Guinness Beef Stew is the ultimate slow-cooked comfort food where the beef is fork tender. The gravy has a wonderful rich flavor with undertones of sweetness and beef that pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes and freshly baked bread slathered in Kerrygold Butter! It is absolute perfection!Jump to Recipe
Traditional Irish Stew
As an Irish American this is my version of an Irish Stew that is traditionally made with Mutton (adult sheep) or Lamb. Mutton is a tough piece of meat that some say has added flavor over a young Lamb. I will leave that debate to those who eat Mutton and Lamb. The article Why Mutton Actually Tastes Better than Lamb may be of interest.
Traditional Irish Stew includes few ingredients such as potatoes, onions, and broth. The American version strays pretty far with its laundry list of ingredients! My inspiration to use Guinness in a Beef Stew originated from an Irish cook show on Recipe TV. Guinness Storehouse Executive Chef Justin O’Connor presented several recipes made with Guinness and explained why he uses different types of Guinness. His specialty is introducing Guinness into traditional Irish recipes.
Chef O’Connor demonstrated his famous Irish Beef and Guinness Stew that looked delicious with a rich, caramelized sauce. The key is both the Foreign Extra Stout Guinness and a homemade beef stock. It is served with Irish Champ Potatoes which is basically an Irish dish made with mashed potatoes, scallions, milk and butter. After seeing this beautiful dish plated, I wanted to purchase a ticket to Ireland landing at Guinness Storehouse to try this dish! Instead I ventured into making my own Guinness Beef Stew.
Guinness Stout Beer
There are so many different types of Guinness that includes Draught, Foreign Extra Stout and Extra Stout among others. However, Guinness is not interchangeable and your selection depends upon the recipe. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout has extra alcohol that during cooking provides those sweet sugars balanced with the roasted flavors of the hops. Perfect for a Guinness Beef Stew! Sometimes it is difficult to find Foreign Extra Stout. In those situations I substitute Extra Stout but not Draught since it works better with desserts.
Does the Alcohol Really Burn off?
We always hear the alcohol burns off when cooking a dish. But is that really true? I decided to research this question since there is a generous serving of Guinness in this Stew! Nutritionists from Washington State University, the University of Idaho and U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted experiments with wine and sherry to determine how much alcohol really cooks off. After 2 ½ hours, 5% of the alcohol remained. You can read the article to gain more information on their experiment and alternatives for cooking with alcohol.
Guinness Beef Stew
An important step in making Guinness Beef Stew is browning the beef. It takes some time and patience to not remove the beef before properly browned. However, since this Irish Stew is going to simmer for several hours and will be enjoyed for many days, it is important not to shortchange this important step. Before adding the beef to a hot pan, make sure the beef is dry. Wet meat will cause condensation with the beef steaming instead of browning. I dry my cubed Beef in paper towels before browning. Yes, I know another step.
Using a heavy braising pan, heat a little canola oil on medium-high heat. Add part of the beef without over crowding the pan because this can also cause the beef to steam instead of brown. Stir periodically. When the beef looks brown I give it another minute or two. The pan should be brown with Beef bits with the Beef having a nice rich color. Place brown beef onto a plate and continue the process. For this recipe, I browned the Beef in four batches. To save time, I used two braising pans.
Building the Guinness Beef Stew
Once the Beef is browned, add the carrots, onions, and celery. Stir for a minute to pick up some of the brown bits. Slowly add the Beef Stock to deglaze the pan removing the browned bits so they become part of the stew! Bring the Beef Stock to a simmer before adding the remaining sauce ingredients. Guinness is key to making this version of an Irish Beef Stew. We cannot always find Guinness Foreign Extra Stout but have also made it with Guinness Extra Stout. The Guinness Beef Stew was still delicious!
Beef Stew Vegetables
My Guinness Beef Stew is not meant to be traditional. However, I hear that in Southern Ireland carrots are added and some may include turnips and parsnips. My Irish Stew does not include white potatoes since it is served with mashed potatoes. But you could certainly add cubed white potatoes becoming a one-dish meal! You may notice in the pictures the inclusion of sweet potatoes. They add a nice flavor but do fall apart so I excluded from this recipe. As a general tip be careful with how much vegetables are added in comparison to the Guinness Beef Broth. You may want to add less vegetables or more Beef Broth in order to have more rich broth.
Guinness Beef Stew
Beef Roast Ingredients
- 1 tbsp. Canola Oil divided
- 4 pounds Beef Chuck
- 2 cups Onions rough-cut
- 2 Carrots rough-cut
- 2 Celery Stalks rough-cut
- 4 cups Beef Stock
- 1 cup Strong Brewed Coffee
- 2 tsp Lawry Salt
- 1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 22 ounces Guinness Foreign Extra Stout not Draught
- 1 ½ tbsp. Soy Sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 ounces 72% Cacao Chocolate
- 1 Roasting Blend Italian Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme
- 3 cups Carrots cubed
- 2 cups Parsnips cubed
- 1 cup Turnips cubed
- 1 ½ cup Celery sliced
- Flat-leaf Parsley Leaves
- Rosemary Sprigs
Beef Roast Preparation
- Cut the Beef Chuck into one-inch chunks.
- In a large braising pan, heat Canola Oil over medium-high heat.
- Add Chuck Beef to the pan in batches to brown. Transfer the browned Beef to a plate while browning the remaining Beef.
- Add the rough-cut carrots, celery and onions to the braising pan to pick up some of the brown bits.
- Slowly add the Beef Stock to deglaze the pan removing the beef bits. Bring the Beef Stock mixture to a simmer.
- Add remaining Gravy ingredients and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Add the browned Beef, Lawry Salt, Pepper, and Roasting Blend.
- Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring periodically.
Final Cooking Step
- Discard the rough-cut carrots and celery stalks.
- Add the vegetable Ingredients and cook for another hour or until veggies are tender.
- Discard Roasting Blend.
- Serve with mashed potatoes.