Made with a ton of vegetables and a hefty dose of Guinness stout, this Guinness Beef Stew recipe is a cold-weather classic that's sure to warm you up! Serve it with Irish Brown Soda Bread to complete the meal.
Saint Patrick’s Day is almost here! A time for parades, wearing of green, and dying of anything and everything to match that brilliant shade of emerald.
Most people I know (Irish or not) celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in some way because after all, everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day, right?
When you think of St. Paddy’s Day, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Corned beef and cabbage? Shamrocks? Green beer?
I think of hearty, warming foods. Slow-cooked, braised meat dishes, potatoes, root veggies, and comfort. Namely, Irish stew and Irish stew with Guinness.
Inspiration for this Irish Stew Recipe
Recently, I was looking through one of my cookbooks, The Irish Pub Cookbook by Margaret M. Johnson. The book is full of lovely pictures and homey recipes. Simple, high-quality ingredients combine with traditional cooking methods, and the result is food that withstands the test of time.
When I was thumbing through the book, I came across a recipe for Guinness Beef Stew, which basically jumped off the page at me.
Changes to the Original Recipe
I made several changes to the recipe. Firstly, the original called for a turnip. Believe it or not, I’ve never eaten a turnip in my entire life, and I was raised in a veggies-every-day household! Despite that, I added a turnip to my shopping list and looked for it at the store. I couldn’t locate a turnip to save my life, so I asked a grocer who told me they didn’t have any that day. Oh well.
To bulk up the stew and bump up the nutrition, I decided to add some celery and cabbage. I cooked the cabbage along with the beef and the cabbage just seemed to melt into the broth, which was exactly what I was going for. (I used Savoy cabbage, so this is likely why. If you want your cabbage to stand out more, use green cabbage and let the beef cook alone for 30 minutes before adding the cabbage.)
The original recipe didn’t have any potato in the stew. Rather, it suggested serving the stew with mashed or boiled potatoes. I avoided making a separate dish, and instead added a potato to the stew. (Plus, I love beef stew with potatoes!)
Lastly, the original recipe called for quite a bit more butter and oil than the amounts I used. It originally called for 4 tablespoons butter and ¼ cup oil. However, I found that the recipe was perfect without all that added fat. The end result was nothing short of pure comfort.
If you make this Guinness Beef Stew recipe, but sure to make a loaf of Irish Brown Soda Bread! It's the perfect accompaniment (and utensil) for soaking up the hearty Irish stew.
The Best Guinness Beef Stew Recipe with Potatoes
This recipe for Guinness Beef Stew is quite basic, but delicious in its simplicity. And it’s packed with nutrition! I use a variety of vegetables, including cabbage, onion, carrot, parsnip, celery, and potato.
I keep the seasonings simple with salt, black pepper, and marjoram. You can also add fresh herbs, such as rosemary if you want.
In this soup, I use a beurre manié to add a bit of richness and slightly thicken the stew. A beurre manié is just a mixture of room temperature butter and all-purpose flour.
Ingredients in Irish Beef Guinness Stew
- Olive oil - to sear the beef
- Beef stew meat - you can't have beef Guinness stew without beef!
- Savoy cabbage - I used Savoy cabbage in this stew, sliced it into thin shreds, and cooked it along with the beef so the cabbage basically disintegrated into the broth; if you want the cabbage to stand out more, use green cabbage, chop it into bite-sized pieces, and let the beef cook for 30 minutes before adding the cabbage
- Onion - we use a hefty amount of onion here; however, don't skip it because this aromatic root vegetable adds tons of depth to this Irish beef stew
- Guinness stout - the roasted, full-bodied, robust flavor of this stout beer perfectly balances the natural sweetness of carrots and the other vegetables in this stew
- Beef stock - use a good-quality homemade or store-bought beef stock
- Bay leaves - adds a subtle layer of flavor
- Ground marjoram - this herb adds a ton of depth to this rich stew; marjoram is in the mint family and has subtly sweet, woodsy, grassy notes with hints of peppery citrus
- Salt and black pepper - to season the stew
- Carrot, parsnip, celery, and potato - I told you there were a ton of veggies in this stew, lol!
