Irish Beef Stew with Guinness and Coffee
Rich Irish beef stew, made with the unmistakable flavor of Guinness and coffee, makes this the most savory and mouthwatering comfort food you’ll ever eat!
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 BEEF STEW WITH GUINNESS AND COFFEE
It may be starting to warm up, but I’m still all about that comfort food! I think one of the most quintessential comfort foods is beef stew, or in this case, Irish beef stew. Around this time of year, Guinness recipes start popping up all over the place. Not that I could really complain, I do love using beer in recipes, like my Guinness Cupcakes with Baileys Frosting, and Whiskey Glazed Blue Cheese Burgers.
Irish beef stew is traditionally made with Guinness, but I really wanted to bring that rich flavor home, so I added some coffee extract as well. It mimics the coffee/chocolate back-notes of the beer, lending an amazing richness to the sauce. If you can’t find coffee extract, you can totally swap it out for about 1/4 cup of brewed coffee (and omit the 1/4 cup of water in the recipe).
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? I think the picture above shows how glossy and thick it is.
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!
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. An 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!
Even though this stew has some potatoes in it, sometimes I like to be a bit extra decadent and serve this stew over a pile of mashed potatoes! If you’ve never had it this way, you simply have to try it!!
DO YOU COOK BEEF 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.
- 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.
- Do the same as above, but use flour instead of cornstarch.
- 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!
So now that you have this amazing beef stew, what should you have with it? Here are some suggestions:
- Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Slow Cooker Ranch Mushrooms
- No-Knead Artisan Bread
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MAKING IRISH BEEF STEW:
- Brown your 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!
Cozy on up with a big bowl of this Guinness and Coffee Irish Beef Stew and treat yourself!
SHOP THE 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.
Rich Irish beef stew, made with the unmistakable flavor of Guinness and coffee, makes this the most savory and mouthwatering comfort food you'll ever eat!
- 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 tsp coffee extract
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 dried prunes, chopped - optional - (this is to mitigate any possible bitterness from the Guinness or coffee)
- 8 baby red skin potatoes, cut in half or quarters
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.
SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS:
- Complete steps 1-4, add Guinness and loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
- Complete steps 1-6. Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 2 hours 20 minutes. 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:
- Season meat according to step 1, then heat oil in Instant Pot on the "sauté" function. When hot, add beef. To get a good sear, do 2 batches and brown each batch for about 5 minutes total.
- Remove meat to a plate. Add the onions and sauté them for 2-3 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.
- 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 and coffee extract mixture to the Instant Pot.
- Add the meat back to the pot. Close the lid and make sure the valve is on "sealing". Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.
- Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes or so, then do a controlled quick release to get rid of any remaining pressure.