Guinness Stew

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Guinness Stew is the perfect hearty winter stew: a splash of dark stout makes the sauce rich and flavorful, perfect for tender chunks of beef and vegetables. Serve Guinness Stew over mashed potatoes or Colcannon for the perfect cozy meal.

Bowls of Guinness Stew with Colcannon.

Guinness Stew becomes top-of-mind come March and the frenzy around St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s a tasty, hearty stew choice in any of the chilly winter months.

The Guinness makes the stew, of course, and that, along with Worcestershire sauce, makes the gravy dark, rich, and delicious.

My favorite part of Guinness Stew might be the serving suggestion: over mashed potatoes or colcannon. Colcannon is basically mashed potatoes with a little Irish flair (kale or cabbage stirred in). Whichever one you choose, mashed spuds only add to the cozy, comforting feels of Guinness Stew.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Guinness Stew.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Beef roast: An inexpensive cut like chuck roast has a lot of fat, an asset here. The long cooking time means that fat breaks down into meltingly tender chunks of beef and a rich, full-bodied sauce. Names can vary, so look for any of these beef cuts: boneless beef chuck roast, chuck pot roast, chuck shoulder, bottom eye, round roast, rump roast, top round, round tip roast, English roast, or pot roast.
  • Red potatoes: Small red potatoes have thin skins and a buttery, tender interior. You can use white skin potatoes, fingerling potatoes, any color of baby potatoes, and even Russet or baking potatoes (as long as they’re cut up into bite-sized pieces).
  • Guinness Extra Stout: I prefer this hoppy stout, although any dark beer will do.
  • Beef broth: I use refrigerated beef base to make broth. Similar to bullion cubes, beef base is highly concentrated beef stock. You can find it in powder or paste forms. I love Better than Bouillon brand, a paste which is widely available and tastes delicious.
  • Mashed potatoes: Guinness Stew is delightful served over a big bed of warm mashed potatoes to soak up every last drop of the sauce. Colcannon, mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage stirred in, is an Irish option. If desired, you could pair it with warm, crusty bread or just enjoy as-is; this stew is a hearty meal itself.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pot and reserve rendered bacon fat. Meanwhile, season beef generously with salt and and toss with flour to coat.
Chunks of beef for Guinness Stew.
  1. Working in batches as necessary to prevent over-crowding, fry beef in reserved bacon fat until well-browned on each side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining beef.
Chunks of beef for Guinness Stew.
  1. To the now empty pot, add onions and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Vegetables for Guinness Stew.
  1. Add the Guinness and bring to boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Boil for 2 minutes.
Vegetables and broth for Guinness Stew.
  1. To the pot add browned beef, chopped bacon, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to boil.
Vegetables and broth for Guinness Stew.
  1. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 2 hours or until the beef is tender and the vegetables are cooked through.
A pot of Guinness Stew.
  1. Stir in peas. Remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with mashed potatoes or Colcannon.
A pot of Guinness Stew.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Guinness Beef Stew recipe makes 10 hearty servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The flavors intensify and improve as the stew sits, so feel free to make this up to 3 days ahead.
  • Freezer:  Cool cooked stew to below 40 degrees on an instant-read thermometer within 2 hours and place into airtight containers. Frozen stew will last 4 to 6 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Slow Cooker: To make the stew in a slow cooker, make recipe as directed in steps 1-4. At step 5, transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
  • Sheep: Substitute lamb or mutton for beef (a common version in Ireland).
  • Vegetable options: Stew is an excellent vehicle for extra vegetables and herbs you have on-hand. Turnips, mushrooms, parsnips, leeks, or sweet potatoes would all mix in nicely; just stick to the overall proportions listed in the recipe for vegetables and stock. (In other words, trade some turnips for carrots or substitute part sweet potatoes for red potatoes.)
Bowls of Guinness Stew with Colcannon.
Guinness Stew served with Colcannon.

Recipe FAQs

What beer is good for Guinness Stew?

I prefer Guinness Extra Stout, but any dark, hoppy beer will do.

