Irish Beef and Guinness Stew is a complete meal and comforting one pot dish. Tender chunks of beef, slow cooked with carrots and parsnips in beef stock and Guinness  using combination cooking/moist and dry heat (stove top and oven) along with slow cooker instructions included.

Large pieces of beef, carrots and vegetables in beef stew cooking in a pan

Beef stew is a classic comforting dish and if you’re a beef eater, you’re a fan. This Irish version has Guinness stout, which takes the flavor to a whole new level of taste. In a traditional Irish stew, lamb is usually used but today, I’m using beef.

St Patrick’s Day is just over 2 weeks away so it’s time to start thinking about what we’ll be eating for this Irish holiday.

Which beef is best for stew?

Chuck roast or shoulder and please cut the pieces yourself. Even though grocery stores label cut beef as ‘stew meat’, it is usually scraps from other cuts of beef.

How to choose the best beef for stew

Buy a whole chuck or shoulder roast, not already cut beef because you don’t know what cuts they are. The meat should have good marbling of fat without too much, this brings flavor the stew.

How long do you cook stew?

This depends on the size of your meat cubes and there really is no set time, just an estimate. Beef stew is done when the meat is fork tender. Meaning, it pulls apart easily with 2 forks and is always best cooked low and slow.

A ladle of beef, carrots and parsnips

Guinness Stout v’s Guinness Draught 

In addition to being carbonated differently, stout has a sharper, crisper flavor, draught is creamier, which is what I prefer for cooking.

Along with the Guinness, I used a combination of beef and chicken stock. Chicken stock in a beef stew? Yes! Chicken stock (especially if homemade) has a lovely meaty taste and adds great flavor.

Irish beef and Guinness stew on a plate with mashed potatoes

In keeping with the Irish-ness of the dish, and because it’s readily available now in the U.S., I browned the beef in real Irish butter. I’m not getting paid to say this and everyone who has tried it will agree, it really is the best butter. I also used the butter and Irish cheese in the Irish colcannon (< click text for recipe) that I made to go along side the stew.

A closeup of the colcannon showing the melting butter, cabbage and spring onion

For slow cooker beef stew

After the meat is browned and the rest of the ingredients have been added, pour into a preheated slow cooker on low for 6 hours.

Irish beef & Guinness stew viewed from overhead in a white bowl

If you’ve made this Irish Beef and Guinness Stew or any other recipe, please leave a comment below, I love to hear from my readers.

Yield: 6

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

Irish beef and Guinness stew in a large Dutch oven pan

Tender chunks of beef, slow cooked with carrots and parsnips in beef stock and Guinness. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 2 pounds (1 kilogram) boneless beef chuck or shoulder roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted Irish butter
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) canola oil
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup (75 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (472 ml) Guinness draught * see note
  • 1 cup (236 ml) chicken stock (low sodium)
  • 1 cup (236 ml) beef stock (low sodium)
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F/120°C.
  2. Pat the beef pieces dry with a paper towel and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. To a large oven-proof, heavy saucepan with a lid or Dutch oven, melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Cook the beef in small batches until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  4. To the same pan (add more oil if needed) add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste and flour, cook for 1 minute (taking care not to brown or burn).
  6. Add the Guinness and stir to deglaze and get any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a light boil/simmer until thickened. Stir in the beef and chicken stock.
  7. Add the meat back into the pan along with the carrots, parsnips, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.
  8. Bring to a light boil/simmer, cover and cook stove top for 1 to 3 hours or you can transfer to the oven for 1 to 3 hours until the meat is fork tender (it should tear apart easily with 2 forks). You can remove the lid for the last 30 minutes to thicken the sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
  9. Remove bay leaves before serving.


Guinness draught is preferred as it is creamier than stout. If you can’t find it, stout will also work.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 586Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 171mgSodium 428mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 5gSugar 9gProtein 54g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.