Featured Image - Irish Guinness Stew

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Irish Guinness Stew is a hearty, satisfying dish flavored with savory meat, onions, potatoes, and Guinness beer. It’s easy to make and a wonderful way to celebrate the heart of Ireland on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Garnish Stew with Parsley - Serve in Bowls - Pfaltzgraff Farmhouse Hen DIshes

While searching recipes for Irish Stew, I found that many included carrots, turnips, parsnips, and other various vegetables. These recipes were rich and colorful, and I’m sure very delicious. But traditional Irish Stew is actually a very simple meal consisting of meat (usually mutton), potatoes, and onion, cooked in a thick, flavorful sauce. If the dish didn’t include potatoes, you might serve it over a mound of mashed potatoes. Very simple. Very filling. And Very Irish.

In fact, did you know that Irish Stew is the National Dish that represents Ireland? No wonder there are so many pictures of it on social media. Or that you can find it in so many Irish pubs in America, or worldwide.

Cook Stew in Large Saucepan or Dutch Oven

Though tempted to go along with the trend of adding other vegetables to this recipe, I decided to stick to a very basic stew, with the addition of Guinness beer. I do not know whether adding beer is traditional or not, but it certainly adds flavor to the stew. And my husband and I liked it very much. In fact, we believe it might be our new favorite stew. And that’s saying something.

I liken this stew to fit between my Chunky Venison Stew and Beef Bourguignon, with the ease and simplicity of the first, but not quite the technical intensity of the latter. Both are worthy and delicious, as is this Irish stew. 

Shopping for mutton in the US can be difficult, especially in my part of Kansas. However, Aldi offers it during the Christmas and Easter season. If unable to find mutton, you may use beef or even venison, which may not be as traditional, but are more affordable and abundant here in the States. Good cuts of beef are chuck, sirloin, or round.

If using mutton, look for less expensive cuts such as neck, shoulder, or even chump (rump) chops. I could not find any of these at Aldi, but rather lamp chops and loin roasts, which are higher grades of meat. Usable, but a more costly dish to make.

 

More Delicious Stews to Try

 

Ingredients For Irish Guinness Stew

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

  • bacon
  • beef chuck or sirloin roast (or mutton)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • dried thyme
  • bay leaf
  • Guinness Draught Stout
  • beef bouillon cubes + water for broth
  • chicken bouillon cubes + water for broth
  • water
  • red or yellow potatoes, diced
  • sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • all-purpose flour + water, for thickening agent
  • fresh or dried parsley for garnish

 

A Note About Guinness Beer

When selecting beer for this recipe, I use Guinness Draught Stout. I have found that Guinness Extra Stout tends to add too much bitterness to the dish. This goes for any of my other Irish dishes that call for Guinness beer, such as Slow-Cooked Corned Beef, Irish Bangers and Mash, or Cottage Skillet Pie with Stout. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

 

Instructions For Making This Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipes - Using Beef Sirloin Roast

Gather the ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Prepare the Ingredients

Using a cutting board and sharp knife, slice the strips of bacon into small pieces. Slice the chuck roast into 1″ size pieces. You could also use sirloin, or round beef, or stew meat. I’ve also tried venison for this recipe, which is much leaner, but cooks up in the stew quite nicely.

On a second cutting board, dice the sweet onion with a Chef’s knife, and mince the garlic.

I always use a special cutting board for slicing meat, with another board for everything else, to help prevent the spread of food borne illness. 

Prepare the broth by adding 2 cups of boiling water to each set of chicken and beef bouillon cubes. Alternately, you may use purchased chicken and beef broth or stock, but I find that bouillon cubes work well for soups, and is less expensive to buy.

Clean and dice red or yellow potatoes, enough to make about 6 cups. Coarsely slice the sweet onion.

The vegetables here are for the second half of the recipe, so you may hold off on preparing them until your meat has cooked for an hour. Slice the potatoes and onion as small or large as you like. I prefer larger sections of onion. And I almost always leave the skin on my potatoes.

Layers of Flavor

Build Depth of Flavor to Your Dish by Layering the Ingredients when Cooking

It’s always worth the effort to layer ingredients slowly to a dish by using various cooking techniques–searing the meat, deglazing with wine or beer, liquid reduction, adding aromatics, etc. By taking extra time with each of these steps you slowly build depth and flavor to the dish.

This layering of flavor is always noticeable and will be appreciated by everyone at your table. We’ll begin by browning and searing the meat, as instructed in the steps below.

 

Brown and Cook the Meat

Cook the pieces of bacon in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring often until browned.

Add in the pieces of meat and cook until browned on all sides, stirring as needed.

Prior to browning, pat the pieces of beef dry with paper towels for a better sear in the pan. Also, try not to overcrowd the beef in the pot, which will cause condensation and moisture to build. It’s better to remove the pieces once browned and repeat searing the remaining meat. 

Add Diced Onion and Minced Garlic to the Browned Meat

Next, add the diced onion and minced garlic. If needed, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot. Stir and cook until the onion is tender, about 1-2 minutes.

Add Tomato Paste and Seasonings to the Meat

Make a hole in the center and add tomato paste. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the paste begins to brown. Add to this the Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, and bay leaf. Stir into the rest of the dish.