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Guinness Stew in a small white bowl.

Guinness Stew

Guinness Stew is the perfect hearty winter stew: A splash of dark stout makes the sauce rich and flavorful, perfect for tender chunks of beef and vegetables.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Servings 10 servings (1-cup each)
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Irish
Calories 321

Ingredients 

  • 6 slices bacon thick cut, chopped
  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast cut against the grain into 1-inch pieces (see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 5 medium red potatoes chopped (see note 2)
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery ribs chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 16 ounces Guinness Extra Stout (see note 3)
  • 2 cups beef broth (see note 4)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • Mashed potatoes or Colcannon for serving (see note 5)

Instructions 

  • In a Dutch oven over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pot and reserve rendered bacon fat. Meanwhile, season beef generously with salt and and toss with flour to coat.
  • Working in batches as necessary to prevent over-crowding, fry beef in reserved bacon fat until well-browned on each side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining beef.
  • To the now empty pot, add onions and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the Guinness and bring to boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Boil for 2 minutes.
  • To the pot add browned beef, chopped bacon, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 2 hours or until the beef is tender and the vegetables are cooked through.
  • Stir in peas. Remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Notes

  1. Beef roast: An inexpensive cut like chuck roast has a lot of fat, an asset here. The long cooking time means that fat breaks down into meltingly tender chunks of beef and a rich, full-bodied sauce. Names can vary, so look for any of these beef cuts: boneless beef chuck roast, chuck pot roast, chuck shoulder, bottom eye, round roast, rump roast, top round, round tip roast, English roast, or pot roast.
  2. Red potatoes: Small red potatoes have thin skins and a buttery, tender interior. You can use white skin potatoes, fingerling potatoes, any color of baby potatoes, and even Russet or baking potatoes (as long as they’re cut up into bite-sized pieces).
  3. Guinness Extra Stout: I prefer this hoppy stout, although any dark beer will do.
  4. Beef broth: I use refrigerated beef base to make broth. Similar to bullion cubes, beef base is highly concentrated beef stock. You can find it in powder or paste forms. I love “Better than Bouillon” brand, a paste which is widely available and tastes delicious.
  5. Mashed potatoes: Guinness Stew is delightful served over a big bed of warm mashed potatoes to soak up every last drop of the sauce. If desired, you could pair it with warm, crusty bread or just enjoy as-is; this stew is a hearty meal itself.
  6. Yield: This Guinness Beef Stew recipe makes 10 hearty servings.
  7. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  8. Make ahead: The flavors intensify and improve as the stew sits, so feel free to make this up to 3 days ahead.
  9. Freezer:  Cool cooked stew to below 40 degrees on an instant-read thermometer within 2 hours and place into airtight containers. Frozen stew will last 4 to 6 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  10. Slow Cooker: To make the stew in a slow cooker, make recipe as directed in steps 1-4. At step 5, transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 321kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 23gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 463mgPotassium: 1058mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 3332IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 4mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. Megan,
    Stew in the slow cooker turned out really well. The meat was tender and the stew was tasty. This was the first time serving over mashed potatoes, definitely a hit! Thanks again, and have a great day,5 stars

    1. Hi Diane! I’m SO glad you loved it! I’m really happy it was a hit! You’re so welcome! Thank you for writing me back, I appreciate it! – Meggan

    1. You’re so welcome, Sue! Thank you for your comment. So glad you loved it! – Meggan

  2. Megan,
    Thanks so much for the guidance regarding using a slow cooker as your efforts and time are sincerely appreciated. The stew is in the slow cooker as Iโ€™m typing. The only modification was adding a small amount of sugar like spaghetti sauce. So far, this is a success and tasty! Happy St. Patrickโ€™s Day.5 stars

    1. Hi Diane! Thank you so much for your comment! I would follow the recipe for steps 1-4. For step 5, I would transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8. I’m going to try this myself, so I’ll write back to confirm! – Meggan

    2. To update you on this, Diane, I brought everything to a boil as directed in step 5 then transferred it to the slow cooker. Hope you love this stew! – Meggan