Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: August 12, 2022

Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew may be one of my favorite dishes when it comes to a comforting and hearty dinner; it’s not only reserved for St Patrick’s Day.

The Guinness adds a beautiful deep brown to the stew and a deep flavor to the sauce.

In this article, I’ll share with you my tips and tricks for the best slow cooker Guinness beef stew, along with my favorite recipe, enjoyed by friends and family alike.

It may take time to cook, but it’s undoubtedly one of the easiest recipes you’ll come across.

Recipe Overview

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
  • Number of Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 ½  Pounds of Lean Beef Stew Meat (ButcherBox has premium beef meat on its menu)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 3 - 4 Carrots (about 1 pound) Peeled and Chopped Into 1” Pieces
  • 2 Chopped Onions (brown or yellow)
  • 4 Medium-Sized Potatoes
  • 2 Large Celery Stalks
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Peas (optional)
  • 2 - 3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
  • 6 Cups of Stock (beef or chicken, see notes)
  • 3 Tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour
  • 14.9oz of Guinness Beer
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Sprigs Thyme
  • Salt and Black Pepper

Instructions

Chopped raw beef falling in white background
  1. Cut your beef into 2” chunks and pat dry.
  2. Combine 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper into a large bowl, add the beef and toss to coat. Tap off excess flour and transfer the Irish stew meat onto a plate. Discard the remaining flour.
  3. Preheat your skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Heat oil and ¼ of the meat in the pan. Avoid overcrowding the skillet with beef as it will steam and not brown. Grill each side of the beef for around 4 minutes until browned. Transfer cooked beef pieces into your slow cooker and continue the process with the remaining meat. 
  4. Chop the root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery root) into 1” chunks. Avoid cutting the vegetables too small as they will not hold up inside the crock pot. Add potatoes, celery, and carrots into the slow cooker.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the same skillet to cook the onions. Season with salt. Scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon from the bottom of the skillet while cooking. This adds more intensity to an already wonderful recipe. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes, just enough to soften them. 
  6. After the onions are soft, you should add the tomato paste and garlic into the skillet and cook for another minute. Add one chicken or beef broth cup into the pan and scrape up any remaining brown bits. Move the cooked onions and stock into the slow cooker. 
  7. Add the Guinness, remaining stock, bay leaves, and fresh thyme into the crock pot. Stir the beef stew to ensure even distribution. Cover the stew and cook on high for 4 - 4.5 hours. Add the frozen peas 30 minutes before your cook ends.
  8. Remove the thyme and add fresh parsley to serve.

Recipe Notes

Two different Irish beef stews
  1. When making Guinness beef stew, I prefer to use chicken broth since the flavor is milder, which lets the flavor of Guinness extra stout shine through. Beef broth works also, but the Guinness will be less powerful.
  2. I prefer my slow cooker Guinness stew to be a bit thick; therefore, I add some flour into the sauce to thicken it up.
  3. Cooking time will depend on the size of your cut and vegetables, so check how well they are cooked before finishing.
  4. Other cooking methods:
  • Large dutch oven: Place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F, covering and baking for 2 ½ hours at 320 F. Remove, then cook for another 30 - 45 minutes to reduce the broth.
  • Pressure cooker/instant pot:  Similar to the slow cooker recipes, just cook on high for 40 minutes to ensure the beef is tender.

Other Related Recipes: Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 560
  • Total Carbs: 36g
  • Protein: 52.6g
  • Fat:15g
  • Fiber: 3.4g
  • Net Carbs: 32g

The Best Meat for Guinness Stew

A bowl full of Irish Guinness beef stew

In Ireland, they will typically use lamb inside their Guinness stew. However, in America, we tend to make our stew using beef.

Chuck roast or shoulder is a popular choice, with enough marbling to keep the meat moist (like the ones over at ButcherBox).

I recommend using big chunks of meat for the best beef stew. If you use tiny pieces of meat, the beef will fall apart before the incredible, rich flavor develops.

“There is a charm in making a stew, to the unaccustomed cook, from the excitement of wondering what the result will be, and whether any flavor save that of onions will survive the competition in the mixture.”  - Annie Besant, Philosopher

The Best Method for Soft Vegetables and Tender Meat

A slow cooker on plain background

I like to make my stew in a slow cooker (although this is also a great recipe for the oven) since slow cooking makes for absolutely delicious tenderized beef.

It allows the flavors of the broth to penetrate the meat while also ensuring the vegetables stay intact.

Browned beef beforehand will also add a wonderful flavor that compliments the Guinness beer perfectly.

FAQs

How Do I Store Leftover Guinness Stew?

You can store leftover Guinness stew for up to five days and reheat it in the microwave or over medium heat. Like many other stews, Guinness beef stew is better on the second day.

If you decide to freeze your stew, keep in mind that the vegetables will break when thawed and reheated [1].

What Goes Well With Guinness Stew?

Mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash, crispy bread, or green salad go well with Guinness stew.

You can also eat your stew with rice or grill some veggies such as onion, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

Can I Use Tomato Sauce Instead of Tomato Paste?

You can use tomato sauce instead of tomato paste but remember that they are quite different and achieve different flavors. Instead of using a sauce in your stew, I would skip the whole step together as it isn’t necessary for the dish; it just enhances the already great flavors [2].

Slow Cooker Guinness Stew Recipe - A Hearty Meal

This recipe for Guinness stew merges together rich and deep flavors with tender and delicious beef chunks.

Since this recipe is made to be cooked inside a slow cooker, the process is fairly straightforward; yet quite long.

The reward, however, is a thick, dark, and caramel-y flavor, packed full of colorful veggies and mouthwatering meat.


References:

  1. https://www.bettycrocker.com/how-to/tipslibrary/cooking-tips/stew-the-complete-meal
  2. https://www.tastingtable.com/693976/difference-between-tomato-sauce-paste-substitute/

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