Guinness beef stew is an Irish-style stew that’s made with chunks of beef, carrots, and potatoes simmered with Guinness, beef stock, and thyme, and is best served with crusty bread slathered with Irish butter. This hearty stew is perfect for cold weather but is especially good on St. Paddy’s Day.

Ovehead shot of Guinness beef stew in white bowl with thyme garnish.


 

Guinness beef stew is great to make when the temperature drops and you just want a warm bowl of hearty stew.

This dish is especially good on March 17 for St. Paddy’s day alongside some Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and a pint of Guinness.

Guinness is a wonderful addition to many dishes, including chili, and it really lends a tremendous depth of flavor to this Irish beef stew.

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Ingredients shown: beef chuck, onion, potatoes, garlic, tomato paste, bacon, beef stock, Guinness, celery carrots, herbs, and Worcestershire sauce.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Cut 4 slices of thick-cut bacon into 1-inch pieces. Trim the fat from a 3-pound chuck roast and cut it into 2-inch pieces. Chop 2 medium onions and mince 4 cloves of garlic.  Peel 3 medium carrots and 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes and cut both into 1-inch pieces.  Chop 2 large celery ribs into 1-inch pieces (Photo #1).
Guinness beef stew recipe process shot collage group number one showing sliced beef and bacon cooking in a pot.
  1. Preheat the oven to 300f and make enough room on the middle rack for a Dutch oven.  Heat a large Dutch oven to medium-low heat, then add the bacon.  Cook the bacon until most of the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes.  Remove the bacon pieces and allow them to drain on a paper towel-lined plate (Photo #2).
  2. Remove some of the bacon fat leaving approximately 4 tablespoons in the pot and turn the heat to medium.  Pat the beef dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper on all sides.  Sear the beef in the pot for 8-10 minutes until it’s well browned on both sides, then move the beef to a plate and set aside (Photo #3)Note:  If your Dutch oven isn’t large enough to fit the beef without overcrowding, work in batches.
Recipe process shot collage group number two showing beef searing in a pot and onions and garlic in a pot.
  1. Add the onion to the pot and saute for 5 minutes or until softened, then add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant (Photo #4).
  2. Add 3 ounces of tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes while stirring frequently to prevent sticking (Photo #5).  
Recipe process shot collage group number three showing onions and tomato paste in a pot and adding a bottle of Guinness to the pot.
  1. Add 12 ounces of Guinness and turn the heat to high.  Use a wooden spoon to dislodge any brown bits from the bottom of the pot and boil for 2 minutes (Photo #6).
  2. Add the beef and bacon back to the pot along with 2 cups of low-sodium beef stock, 4 sprigs of thyme, 1 large bay leaf, and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Stir it all together and bring the stew to a boil (Photo #7)
Recipe process shot collage group number four showing beef added back to pot and pot with lid.
  1. Once boiling, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a heavy lid.  Place the pot in the oven and cook for 90 minutes (Photo #8).
  2. After 90 minutes, remove the pot from the oven and skim the top layer of fat.  Then and add the potatoes, carrots, and celery and return the pot to the oven without the lid and cook for another 75 minutes or until the beef and vegetables are tender (Photo #9).
Recipe process shot collage group number five showing potatoes and carrots added to pot and ladle removing excess fat from pot.
  1. Remove the pot from the oven and remove the thyme and bay leaf.  Any excess fat can again be skimmed off the top.  Taste test the stew and season with salt and pepper (Photo #10).
  2. At this point, you will need to make a decision about the thickness of your stew.  It might be perfect for you right here and no further work needs to be done.  Or if the stew is almost thick enough to your liking, you can boil it on the stovetop for 5-10 minutes.  For an even thicker stew, you can bring the stew to a simmer and add a slurry of cornstarch, potato starch, arrowroot, or a buerre manié (Photo #11).  Just one of those of course, but I want to give you options! 
Recipe process shot collage group number six showing stew thickening in pot and final stew with spoon in pot.
  1. Once the stew’s consistency is just right, turn off the heat and serve in bowls with crusty bread, Irish brown bread, or soda bread (Photo #12).
Overhead shot of Guinness beef stew in Dutch oven with wooden ladle.

Top tips

  • Beef. We used a 3-pound chuck roast for this Irish stew recipe.  Buying the whole roast is usually slightly cheaper than buying cubed beef and allows you to cut the pieces into the size you want.  Often if you buy stew meat that’s precut it may include other cuts of beef.  Chuck roasts are often very fatty so be sure to trim some of the fat before cutting into chunks.  
  • Bacon.  We recommend using thick-cut bacon, or Irish bacon if you can find it.  You want to use a basic bacon and not one that’s flavored.
  • Guinness.  Guinness is one of the main components of this stew, but if you can’t find Guinness another dark stout or porter would do.  In the recipe, sugar is noted as an optional ingredient.  If the Guinness taste is a bit too bitter for your liking, simply add a touch of sugar.
  • Thickness.  Some folks like their stew thick, while others prefer thinner.  When you’re almost done with the stew, you’ll need to decide how thick you want your stew and adjust as needed by either adding a slurry or cooking the stew a bit longer. 
White bowl with Guinness beef stew along with blue Dutch oven pot in the background.

