Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Recipe: Guinness Beef Stew

In April 2012, my best friend Rosie and I went to Ireland during our spring break, where we drank a lot of Guinness, sampled some whiskey, took a million pictures with literature-related statues and monuments, and saw the sights. We also ate some amazing food. We did not want to be those silly American tourists who ordered a cheeseburger while out at dinner, so we made sure to eat traditional Irish fare. My favorite meal was from our first night in Dublin, at a tiny pub down the block from our hotel...Guinness Beef Stew.

Rosie and I in Dublin on our first day in Ireland
Posing with Oscar Wilde. We passed the statue every day going to and from our hotel while in Dublin and finally, on our last morning in Dublin, there was no one around us in the park and we were able to climb up and take some pictures with him...and on him...

Since returning, I have ordered Guinness Beef Stew, or Irish Stew, at different Irish restaurants, but it has just never been the same. However, I have finally found a recipe that, while not exact, tastes pretty darn close. One of the best parts about making this dish? Unlike most stew recipes, you do not have to brown the meat before making the sauce and letting it simmer for hours. Instead of browning the meat, it is stirred into the sauce and then the whole pot is transferred into the oven and cooked, uncovered. By using this method, the uncovered meat browns and caramelizes, and the sauce thickens up perfectly. I will be honest and say at when I stirred the stew about halfway into the cooking, I thought the sauce seemed a little thin, but I was completely amazed at how perfectly rich and thick is was once it was ready to serve.


  • 1 (3.5-4 pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled apart at the seams, trimmed, and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle Guinness Draught, divided
  • 4.5 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat to 325 degrees.
  • Season the beef with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the onions and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned (8-10 minutes).
  • Add the tomato paste and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in the flour and cook for an additional minute.
  • Whisk in the chicken stock, 3/4 cup of Guinness, brown sugar, and thyme, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the seasoned beef and return to a simmer.
  • Transfer the pot to the over and cook, uncovered, for 90 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
  • Stir in the carrots and continue cooking until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 60 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
  • Remove the pot from the oven and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of Guinness and the parsley. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with a dollop of mashed potatoes on top and with crusty bread.

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours

I chose to serve my stew with the mashed potatoes on top, but if you wanted to cook the potatoes in the stew, that would work too. You would just need to add 1.5 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1 inch pieces, into the pot at the same time you add the carrots.

While it is not exactly like what I had in Dublin, it is pretty darn close and super yummy. What do you think?

Guinness Beef Stew from pub in Dublin
Guinness Beef Stew I made today

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