Whether you’re looking for a recipe for St. Patrick’s Day, or an everyday recipe for hearty beef stew, this Irish Stout Beef Stew is a delicious option. Chunks of tender beef, with morsels of carrots and potatoes in a rich gravy with a slightly malty flavor. It’s just so good! (And if you like beef stew, also check out my recipe for Autumn Harvest Beef Stew.)
And even if you’re not a beer lover, not to worry. The beer flavor mellows as it slowly stews, giving this dish a complex, slightly sweet flavor without really tasting like beer. And although lamb is more traditional in an Irish-style stew, the beef and beer combination in this stew is truly delicious and is actually what our family prefers. And please don’t wait for St. Paddy’s Day to make this stew – it’s good for anytime you want hearty comfort food!
What Ingredients are in this Irish Stout Beef Stew?
The ingredients for this recipe are pretty straightforward, but here are a few tips:
Beer – I make my stew with a locally-brewed Irish Stout-style craft beer, but you could use Guinness or another dark stout. And you don’t need to use a stout. If you prefer a lighter beer, just use something that tastes good to you. And if you really don’t like beer or if you abstain from alcohol, you can just leave the beer out entirely and add extra beef stock.
Beef – Use stew meat or buy a beef roast (like a chuck roast) and cut it into cubes yourself.
Potatoes – Any potato will do here. I’ve successfully used red potatoes, yellow potatoes, and russet potatoes in this stew. If you prefer a potato that doesn’t fall apart too much, though, stick with red potatoes or yellow potatoes like Yukon Gold. For something a little different, I sometimes use turnips or rutabaga instead of potatoes.
Beef Stock – Use homemade or whatever store-bought beef stock you prefer. If I don’t have any homemade beef stock on hand, I like to use a beef base and reconstitute it with water to make my stock.
Rosemary and Thyme – I tend to use dried herbs here because I always have them on hand. If using fresh herbs, substitute 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs for 1 teaspoon of dried.
Tips for making Beef Stew with Stout Beer:
Give it time. You can’t rush this kind of stew. There is truly something a bit magical about doing it the old-fashioned way and taking a tough piece of meat and stewing it slowly, over a low temperature for several hours. The beef becomes meltingly tender, the gravy reduces to a thick, rich consistency, and the flavors intensify.
So as tempting as it may be to speed up the cooking time with a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, I don’t recommend it for this particular recipe. I also don’t recommend using a slow cooker for this recipe either, because the liquid won’t reduce down to that silky, rich gravy that we’re looking for. So skip the Instant Pot and slow cooker for this one, and get out your cast iron Dutch oven (or other heavy-duty, oven-safe pot).
Serving the stew. I like to serve it simply with some crusty bread. You can also serve it with egg noodles or with a crisp green salad. And occasionally, I leave out the potatoes in the stew and then serve it over mashed potatoes, like Irish Champ.
And please don’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day to make this beef stew – it’s good any time you are craving a hearty beef stew.
If you try this recipe, I hope you love it. And follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram so you don’t miss a post.
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