Guinness Beef Stew

published Mar 12, 2022
Guinness Beef Stew Recipe

This stew is simmered low and slow in a Guinness-spiked sauce.

Serves6

Prep12 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook2 hours 45 minutes

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beef stew with carrots and potatoes in a bowl
Credit: Kelli Foster

There are a lot of ways to cook up a hearty, comforting pot of beef stew, but if you ask me, absolutely nothing compares to Guinness beef stew. It also happens to be my favorite dinner to cook for St. Patrick’s Day. In this version, thick chunks of chuck roast are seared and then simmered low and slow in a Guinness-spiked sauce on the stovetop. The result is a richly flavored stew that treats you to melt-in-your-mouth beef, just-tender carrots and potatoes, and a sauce with just the right balance of sweet, bitter, and savory aromas. It’s a good idea to serve it with a crusty loaf of bread, so you can mop up every last drop. 

What Cut of Beef Do You Use for This Recipe?

Do yourself a favor and skip the stew meat for Guinness beef stew. The best cut of meat for this dish is a boneless beef chuck roast — ideally one that’s about three pounds. Starting with a whole roast and cutting it into pieces yourself gives you a lot of flexibility in how large or small the chunks of meat are. In this recipe, you’ll cut the meat into two-inch chunks. The reason stew meat isn’t a good choice here is that the pieces tend to be much smaller (usually about one-inch, at best), and aren’t always uniform. 

What Flavor Does a Dark Beer Like Guinness Add to Beef Stew?

Guinness has a malty sweetness, with notes of chocolate and coffee. It’s a nice partner to fatty chuck roast, and gives the stew a deep, rich flavor that makes it feel especially hearty.

Credit: Kelli Foster

Why Is My Guinness Beef Stew Bitter?

Stouts, like Guinness, are known for their bitterness. If the stew is cooked too quickly or if it doesn’t include ingredients to balance the bitterness, this flavor can be very pronounced. This recipe includes a couple of simple steps to tame that bitter flavor and ensure it doesn’t overwhelm the stew.

  1. Sweetness: I’m not talking about sugar. Naturally sweet ingredients, like onions, carrots, and tomato paste work to balance some of the bitterness.
  2. Ample cook time: Low, slow cooking for upwards of two-and-a-half hours also works to tame the bitterness.

Guinness Beef Stew Recipe

This stew is simmered low and slow in a Guinness-spiked sauce.

Prep time 12 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook time 2 hours 45 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2

    medium yellow onions

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 1

    (3-pound) boneless beef chuck roast

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/3 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons

    tomato paste

  • 1 (11- to 12-ounce) bottle

    Guinness Irish Stout

  • 3 cups

    beef broth

  • 1 tablespoon

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • 5

    large carrots (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

  • 1 pound

    baby Yukon gold potatoes (10 to 14)

  • 3 sprigs

    fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Cut 2 medium yellow onions into large dice and mince 3 garlic cloves.

  2. Trim any excess fat from 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, then cut into rough 2-inch cubes. Pat dry with paper towels and season all over with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the beef in a single layer and cook until browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The beef will not be cooked through. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with browning the remaining beef, adding more vegetable oil to the pot if needed, then transfer to the bowl.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons tomato paste and stir to coat the onions until no dry pockets of flour remain. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in 1 (11 to 12-ounce) bottle Guinness Irish stout and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and the beer is reduced by about half, 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Add 3 cups beef broth, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1 bay leaf, and stir to combine. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to maintain a bare simmer. Cover and cook until the beef is very tender, about 2 hours. When the beef is almost ready, peel and cut 5 large carrots crosswise into 1-inch pieces and halve any thicker pieces lengthwise. Halve 1 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes. Pick and finely chop the leaves from 3 sprigs fresh parsley.

  6. Add the carrots and potatoes to the stew and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until knife tender, about 30 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from the surface of the stew. Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with the parsley.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.