Yes, yes. Yesyesyes. The beef stew is coming to Savory Nothings again. This time around: Guinness Beef Stew. You’ll love her. Pinky promise.
Mmmmh, all that gravy ❤
I firmly believe everyone should know how to make a really good beef stew. There’s just something about a comforting pot of meat and vegetables in a rich gravy that screams coziness to me, so… Yeah. This should be a universal culinary must-know. Scratch integral maths, teach kids to cook beef stew.
At least that’s my very opinionated stance, but hello? beef stew >>>>> maths
I think by now you’ll know that I’m zero percent into cutesy holiday food. I will not dye pudding green for St. Patrick’s Day. F-o-r-g-e-t it. But what I can do is make normal food that’s holiday-appropriate and delicious. Case in point: This super-savory Guinness Beef Stew.
I’ll be honest here for a minute: I hate beer. Guess I’m a vintage Krug kind of girl (she says, with a sarcastic smirk on her face). But seriously, beer and me are no friends.
So when I started thinking about Irish-inspired recipes and knew Guinness would be all over the place? I was food-scared. And yes, that’s the technical term, indeed.
I started playing with this stew recipe, fully expecting I’d hate it because of the vast quantity of beer in there (2 bottles! which is 99% more than I’d ever consume voluntarily). But, lo and behold, I was to be proven wrong.
Everything I love about this Guinness Beef Stew:
- It’s deep and dark and rich – but it doesn’t taste of beer! And that’s from a confessing beer-hater.
- It’s very unfussy to make. You’ll need to put in a bit of easy prep work, but then it just cooks in the oven without you having to do anything but relax and drink that glass of Krug.
- You can make it ahead and it will actually be delicious. I’ll easily admit that I’m not a fan of leftovers. But stew? It’s even better on the second day.
- It’ll make you feel good. This is not the gloopy, weighing-you-down kind of stew. This is healthy stew with rich tastes but zero gut luggage.
- It’s budget-friendly. I decided to go easy on the meat and add some mushrooms (go on, virtually shout at me for being inauthentic, I don’t even care because it’s so good) – definitely cheaper to use 1 pound beef and 1 pound mushrooms than adding 2 1/2 pounds of beef to a stew for 6 people.
Let’s get cooking!
How to make Guinness Beef Stew:
- Cube and brown beef, remove from pan
- Chop and brown onion, garlic and celery
- Add tomato paste, Guinness and SECRET INGREDIENT (sorry, tease), simmer to reduce by half
- Add potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, beef stock and meat. Cook in the oven for 1 hour.
- Allow some time to let it rest. Then devour. With two spoons.
So, about that meat… I very much believe it’s always best to buy a decent-quality hunk of meat and then prep it yourself. I like to know that there’s one cow in my stew, not fifty. And thus, my first step in this recipe is to cube some nice beef chuck.
P.S: The parsley is just there to make the raw meat photo look better. #mymeatisvain
Next up: Browning that beef. I recommend doing it in two batches, because even though it’s just a pound you need, you’ll get much better results.
P.P.S: I do NOT believe in draining meat after browning it. Just don’t do it. Brown it in batches (no need to cook it through just yet) and it will be perfectly fine. Then simply remove it from the pot and set it aside.
While the meat is browning, you’v got time to chop up some veg.
Garlic getting smashed with the knife handle (savage):
Seriously though. Be careful with that one. If I’m not going for show, I just smash them with the flat side of the knife’s blade.
Onions into slim wedges:
And the celery sticks I like to slice slightly diagonal vs straight. It just looks more sophisticated and profesh and your meal will feel so much fancier.
Once you’ve browned all this veg in the leftover fat from browning the beef, you’ll obviously need to add this stew’s main squeeze: The Guinness.
It will be very foamy and smell a lot of beer and you’ll have to believe that it’s all going to be OK. Just simmer it (quite vigorously, but not on full-on heat) until it has reduced by about half.
ALSO. This is the time to add a secret ingredient.
Yes, you will add finely minced sun-dried tomatoes to your very Irish Guinness Beef Stew. And you will sing my praises for this move once you taste it. It just adds another layer of uuuuhmami and saltiness. I initially wanted to do anchovies, but decided that would be pushing it too far.
