will probably need to add a bit more beef stock, as the liquid will be evaporated quicker.
How to make Irish beef stew with Guinness
Now, if you read my blog regularly, you will know I'm not quite the biggest fan of alcohol, so no one of my recipes would have any alcohol in them. Expect this one! Not that you can't make this Irish stew without beer, you can, but I wanted to get the full flavours a proper Irish stew would have.
Still no red wine in, but I don't think that's a problem, the guinness only does a pretty good job; you get the richest sauce that makes you want to have one too many bowls of stew.
- season the beef chunks with salt and pepper, and dust them with flour
- heat up the oil in a pan, add the beef, and cook on both sides until brown - the meat won't be cooked at this point, we just need a bit of colour
- remove the beef from the pan, and set aside
- in the same pan, fry the onions, add the garlic, carrots, parsnips and celery cut into chunks
- add the beef stock, guinness, bay leaves and tomato paste, and leave to cook with the lid on for about one hour and a half, or until the beef is tender, and the vegetables are soft, but still hold their shape
- remove the lid, and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until the sauce is a bit reduced, but you still have enough liquid left
- season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh parsley
I like stews with quite a bit of liquid in them, so that I can dip fresh bread in that wonderful sauce - that's the best thing ever! I used 3 cups of beef broth and 1 cup of guinness, and that was more than enough for the amount of ingredients I used.
Once the beef was tender to melt in the mouth, I removed the lid and left the stew to cook for 15 minutes, as there was still quite a lot of liquid left - after the 15 minutes, there was enough, but again, some people might like less liquid, in which case you can cook it for longer.
No need to go for expensive cuts of beef, the normal diced beef for stews does a very good job. That's the beauty about stews, you get some nice and affordable ingredients in the same pot, and the result is the most delicious dish to make you lick your fingers clean.
Since the beef had already been dusted with flour, there is no need to add any more at this point to thicken the stew, but if you like it quite thick, add one more tablespoon of plain flour or cornflour ( do make sure you mix them with water first, then add it to the pot).
What to serve with an Irish stew
The stew is hearty enough to be served on its own, but some carbs can take this stew to the very next level. You can either go for a good old mashed potatoes. For a more Irish kick, add some greens to the mash, and you get the famous Colcannon.
However, my favourite way to serve it is with freshly made soda bread. It's another traditional Irish recipe, so the two go perfectly well together. I have a few more variations of the traditional Irish bread, these are mini soda bread rolls, or my Soda Bread with Cheddar Cheese, Olives and Red Peppers.
Other beef recipes
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Irish Beef Stew
- 500 g diced beef (about 1 lb)
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 medium potatoes
- 2 medium parsnips
- 2 yellow onions
- 2 celery stalks
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste / puree
- 3 cups beef stock / broth
- 1 cup Guinness beer
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- fresh parsley to garnish
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a pan and heat it up.
- Season the beef with half of the amount of salt and pepper, dust with the flour shaking the excess off, then fry the beef in the pan until brown.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Peel and chop the onions roughly, the potatoes, carrots, celery and parsnips can be cut into big chunks, and the garlic chopped finely.
- In the same pan , add the remaining oil and fry the onions until soft, then add the garlic, parsnips, celery, potatoes and carrots.
- Give a good stir, then add the beer, beef stock, tomato paste and bay leaves.
- Put the lid on, and leave the stew to cook on a low heat for about an hour, an hour and a half or until the beef is tender, and the vegetables are soft, but still holding their shape.
- Remove the lid, and leave to cook for a further 10-15 minutes or so in case you need to have more liquid evaporated, otherwise remove it from the heat.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.