More beef favorites

If you like Guinness beef stew, we think you’ll love these other recipes.

  • Shepherd’s pie – ground lamb, Guinness, peas, and carrots topped with a crust of cheesy mashed potatoes.
  • Beef Stroganoff – seared steak and mushrooms in a tangy cream sauce with buttered egg noodles.
  • Salisbury Steak – ground beef patties simmered in a brown mushroom gravy.
  • Peposo – Tuscan beef stew with red wine and black pepper.
  • Italian beef stew – chuck roast stewed with red wine, carrots, celery, and mushrooms.

If you’ve enjoyed this Guinness Beef Stew recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

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Guinness Beef Stew

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Guinness beef stew with carrots, potatoes, chuck roast, and thyme is a hearty and comforting stew loaded with wonderful flavor and texture.

Ingredients 

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 pounds chuck roast cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 ounces tomato paste or half of a standard 6-ounce can
  • 1 12-ounce bottle of Guinness
  • 2 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large celery ribs chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar optional, see notes below

For cornstarch slurry (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 ounce water

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 300f and make room on the middle rack for a large Dutch oven. Heat a large Dutch oven to medium-low heat, then add the bacon. Cook the bacon until most of the fat has rendered (about 8 minutes) then remove the pieces to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  • Leave approximately 4 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pot and turn the heat to medium. Pat the beef dry then season with salt and pepper on all sides. Sear the beef in the pot until well browned (about 8-10 minutes total time) then remove the beef to a plate.
  • Add the onion to the pot and saute for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste to the pot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently then add the Guinness and turn the heat to high. Using a wooden spoon scrape up all of the brown bits and boil for 2 minutes.
  • Add all of the beef and bacon to the pot. Also, add the beef stock, thyme, bay leaf, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir it all together and bring the stew to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a heavy lid. Place the pot in the oven and cook for 90 minutes.
  • After 90 minutes, remove the pot from the oven and skim off and discard the top layer of fat with a large spoon. Add the potatoes, celery, and carrots. Return the pot to the oven without the lid and cook until the beef and vegetables are tender (about 75 more minutes).
  • Remove the thyme and bay leaf and any excess fat that has risen to the top. Taste test the stew and season with salt and pepper.
  • If the stew isn't thick enough to your liking boil on the stovetop for 5-10 minutes to reduce and thicken. Alternatively, bring stew to a simmer and add a cornstarch slurry and stir until thickened (about 1 minute). Serve in bowls with crusty bread. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you want a thicker stew use a slurry of cornstarch, potato starch, arrowroot, or beurre manié.  But if the stew is close to your desired thickness, simply put the pot on a burner and raise the heat to medium-high.  Cook for a few minutes while stirring to reduce and thicken. 
  • If the stew is too bitter, a touch of sugar can be added right before serving, but it’s usually not needed.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer.  Reheat in the microwave or over medium-low heat on the stovetop until hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 701kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.5g | Protein: 85.4g | Fat: 26.9g | Saturated Fat: 9.5g | Cholesterol: 250mg | Sodium: 716mg | Potassium: 1342mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 10mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My Mom and I live pretty far apart, so occasionally we’ll try to make the same recipe on the same day while we talk on the phone so that there’s a feeling of togetherness when we eat. This is what we made this week and they both came out great.

    Thank you and love all your recipes!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Katie. Sounds like you and your mom have a nice tradition going and thanks for including our recipe in that!

  2. These stews (especially the Guinness) look sensational! But I miss Jim tutoring on the videos. Please bring back Jim hosting on his videos!

    1. Hi Roger, thanks for the comment. I put out videos every week on YouTube (Thursdays at 10:30 am ET) and with the exception of the Guinness stew, all the stews have videos for them. There’s no one else hosting Sip and Feast videos but me. Hope that clears up any confusion.

  3. 5 stars
    I’m half Irish, but my ancestors were so poor during the Great Famine that they could afford only to get as far away as Liverpool 😀 I love a good Guinness stew and this recipe is the best one I’ve found so far. I used bone-in short ribs instead of chuck because they give a beefier flavour, and the results were just as good. I used the cornflour slurry but left out the sugar. I live alone, and your recipe was enough to leave me with leftovers for 3 more days. I bought a loaf of Irish soda bread and it went great with the stew.

    1. Hi Penny, we haven’t tested this recipe in a slow cooker but I’m pretty sure it would work. Let us know if you give it a try!

    1. Guinness draught or Guiness stout?? Draught is what most people drink, but it tastes like water. Stout has a little more flavor, but not enough as a regular microbrew stout.

      1. Hi Eric, we used Guinness draught (see ingredient photo), however, if you find it lacking in flavor for you, use any dark ale or stout you’d like.