Guinness Beef Stew

Rich Irish beef stew, made with the unmistakable flavors of Guinness and coffee, makes this the most savory and mouthwatering comfort food you’ll ever eat!

Comfort food recipes like this Guinness Beef Stew are essential in the colder months.  Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, but also just pure comforting bliss anytime you need a pick me up.  We love easy dinners like my Beef Barley Soup, and French Onion Pork Chops!  This is one of my Comfort Food recipes you’ll definitely want in your dinner rotation!

Irish beef stew in dutch oven with ladle

GUINNESS BEEF STEW (IRISH STEW RECIPE)

There are few things more hearty and comforting than a big pot of rich beef stew.  However, this Irish beef stew with Guinness beer and coffee really takes the cake.

The Guinness and coffee flavors meld perfectly to give way to a deep, rich, lusciously savory sauce that simmers away to tenderize the beef so it’s practically spoonable!

Irish stew is traditionally made with Guinness, but I really wanted to bring that rich flavor home, so I added some coffee as well.

It mimics the coffee/chocolate back-notes of the beer, lending an amazing richness to the sauce.

You’ll notice I said “sauce”, not “broth”.  I like my beef stew to have a thicker, loose-gravy consistency.  After all, a stew should be thick and hearty right?

HOW TO MAKE GUINNESS BEEF STEW

  1. Slice beef into roughly 2 inch pieces.
  2. Season beef and brown in dutch oven, then transfer to a plate.
  3. Add in onion and garlic, and cook several minutes, until softened.
  4. Cook bacon pieces until browned.
  5. Add flour and stir well, then pour in Guinness beer, scraping the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add tomato paste, celery, carrots, parsnip, seasonings, coffee and chicken stock.  Return beef back to the pot.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
  8. Add potatoes and prunes and simmer for another 30-40 minutes.
  9. Remove bay leaves and enjoy!

Bowl of Irish stew

COOKING TIPS FOR IRISH STEW

  • Brown the beef –  if possible… I know it’s an extra step, but I love the extra flavor it adds!
  • Use sturdy potatoes – I love to use baby Yukon gold potatoes.  They’re so buttery, yet they are sturdy and hold up well to a long cooking time.  Plus, there’s no need to peel them, just halve or quarter them after washing.
  • Use tomato paste in a tube – Since you only need a little bit for this recipe, I find using tubed tomato paste easier than figuring out what to do with the remaining 5 oz of the can.
  • The prunes – are optional, but I highly recommend them.  Both the Guinness and the coffee can be a bit bitter, and the prunes really help alleviate that.
  • Don’t forget to dip some crusty bread into the stew!

COMMON COOKING QUESTIONS ABOUT BEEF STEW

As a helpful guide, I’ve shared a few common questions about cooking a beef stew.

Irish beef stew in bowl with mashed potatoes

DO YOU COOK STEW COVERED OR UNCOVERED?

I’ve always cooked mine covered as it simmers, since it holds in all the heat.  At the end of cooking, remove the lid and let some liquid evaporate as it simmers, which thickens the stew and concentrates the flavors.

WHAT GOES IN A GUINNESS BEEF STEW?

Generally a Guinness beef stew is made with a tough cut of meat like a chuck roast (or shoulder roast), vegetables (like potatoes, carrots, celery, parsnips, mushrooms, etc), chicken/beef broth, tomato paste, plenty of seasoning, and of course, the Guinness beer!  My version uses a bit of coffee (or coffee extract) to deepen the flavors, and some prunes.  The prunes help mitigate any possible bitterness from the beer.

HOW DO YOU THICKEN UP BEEF STEW?

In case your stew doesn’t thicken up the way you’d like, there are three main ways to thicken up a beef stew.  The first two involve making a slurry – which is basically adding flour or cornstarch to a cold or room temperature liquid.

  1. Mix 1-2 Tbsp cornstarch into 1-2 Tbsp of beef stock/broth or even water.  Use a fork or spoon to mix it around until there are no lumps.  Stir into beef stew, and cook on low for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Do the same as above, but use flour instead of cornstarch.
  3. Using a fork mix together equal parts (I usually do 1 Tbsp each) softened butter and flour.  Mix it together well, so it almost forms a ball.  Add it to the beef stew, stir, and cook on low for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  This method is my absolute favorite!

