Slow Cooked Beef and Guinness Stew (Dutch Oven)

A slow braised stew simmering away in the oven on a Sunday afternoon sets me up for dinner the next day, and if we’re lucky, the day after too. Serve up this slow-cooked beef and Guinness stew recipe alongside a bowl of creamy potato mash for the ultimate comfort food supper.

PS,  Always remember that a good hearty stew instantly tastes better the next day, so don’t be afraid to cook this one in advance. 

A black cast iron Dutch oven of beef and Guinness stew. A Couple of pieces of bread are sitting in the side of the pot and fresh rosemary sits in a small bowl to one side.

Here are three reasons why you’ll love this recipe!

It’s a classic beef stew. Whether you save this one for St Patrick’s Day or cook it on any old day of the year like me, it’s a total heart warmer that will brighten any cold day.

This is a set-and-forget meal. Yes, it takes a bit to brown the meat and get started, but once it’s in the oven, you can pretty much put your feet up! Glass of wine, anyone?!

It makes a cracking pie. Pop the finished stew into a pie dish, top with a layer of puff pastry, and bake until golden. Drool.

What you need to make this hearty Guinness beef stew

  • Pantry – plain, all-purpose flour, beef stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, sea salt flakes, freshly ground black pepper, olive oil.


  • 1.2kg chuck steak cut into large 4-5cm chunks. Any kind of beef stew meat like a boneless beef chuck roast or beef cheeks could also be used instead of chuck steak. 


  • Vegetables – brown onions, garlic, large carrots, parsnips, brown mushrooms. While I haven’t included them in this recipe, I sometimes add frozen peas in with the mushrooms near the end of cooking. It’s a simple variation and bulks up the vegetable factor!


  • Guinness beer. When cooked with, Guinness adds sweetness and a good, deep flavor and rich sauce to a dish. You could also substitute it with your favorite stout beer although the finished taste may vary.


  • Porcini powder. My not-so-secret ingredient for adding depth to a braised dish. While button mushrooms give off a little flavor, it’s not a lot, so by adding a teaspoon or two of porcini powder, it helps boost the mushroom flavor and adds and extra bit of depth. A good food store will stock porcini powder. If you can only get your hands on dried porcini mushrooms, these can easily be ground up in a spice grinder or high-speed blender.


  • Fresh herbs – bay leaves, rosemary, thyme sprigs
All the ingredients you need to make Beef & Guinness stew.

The nitty gritty

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.


  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and beef. Coat the meat in flour and set aside.


  3. Place a large enamel cast iron pot on the stovetop. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and warm up the pot on a low heat. Once the pot is hot, add a couple of pieces of meat and brown each side, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan and stew the meat. This will need to be done in batches. For this recipe, I normally do this in 3-4 batches to brown the meat properly. If you need more oil, add an extra tablespoon. Once a batch is browned, pop the meat onto a plate to rest while you seal the remaining batches. Then remove all the meat from the pot.


  4. Add the sliced onions and a little oil if needed to the pot. Sweat off the onions until they are translucent, being sure to stir and incorporate any browned bits from the bottom of the pot that have lifted from cooking the meat prior.


  5. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Return the browned meat to the pot and stir to combine.


  6. Add the remaining ingredients – carrots, parsnips, Guinness, beef stock, tomato paste, porcini powder, and fresh herbs. Give everything a good stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Pop on the lid and place the pot into the preheated oven for 3 hours.


  7. Add the mushrooms and return the pot to the oven for the remaining 30 minutes.


  8. Remove from the oven and season with Worcestershire sauce, sea salt flakes, and freshly cracked pepper.

Equipment

One large Dutch oven is the only cooking vessel you’ll need for this Guinness and beef stew recipe. I use either my 26 or 28cm enameled cast iron pot. anything smaller just won’t fit all the ingredients in. 

You’ll also need a large cook’s knife, chopping board, stirring spoon, and garlic crusher. 

You could also try cooking this recipe in your Instant Pot, pressure cooker, or slow cooker, however, the cooking time will vary with each method.

