A hearty bowl of Irish beef stew. Fresh thyme leaves on the side.
Holiday favorites, Soups

Irish beef stew


There is something so delicious about a great bowl of rich and hearty Irish beef stew made with Guinness. In this recipe, I use beef chuck roast, which when roasted low and slow becomes very tender. Traditional Irish stew is made from lamb. I can only imagine the lovely green Irish countryside dotted with farms and sheep.

A hearty bowl of Irish beef stew. Fresh thyme leaves on the side.
Delicious and tender Irish beef stew

My family prefers beef over lamb, so this is why I decided to use beef. This Irish beef stew is a great hearty meal anytime, but it’s fun to pretend to be just a little bit Irish as St. Patrick’s Day approaches.

This recipe is not gluten-free because of the Guinness. Guinness beer is an Irish dry stout. It adds incredible richness and flavor to the dish. Those of you who know me, also know that I eat gluten-free most of the time. This stew was one of the exceptions I allowed myself. I quickly needed a long nap after eating every delicious bite of it. It was worth it. If you’d like to substitute the Guinness for another gluten-free beer, you can. I’ve also made this stew with other kinds of beer and it’s fantastic. It doesn’t have to be a dark stout.

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A bowl of Irish beef stew.
Irish beef stew seasoned with thyme, garlic and bay leaf

In making this stew, I bought a large beef chuck roast. I then cut 1 3/4 lbs of it into 1 1/2 inch cubes. I used a kitchen scale, similar to this Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale to do this. I froze the rest of the roast for another day. You can also simply ask the butcher to cut you a small roast of what you need. They’re always happy to talk to customers and will want to know what you’re doing with it. You can learn a lot from your butcher. So, don’t be shy. When I lived in Italy, I used to have to do this in a mix of English and broken Italian. Always good fun. I’m sure I was wildly entertaining to them.

To make a great stew or pot roast, use a heavy gauge Dutch oven. This will give you nice even cooking and help avoid burning. They also clean up very easily. I highly recommend Le Creuset. I consider it one of my best investments in cookware, and make whole chickens, stews, soups and pot roasts in it.

A bowl of Irish beef stew. Spoon on the right.
Guinness adds depth of flavor to the stew

Useful kitchen tools for this recipe:

Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 13-Piece Cookware Set
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French (Dutch) Oven, Cerise (Cherry Red)
Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale

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Irish beef stew

There is something so delicious about a great bowl of rich and hearty beef stew. In this recipe, I use beef chuck roast, which when roasted low and slow becomes very tender.

  • 1 3/4 lbs beef chuck roast (cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 lb potatoes (peeled and cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 cup parsnip (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups carrot (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1/2 large onion (diced)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 bottle Guinness (11 fl oz)
  • 2 cans beef broth (14.5 oz cans)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tbsp dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Peel and chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Pat the beef dry and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes. In a large bowl, dust the meat with flour and season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shake off any excess flour. Heat 3 tbsp of oil on medium-high in a large Dutch oven. Brown the meat on all sides and transfer to a plate. (Do not overcrowd the pan and work in batches as necessary.)
  2. At the same time, in a separate pan, heat the remaining 3 tbsp of oil and sauté the onion until it begins to soften. Season the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the carrots, parsnips and garlic to the onions and sauté for another few minutes.
  3. Add the Guinness and wine to the Dutch oven and simmer scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, tomato paste, bay leaf and thyme to the liquid. Transfer the meat, potatoes and rest of the vegetables into the Dutch oven and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Stir in the peas at the end of the cooking time and cover. The residual heat will be enough to cook the peas through just prior to serving.

I recommend using beef chuck roast instead of pre-cut stew meat from the butcher. Chuck roast tends to be more marbleized and will result in a more tender, flavorful stew. Ask the butcher to cut you a small chuck roast or buy a larger one and cut it in half. Freeze the other half for another time.

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  1. 5 stars
    I think this type of beef stew is so comforting when the weather gets colder. I haven’t made a stew for ages but reading this is making me crave one!

  2. 5 stars
    I love a hearty stew ? I tried the lamb version whilst travelling through Ireland many years ago and it was delicious but your beef version sounds equally divine ?? Gorgeous recipe ?

  3. 5 stars
    I so love this slow cooked stews with lots of vegetables, so flavorful. Like you, I prefer to buy whole cuts of meat and cut them myself!

  4. 5 stars
    Irish beef stew with lots of vegetables is perfect when you want a hearty dinner on the table for your family. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    We’ve been having a lot of cold inclement weather here in N Italy recently and this beef stew would be so welcome right now. I def want to make it very soon!

  6. 5 stars
    We’re beef eaters too, so I know my family will love this delicious stew. I love cooking with beer and I know Guinness adds great depth to the broth! Looking forward to trying this one. Thank you.


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