- Unsalted butter and all-purpose flour - these ingredients combine to form a beurre manié to thicken the stew slightly and give the broth a little more body
How to Make Guinness Beef Stew
Step 1: Sear the Meat:
Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat in a 5-quart pot. When the oil starts to ripple, add the beef and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes (cook in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pot).
Step 2: Tenderize the Beef:
Next, add the cabbage, onion, Guinness, beef stock, bay leaves, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup up to a boil, then cover it, turn it down to a simmer, and cook until the meat is tender, about 60 to 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Add the Vegetables:
Add the carrots, parsnips, celery, and potato, and bring the soup up to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer, cover it, and cook until the veggies and meat are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Finishing Touches:
In a small bowl, mix together the butter and flour until completely combined. Whisk this mixture (called a beurre manié) into the stew to thicken it.
Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Lastly, serve this stew garnished with fresh minced parsley.
This is a great make-ahead meal (or meal prep meal) because the flavor only gets better the next day! Store this stew for up to 4 days covered in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Pro Tip: Layer the Flavors
To start the soup off with great depth of flavor, brown the meat in the pot you're going to cook the soup in.
Irish Beef Guinness Stew FAQs
What Kind of Guinness Do You Use For Stew?
Use Guinness stout to make this Guinness and beef stew recipe.
Does Guinness Stew Have Alcohol?
Similar to traditional Irish stew, Guinness stew is made with beer (in this case, Guinness stout), which has alcohol. However, this recipe cooks for two hours, so some of the alcohol is cooked off.
As far as how much alcohol remains in Guinness stew after cooking, is it enough to get you buzzed? No. Is it too much to serve to your kids? Only you can answer that. Taste it and see!
What to Serve with Irish Stew
- Irish Brown Soda Bread
- Cheddar Dill Beer Bread
- Rosemary Onion Quick Bread
- No Knead Bread
- Savory Swiss Cheese and Thyme Scones
- Fluffy Garlic Bread Drop Biscuits
- Buttery mashed potatoes
- Buttered noodles
More Stew Recipes From Around the World to Try
- Persian Okra Stew - see okra in a way that will make you want to eat it all the time
- Coq au Vin (French Chicken in Red Wine) - in just 1 hour!
- Domoda (Gambian Peanut Stew) - absolutely delicious with chicken or beef
Guinness Beef Stew Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds beef stew meat trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes (I like to use sirloin)
- ½ small head Savoy cabbage sliced into thin shreds
- 2 large onions chopped
- 1 ¾ cups Guinness stout
- 6 cups beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground marjoram
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 medium carrots peeled and sliced
- 4 medium parsnips peeled and sliced
- 4 medium celery ribs chopped (leafy tops included)
- 1 starchy potato such as Russet, washed and diced, but not peeled
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Fresh minced parsley for garnish (optional)
- Irish Brown Soda Bread for serving (optional)
- Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat in a 5-quart pot. When the oil starts to ripple, add the beef and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes (cook in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pot).
- Add the cabbage, onion, Guinness, beef stock, bay leaves, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup up to a boil, then cover it, turn it down to a simmer, and cook until the meat is tender, about 60 to 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the carrots, parsnips, celery, and potato, and bring the soup up to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer, cover it, and cook until the veggies and meat are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter and flour until completely combined. Whisk this mixture (called a beurre manié) into the stew to thicken it.
- Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
- Serve this stew garnished with fresh minced parsley along with Irish Brown Soda Bread.
- Inspiration: Recipe inspired by and adapted from The Irish Pub Cookbook by Margaret M. Johnson.
- Serving Suggestion: Serve this stew with Irish Brown Soda Bread to complete the meal!
- Storage: This is a great make-ahead meal (or meal prep meal) because the flavor only gets better the next day! Store this stew for up to 4 days covered in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on March 16, 2010. It was updated with more information on March 15, 2023.