Cooks notes

To see if your Dutch oven is hot enough to cook in, flick a little flour into the pan (with oil in it) and see if it sizzles. If it does, it’s ready to go, if not, give it another minute or two and repeat the process.

The secret to making the best beef stew is first to make sure the beef is not cubed too small. I either cut up the meat myself or ask my butcher to cut up large pieces. Secondly, brown the beef properly and render any fat on the exterior of the chunks of beef. This helps break down the meat perfectly in the stew and also creates a wealth of flavor in the bottom of the pan through the brown, cooked-on bits. 

Serve this Guinness beef stew recipe with…

A side of creamy mashed potatoes and a slice of Irish soda bread will always be the most popular option. Other standouts which work just as well include colcannon mash, cauliflower mash, Irish brown bread, or even a chunk of your favorite crusty sourdough.

Storage

I’ve said it before, stew always tastes better the next day. Or the day after! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, Pop everything back into the Dutch oven and slowly warm on low heat. If you need any additional liquid, a little water added to the pot and stirred through is the best option.

Because this recipe serves 8 people, we generally either eat it over two days, or I’ll freeze half of it for another night’s dinner. 

The finished Guinness Beef Stew in a black cast iron casserole with a couple of pieces on toasted bread sit in it for dunking,

A few more slow-cooked suppers you might like…

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A black cast iron Dutch oven of beef and Guinness stew. A Couple of pieces of bread are sitting in the side of the pot and fresh rosemary sits in a small bowl to one side.

Slow Cooked Beef & Guinness Stew

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  • Author: Emma Lee
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 serves 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow cook
  • Cuisine: Irish

Description

A slow braised stew simmering away in the oven on a Sunday afternoon sets me up for dinner the next day, and if we’re lucky, the day after too. Serve up this slow-cooked beef and Guinness stew recipe alongside a bowl of creamy mash or pop a puff pastry lid on top and turn it into the ultimate Winter pie.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tbsp plain, all purpose flour
  • 1.2kg chuck steak cut into large 4-5cm chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil + extra if needed
  • 2 brown onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 2 parsnips, cut into large chunks
  • 330ml Guinness
  • 750ml beef stock
  •  2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp porcini powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 200g mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • sea salt flakes, to taste
  • freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and beef. coat the meat in flour and set aside.
  3. Place a large enamel cast iron pot on top of the stove. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and warm up the pot on a low heat. Once the pot is hot, add a couple of pieces of meat and brown each side, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan and stew the meat. This will need to be done in batches. For this recipe, I normally do this in 3-4 batches to brown the meat properly. If you need more oil, add an extra tablespoon. Once a batch is browned, pop the meat onto a plate to rest while you seal the remaining batches. Then remove all the meat from the pot.
  4. Add the sliced onions and a little oil if needed to the pot. Sweat off the onions until they are translucent, being sure to stir and incorporate any brown bits from the bottom of the pot that have lifted from cooking the meat prior.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Return the meat to the pot and stir to combine.
  6. Add the carrots, parsnips, Guinness, beef stock, tomato paste, porcini powder, and fresh herbs. Give everything a good stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Pop on the lid and place the pot into the preheated oven for 3 hours.
  7. Add the mushrooms and return the pot to the oven for the remaining 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and season with Worcestershire sauce, sea salt flakes, and freshly cracked pepper.

Notes

To see if your Dutch oven is hot enough to cook in, flick a little flour into the pan (with oil in it) and see if it sizzles. If it does, it’s ready to go, if not, give it another minute or two and repeat the process. 

I use 1 bottle of Guinness for this recipe. If you are pouring Guinness from a larger bottle or can, be sure to pour slow with the glass on a 45-degree angle, pouring the Guinness down the side of your measuring cup otherwise you can be left with a lot of foam and little Guinness. Always let it settle for a good 3-5 minutes to accurately measure the liquid.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 480
  • Sugar: 6.6 g
  • Sodium: 649.2 mg
  • Fat: 20.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.4 g
  • Protein: 52.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 161.9 mg

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