Irish Beef & Guinness Stew is a classic comfort dish and a delicious one-pot meal.
Beef Stew: An International Dish
The addition of Guinness beer in this recipe defines it as Irish. But, if you replace the beer with red wine, and add some mushrooms, you would have a French beef bourguignon. Replace it with tomato sauce and add oregano, and you have an Italian beef stew. In addition, there’s also Hungarian goulash, Russian beef stroganoff, Mexican carne guisada, to name just a few.
Stew: What’s The Beef?
All of those dishes are delicious, and in the end, they have one thing in common. They use cheaper, tougher cuts of beef, like chuck, or bottom round, usually cut into cubes. The meat is then cooked slowly in liquid, resulting in tender, melt in your mouth beef. So, not only is beef stew a delicious pot of comfort food, it’s economical too.
A pot of stew simmering on the stove is a beautiful thing. It’s cooking itself while you do other things. Once you have everything in the pot, all that is required is an occasional stir. The delicious aroma will mean that everyone in the house will be hungry when it’s time for dinner.
Why Brown the Meat for Beef Stew?
Although you can skip the step of browning the meat, doing so will cost your stew a lot of delicious flavour. A good sear will caramelize the beef, adding a depth of flavour, and all of those brown bits that you scrape up once the liquid is added will make it even more delicious. Check out The Perfect Beef Stew for other stew tips.
Tips For Browning Meat
- Heat oil on medium-high in a large pot, and use an oil with a high smoke point, like vegetable oil (Save your extra virgin olive oil for other dishes where it can shine like the star that it is). Blot the pieces of meat dry with paper towels. If you try to sear it when wet, it will steam instead of browning.
- Dredging in flour will give the meat a nice crust, while also thickening your stew.
- Brown the meat in batches, so as not to crowd the pieces in the pot, which will also result in steamed, rather than browned meat.
- Brown pieces on all sides, removing to a paper towel-lined plate to make room for the next batch.
Although this Irish stew is delicious anytime, it’s a perfect way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, served with a hearty loaf of Irish Soda Bread. And, if you’re looking for another Guinness infused Irish dish, try this delicious Savory Irish Bread Pudding
Irish Beef & Guinness Stew
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 lbs boneless beef chuck cubed
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 1 1/2 cups Guinness stout beer
- 1 cup beef broth reduced or no sodium
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 onions quartered
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 4 large carrots peeled & sliced into thick rounds
- 4 ribs celery sliced
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 4 medium russet potatoes peeled & cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- Over medium-high, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large pot or dutch oven with a lid
- Blot meat dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper
- In a bowl or freezer bag, dredge the beef pieces in flour to coat.
- Brown the meat on all sides in the heated oil, a few pieces at a time, removing the browned pieces to a plate. Add more oil if required.
- When the last batch is browned, return all of the meat to the pot and add the garlic.
- Cook, stirring for about 1 minute.
- Add the beef broth, stout, celery, onion, and bay leaf, bringing to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Add carrots to the pot, bringing back to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer 30 minutes, until carrots are tender.
- Add potatoes and thyme to the pot, and return to a boil
- Return heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as required
- Garnish with parsley and serve hot.