Hey, it made sense in my head.
Once the beer has reduced, you’ll also notice it will have thickened and be quite luscious. You can see the gap between the level of the sauce now and where the Guinness came up to initially on the wall of my Dutch oven here:
And now all that’s left to do? Is adding the meat, beef stock and plenty more vegetables.
P.S: Carrots sliced diagonally, too.
Now this is the time you could also transfer everything to an electric slow cooker… But I genuinely believe my Dutch oven is a million times better than any electric slow cooker you could ever buy.
Yes, I do have slow cooker recipes on my blog.
I actually have a slow cooker beef stew on this blog. Uhm, and a slow cooker Irish beef stew. They taste fantastic. They would probably taste even better made in a Dutch oven, tbh. Ever since I watched Sue Perkins casually bake Boeuf en Daube on Supersizers in a Dutch oven (if you know Sue Perkins at all, she does nothing casually, she’s a dramatic comedian), I’ve been convinced by this method.
This was the official confession that I gave away my slow cooker for good. Forgive me? Thank you.
So. You’ll put this stew in your oven for about an hour at 360°F. You can do longer at 320°F, but I’m usually too impatient to wait. Either way, your home will smell so cozy – domestic goddess alert.
See that torched wall in the Dutch oven? That’s completely normal. Don’t fret, it’s easy to clean away.
And any kind of scrubbing is completely worth it when you’re doing it for this stew:
I will warn you now. Stew always benefits from some resting time after it’s been cooked. I generally like to let my stew cool completely, then heating it back up before serving. This can be on the same day or the next, it will just taste better.
This gives the meat a chance to relax and plumping up with a bit of gravy, so it will be a lot more tender vs eating it straight away. But – your call.
P.S: This doesn’t make for a thick stew. I can’t stand gloopy, stodgy stews (or soups, for that matter), so I err on the side of caution. FWIW, I do believe the consistency and thickness of the gravy here is just perfect. But if you like a thicker stew, I recommend you do one of the following:
How to make a thicker stew:
- Flouring: Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the meat while you’re browning it.
- Beurre manié: Knead 2 tablespoons of flour into 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the stew has finished cooking in the oven, put it on the stove and add this flour/butter mix. Gently simmer until the stew has thickened.
- Cornstarch: Make a slurry from 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and a bit of cold water. Put the finished stew on the stove and bring it to a simmer. Quickly stir in the slurry and simmer until thickened.
Whatever you prefer, I know you’re going to love this.
Now tell me this isn’t better than integral calculations.
Get the recipe here:
Guinness Beef Stew
Guinness Beef Stew - pure winter comfort food! This is easy to make and cooks in the oven for hands-off dinner prep. A great meal for St. Patrick's Day or any time you're craving a rich and hearty stew on a cold night.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound beef chuck cubed
- 2 medium onions cut into slim wedges
- 3 cloves garlic smashed
- 4 large celery stalks sliced diagonally
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 12-oz bottles Guinness beer
- 4 large sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil drained and very finely minced
- 1/2 pound small-medium floury potatoes peeled and roughly cubed
- 1/2 pound small-medium waxy potatoes roughly cubed
- 4 medium carrots cubed and sliced diagonally
- 1 pound brown button mushrooms roughly torn
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 baby leaf optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the beef: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef in batches to brown. Remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.
Sauté onion, garlic and celery: Put the Dutch oven back over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and sauté until tender and lightly colored, about 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven: At this point, preheat the oven to 360°F.
Reduce the beer: Stir the tomato paste into the onion mix in the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Pour in the Guinness - careful, it will foam. Add the minced sun-dried tomatoes and simmer over medium-high heat until the liquid has reduced by half, about 5-10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and cook: Add the potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and beef stock to the Dutch oven. Add the meat back in and stir well. Add the bay leaf, if using. Firmly cover the Dutch oven with its lid and put in the preheated oven to cook for 1 hour. Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper as you like.
Rest: Give the stew some time to rest before serving. I prefer to let it cool almost completely, then reheating it to serve. But even a 10 minute rest will make the beef a lot more tender vs eating straight out of the oven.
To make this in an electric slow cooker, follow the recipe until step 4. Transfer the beer reduction, meat, vegetables and stock to a 6 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.