When using tomato paste in small amounts, I like to buy tubes of paste and store it in the refrigerator for such a time as this. Another option, is to buy small cans of paste and freeze any unused amount in small containers or bags. Then when you need to use it, simply thaw it in the microwave for your recipes. Canned paste tends to be less expensive than tubes. 

Add Guinness and Broth to the Meat

Now it’s time to add the liquids. Start with the Guinness beer. Stir into the meat and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, until reduced by half.

Add to this the beef and chicken broth, plus enough of the extra water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 60-90 minutes, until the meat is near tender.

 

Cook the Vegetables

Once the meat has cooked for over an hour, add the prepared diced potatoes and sliced onion to the pot. Stir to mix in with the meat. At this point, you may need to add extra water, enough to cover the vegetables.

Cover with a lid, and cook on low at a gentle boil, until the vegetables are fork tender, about 45-50 minutes. By this time, the meat should be nicely tender.

Guinness Stew without Thickening Agent

If you prefer a stew that has not been thickened, you may conclude the recipe here. However, if you like your stew with a sauce that is thick and hearty, keep reading to the end!

 

Thicken the Stew

In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and water to make a thin paste for thickening the stew. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.

Add Thickening Agent to the Soup. Stir and Continue to Cook until Thickened

Remove the bay leaf from the pot. Gradually add the thickener to the stew in a light stream, stirring to combine. The broth will quickly thicken. Simmer uncovered for another 5-7 minutes.

Serve Irish Stew with a Hard Crusty Bread

Allow the stew to set for a few minutes before serving. Garnish the stew with freshly chopped or dried parsley. Serve in bowls with a hard, crusty bread. Sliced cheese and pickles are also nice additions to the meal.

This recipe will serve 6-8 people.

See more Soup Recipes Here. Browse Irish Dishes Here.  

 

Featured Image - Irish Guinness Stew

Irish Guinness Stew

Irish Guinness Stew is a hearty, satisfying dish flavored with savory meat, onions, potatoes, and Guinness beer. It’s easy to make and a wonderful way to celebrate the heart of Ireland on Saint Patrick’s Day.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Serving Size 8

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Ingredients 

  • 4 slices thick bacon (sliced)
  • 2.5 pounds beef chuck or sirloin roast (or mutton)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (as needed)
  • 1 cup sweet onion (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 each bay leaf
  • 11.2 oz Guinness Draught Stout
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon (+ 2 cups boiling water)
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon (+ 2 cups boiling water)
  • 4 cups water (as needed)
  • 6 cups red or yellow potatoes (coarsely diced)
  • 1 large sweet onion (coarsely sliced)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour + 1/3 cup water (for thickening agent)
  • fresh or dried parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Gather the ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Using a cutting board and sharp knife, slice the strips of bacon into small pieces. Slice the chuck roast into 1" size pieces. You could also use sirloin roast, or stew meat. (I've also tried venison for this recipe, which is much leaner, but cooks up in the stew quite nicely.)
  • On a second cutting board, dice the sweet onion with a Chef's knife, and mince the garlic.
  • Prepare the broth by adding 2 cups of boiling water to each set of chicken and beef bouillon cubes.
  • Clean and dice red or yellow potatoes, enough to make about 6 cups. Coarsely slice the sweet onion. (You may wait to do this step until the meat has cooked for an hour.)

Brown and Cook the Meat

  • Cook the pieces of bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring often until browned.
  • Add in the pieces of meat and cook until browned on all sides, stirring as needed. (Prior to browning, pat the pieces of beef dry with paper towels for a better sear in the pan. Also, try not to overcrowd the beef in the pot, which will cause condensation and moisture to build. It’s better to remove the pieces once browned and repeat searing the remaining meat.)
  • Next, add the diced onion and minced garlic. If needed, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot. Stir and cook until the onion is tender, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Make a hole in the center and add tomato paste. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the paste begins to brown. Add to this the Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, and bay leaf. Stir into the rest of the dish.
  • Now it's time to add the liquids. Start with the Guinness beer. Stir into the meat and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, until reduced by half. Add to this the beef and chicken broth, and enough of the extra water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 60-90 minutes, until the meat is near tender.

Cook the Vegetables

  • Once the meat has cooked for over an hour, add the prepared diced potatoes and sliced onion to the pot. Stir to mix in with the meat. At this point, you may need to add extra water, enough to cover the vegetables.
  • Cover with a lid, and cook on low at a gentle boil, until the vegetables are fork tender, about 45-50 minutes. By this time, the meat should be nicely tender.

Thicken the Stew

  • In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and water to make the thickening agent. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.
  • Remove the bay leaf from the pot. Gradually add the thickener to the stew in a light stream, stirring until combined. The broth will quickly thicken. Simmer uncovered for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Allow the stew to set for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with freshly chopped or dried parsley. Serve in bowls with a hard, crusty bread. Sliced cheese and pickles are also nice additions to the meal.
  • This recipe will serve 6-8 people.

Notes

*A Note About Guinness Beer - When selecting beer for this recipe, I use Guinness Draught Stout. I have found that Guinness Extra Stout tends to add too much bitterness to the dish. 

Nutrition

Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 910mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 4mg

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