Spoonful of Irish beef stew

VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE

  • Skip the java – not a coffee fan, or don’t have any around the house?  No worries, you can omit it completely.
  • Skip the prunes – this isn’t something I regularly keep in my pantry, so if you don’t have any, you can do without them.  I like to use them to offset the potential bitterness of the coffee and beer, but if slight bitterness doesn’t bother you, be prune-less!
  • Chicken vs Beef – I get a lot of questions about why I like to use chicken stock instead of beef stock here, and the reason is that surprisingly, I seem to get a more robust flavor when I use chicken stock.  After some research, I found out I wasn’t alone.  Serious Eats has more information about why (#3 on the list), but basically it comes down to protein amounts in the two types of broths or stocks.
  • How to serve – we love this stew with just a spoon and some crusty bread, but it’s also great on top of mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles.

IS THIS A TRADITIONAL IRISH STEW?

No it’s a American-ized adaptation.  Here in the US, around St. Patrick’s Day, a traditional meal is a Guinness Beef Stew.  A more traditional Irish stew is made with mutton and is more of a brothy consistency.  I prefer my stews to be thicker and full of deep, robust flavor, and beef is more readily available to my readers (and myself!).

Irish beef stew in green bowl

MAKING GUINNESS STEW AHEAD OF TIME

One of my favorite things about this Irish beef stew, is that while it’s amazing right away, the leftovers the next day are even better!

The flavors have really had time to blend together, and it reheats beautifully!

FREEZING

I’ve not tested freezing this recipe, but I think it would be just fine to freeze.  Let it cool completely, then portion out into freezer containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

To thaw, place overnight in the refrigerator.

STORAGE

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


So now that you have this amazing beef stew, what should you have with it?  Here are some suggestions:

And don’t forget to round out this Irish feast with some no bake Baileys brownie batter dip or Boozy Baileys Oreo Milkshakes for dessert!

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE

  • Instant Pot Duo – if you don’t have one, this is the model I have that I love!
  • Dutch Oven – perfect for this recipe, soups, breads, frying and more!
  • 4 quart slow cooker – this is the one pictured in my photos, and my most used slow cooker.  I love that the insert is stovetop safe, so I can brown the beef right in it! It’s also pricey, so below I have another option.
  • Programmable slow cooker – this one is super economical and I love that the lid latches.

I was compensated by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas for my time in developing this recipe and post. All opinions are my own.

Irish beef stew in green bowl

Guinness Beef Stew

Rich Irish beef stew, made with the unmistakable flavor of Guinness and coffee.
5 from 33 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 659

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck
  • salt and black pepper, to season beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 7 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 14.9 oz can Guinness Draught beer
  • 5 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-1" slices
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces - (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme - (or use 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme)
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 3 dried prunes, chopped - optional - - (this is to mitigate any possible bitterness from the Guinness or coffee)
  • 8 baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut in half or quarters

Instructions
 

  • Use a sharp knife to slice beef chuck into 1 1/2-2" pieces.  Pat beef with a paper towel to dry, then season liberally with salt and black pepper.  Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot (I love to use my dutch oven) over HIGH heat.  
  • Add beef, in a single layer, to the pot and brown on all sides.  Be careful, as the oil may spatter.  Remove browned beef to a plate, then repeat with remaining beef.
  • Lower heat to MED, then add chopped onions and garlic.  Season with salt, and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.  
  • Add bacon pieces and cook until browned.  Add flour and stir to combine well.  Let floured mixture cook 1 minute to remove any raw flour taste.  While flour mixture is cooking, combine coffee extract and water and set aside.
  • Pour in Guinness beer and stir well to combine and loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add tomato paste, chicken stock, carrots, celery, parsnip, bay leaves, thyme and coffee extract mixture.
  • Return beef to the pot and stir.  If needed, add enough water so that the beef and veggies are nearly fully covered.
  • Bring to a bubble, then reduce heat to LOW or so that it's simmering, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
  • Remove lid, add potatoes and chopped prunes, stir, then simmer UNcovered another 30-40 minutes, until sauce has thickened to a loose gravy consistency, beef is incredibly tender and potatoes are fork tender.
  • If needed, skim residual fat off the surface.  Taste, and adjust salt and pepper as needed.  Remove bay leaves and serve.

Notes

 

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS:

  1. Complete steps 1-4, add Guinness and loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  
  2. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

OVEN DIRECTIONS:

  1. Complete steps 1-6.  
  2. Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 2 hours 20 minutes.  
  3. Remove from oven, add potatoes and prunes, and simmer uncovered on the stovetop as directed in the recipe for 30-40 minutes to reduce sauce.

INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season meat according to step 1, then heat oil in Instant Pot on the "sauté" function.
  2. When hot, add beef. To get a good sear, do 2 batches and brown each batch for about 5 minutes total.
  3. Remove meat to a plate.  Add the onions and sauté them for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add bacon pieces and cook until browned.  
  5. Add flour and stir to combine well.  Let floured mixture cook 1 minute to remove any raw flour taste.  
  6. Add the Guinness and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits into the sauce.  Add tomato paste, chicken stock, carrots, celery, parsnip, bay leaves, thyme, coffee, potatoes and prunes to the Instant Pot.
  7. Add the meat back to the pot.  Close the lid and make sure the valve is on "sealing". Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. 
  8. Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes or so, then do a controlled quick release to get rid of any remaining pressure.
Author The Chunky Chef
Tried this recipe?Mention @the_chunky_chef or tag #thechunkychef!

 

 

This Guinness beef stew is the only comfort food you’ll need this winter! Rich gravy-like sauce, tender veggies and beef that literally melts in your mouth! #beefstew #irish #stpatricksday #stew #beef #guinness #coffee #slowcooker #crockpot #instantpot #pressurecooker

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Recipe Rating




80 comments on “Guinness Beef Stew”

  1. This was literally the best stew ever! I made exactly like recipe and my husband loved it also! Thank you for the perfect stew for a cold fall day!!!!

  2. Is coffee required for this recipe? I dont like coffee at all, can it be substituted with something or not used at all?

    • It’s not required, but it adds a backnote that I think brings out the other flavors in the dish 🙂 I actually can’t stand drinking coffee, and you don’t taste coffee in this dish (thankfully). You could swap it out with an equal amount of additional chicken stock if you like though 🙂

  3. You have potatoes in the stew and then seem to have the stew over mashed potatoes?

    Is that how you normally serve this…..with two starches?

  4. Thank you for his recipe. Delicious! Most of my Irish friends here in the states don’t like lamb so the chuck (and rib-eye) work well. I know now what you mean when you suggested prunes to offset some of the bitter overtones when using Guinness stout and coffee combined in the stew. I have also used currants and/or raisins when I don’t have prunes on hand. Again, thank you Amanda.

  5. Very tasty. Not a big fan of potatoes, so I mashed them up in my bowl and used the gravy to cover. Next time, I’ll cube the spuds and use more of the other vegetables. Caramelized the onions 1st—very succulent.  
    A non-drinker, I substituted more stock for the beer. Omitted coffee & prunes. 
    Great results. Made far too much, but that’s a good thing. 

    • Made this today and it turned out AMAZING! I omitted the bacon since we don’t eat pork and added 1 tsp mustard powder for an extra little bit of warmth. Lovely, hearty, & comforting flavors! I served it plain in a bowl with some caraway seed bread to dip in the leftover gravy. We will definitely make this again!

  6. We loved this stew.  I used the Instant Pot directions.  I didn’t add prunes and we did not taste any bitterness.  The meat was incredibly tender.  

  7. That looks like an amazing recipe. I can’t wait to try it out.

  8. I just came across your website while looking for beef stew recipes. I love the taste of coffee, and I’m thinking of trying out your recipe this weekend.
    Thank you.

  9. So good! I used a venison neck roast instead of beef and it was incredibly good and tender. I used an instant pot, which I fee overcooked the carrots and parsnips. I also halved the recipe. It all turned out amazing! Will do again.

  10. But sure why mine didn’t turn out thicker. Maybe because I forgot to add the flour with the bacon and onion. I had to add it in afterwards. 

  11. This is one incredible looking stew Amanda, easy to make and loaded with so many flavors, plus anything with Guinness beer is guaranteed to be a winner!

  12. Such a hearty and delicious stew! Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!!

  13. One of our favorite comfort recipes. We make it every year!!

  14. I can’t wait until I get to make this. I have added it to my menu for next week and already thinking about making it for St. Patrick’s Day.

  15. This is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day as well as any day of the year. This time of year it is perfect with these cool evenings.

  16. This is my kind of comfort food!! So hearty, this stew sounds incredible. I can’t wait to try it this weekend!

  17. The instant pot recipe doesn’t tell you when to add the potatoes and prunes. How do I finish this off?  

  18. Thank you for the recipe. My wife and son asked for Guinness stew for St. Patrick’s Day dinner.
    -A good hearty beef stew. I followed the recipe except I used 1/4 cup of strait espresso and added some extra parsnips and potatoes to increase the leftovers. Used a dutch oven and cooked it in a 300F oven for 2 hours before finishing. It was still a bit bitter (could have used either more prunes or less coffee) and the beef (I used a bottom round cut) wasn’t-melt-in-your-mouth, so I should have gone for 2.5-3 hours in the oven (which I do for Carbonade Flamade, which is almost the same recipe but with two bottles of Belgian double ale and no coffee).

  19. Made this stew yesterday and it was delish! Thanks for the bold robust complex layers of flavor in this one! Got to use my dutch oven and all the wonderful ingredients in this recipe. I used a Modern Times Black House coffee stout and it turned out wonderful!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  20. I made this recipe yesterday for our community St. Patty’s Day party last night and OMG it was absolutely delicious! Thick and so full of flavor, it was a huge success. I wish I knew how to share the photo I took of my crock pot at the end of dinner. It was basically scraped clean! I don’t know if this made a difference, but due to time constraints, I did the prep work and simmered for about 45  minutes on Friday then refrigerated overnight. Saturday morning I put it in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours. Back on the stove with potatoes for a long slow simmer. This was the best stew I’ve ever had!

  21. Happy Sunday & St. Paddy’s! Made it and it’s a delicious recipe I will definitely make again!

  22. What do you think about substituting the prunes with raisins?

  23. Hi, it looks delicious and I am going to make it for our family’s holiday party this Sunday.
    Thank you.

  24. mmm..this looks SO hearty and delicious!!

  25. This is spectacular! My family will definitely love it and was so tasty and flavorful, can’t wait to try!

  26. Love your take on Guinness stew! Looks mouthwatering and satisfying to boot! Can’t wait to try this out this St. Patrick’s Day!

  27. My family loves beef stew so I am going to have to try this recipe. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Yummy!!!

  28. I’m going to make this for the weekend! It sounds delicious!

  29. Making this now.  When browning the bacon, was I supposed to remove the onions and garlic prior to adding the bacon.  The recipe doesn’t indicate so and no one else has asked the question.  The bacon doesn’t seem to be browning and it’s been in my Dutch oven for a while now.

    Thank You!

  30. No one has coffee extract as I’ve gone to 3 grocers 😰 Would this work? 6.5 ounce can of Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso? I’m not a huge coffee drinker, 1 cup a day lol! so I’ve no clue. Merci!

  31. I made this last night and it is soooo goood! The meat is super tender and the flavors awesome. I am curious to as to the recipe calling for chicken stock instead of beef stock. I think the next time I make it, I’m gonna use the beef stock. And there will be a next time!

  32. I’m in the process of getting the ingredients together and looking forward to making this recipe.
    All I can find is Guiness Draught stout with Nitro. They say the nitro makes it smoother. Is this what I should be using?

  33. Hands down the the best stew I ever made and everyone loved it! I found a coffee extract at WalMart called “Watkins Pure Coffee Extract” at a lot less the cost of the Nielsen Massey and it worked fine. Thank you!!

  34. This is seriously the best beef stew recipe that I have ever made, and quite possibly one of the best ones that I have ever eaten. Made it exactly as written (used strong espresso instead of coffee extract though, since I couldn’t find the extract) and it was fantastic. Thank you!

  35. This looks amazing! Anything I can use instead of beer though?

    • Hi Rachel 🙂 Unfortunately Guinness is a pretty distinct beer and it lends a definite flavor to the dish… so yes, you can substitute, but the flavors won’t be quite the same. I haven’t tried this, so I can’t guarantee the results, but I would try 10 oz of beef stock or broth and 5 oz of coffee to replace the beer.

  36. This stew was simply amazing! I could not find coffe extract locally, so I ended up making a substitute with instant coffee. This recipe is a definite keeper!

  37. Oh my gosh! I hope you see this soon Amanda. I’m making the recipe but I accidentally bought pitted dates instead of dried prunes. Will they work??? Please help! Eee-gads!

  38. Hi Amanda,

    My grocery store had every flavor BUT the coffee extract. Is there something else I can use that would work as well? Also, does it matter if the Guinness is draught or stout? (what’s the difference?) Can I cook this recipe in a crock pot? What if I marinated the meat with the beer and beef/chicken stock overnight?–is that better? Sorry for all the questions. This recipe sounds so delicious and I just don’t want to mess it up:)

    • Hi Nancy 🙂 Instead of the extract, you can use 1/4 cup of strong brewed coffee (just omit the 1/4 cup of water from the recipe). I always use a can of Guinness Draught… stout has a much stronger taste and could make this stew bitter. Yes, in the recipe itself, towards the bottom there’s a recipe notes section… and there’s crockpot/slow cooker instructions there. I’ve never marinated anything for this recipe, as it’s plenty flavorful as written, and I think if you use the beer/stock to marinate, you won’t have the correct proportions of liquid since some of the liquid will be absorbed into the meat. Hope you love it!

  39. Hi, I’m looking to triple this recipe (for 15-20 peso please).
    Any advice would be welcome. Especially concerning the amount of liquids (beer) or cooking times.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Courtney, I’ve never tripled this recipe, so I can’t say for certain… but you’ll have to have a huge pot, or two large ones and split it between the two. In order for the flavor to be the same, you’ll have to triple all of the ingredients, including the beer, otherwise it will be a lot less flavorful.

  40. Great quick and easy recipe, just remember folks that Guinness stew only gets better tasting the next day when it’s sat in the fridge.

  41. I am making this for my husband’s, birthday dinner , couldn’t find coffee extract but bought coffee essential oil so hopefully it works out , I just need to know one thing ….. where did you get that most adorable fork ? My daughter is a Foodie and needs that silverware, so cute,!,

  42. Simply amazing, so tasteful!

  43. Pingback: Easy Irish Coffee with Baileys Whipped Cream - The Chunky Chef

  44. Pingback: 10 Best Homemade Stew Recipes | Tip Junkie

  45. Hi,
    I want to make this in the slow cooker tonight but mistakenly brought Vegetable stock instead of Chicken stock, and Murphy’s draught instead of Guinness…..Can these be used in place of and still taste good?

  46. Thanks Amanda for this recipe! I loved it

    Being low in carb, I’m so excited to try it out!

    i am making this on Sunday when I come home.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    Regards,
    John Fitt

  47. How bitter is it without the prunes? If not, is there anything i can replace the prunes with?

    • Hi Catalina 🙂 It’s hard to say, since people have such different tastes. If you like the flavor of Guinness, then I’d go ahead and leave out the prunes. I’d say a good substitute would be a Tbsp of brown sugar or some pureed carrots.

      • HI. Just saw you’ve answered me. I’ve managed to find prunes and i have made the stew with and without them. My husband fell in love with this dish, it’s super delicious. Fantastic recipe. Keep up the amazing work! 🙂

  48. You kiddin!!!! This looks soooo soooo sooooo delicious. Never thought coffee can be used in this way as well.. gonna try it today

  49. amazing website, thanks for the recipes

  50. Amanda, thanks for sharing another awesome recipe as always! Been a long time reader and I found all your recipes wonderful. Tried a few of them as well but not as deliciously looking like yours. Keep up the great work!

  51. Am so excited to make this recipe.

  52. Can you substitute espresso powder for the coffee extract? I plan on making it this week. Thanks for the recipe.

  53. Thinking of making this for dinner tonight. Just curious, why do you use chicken stock instead of beef stock ?

  54. OMG! It looks fantastic!!! Will definitely try it!

  55. The coffee extract is a brilliant idea! Coffee flavors are great in stout, so why not in a stew with beer?

  56. I think I can smell this delicious Guinness Coffee Irish Beef Stew!

  57. This stew is astonishingly gorgeous – your photos are amazing! I love both my beer and my coffee dark, dark, dark – so the deep, rich flavors in this stew sound fantastic! Nielsen Massey makes such great stuff, and it’s just brilliant to use their coffee extract here to deepen those dark, rich flavors from the Guinness. This is serious comfort food any ol’ cold evening, but absolutely spot-on perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

  58. This has me drooling — it looks so rich and flavorful! I bet it smells amazing as it cooks, too! Great pix by your daughter!

  59. This is the first Beef Stew recipe I have EVER wanted to make. It’ll sure chase the winter blues away here in southwestern Idaho. Guinness and NM Coffee Extract???? Shut-the-door-n-your-way-out good combination.

  60. This is such an interesting recipe, Amanda. I love my Baileys in the weekend evenings, and I love my daily moca brewed coffee. I’m also on a low-carb diet, so this is recipe is perfect.

  61. I just love a comforting beef stew. I’m totally intrigued with the addition of Guiness and want to make this for St. Paddy’s day!!!

  62. These flavors sound so gorgeous! I need some of this!