- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2.5 lb / 1.25 kg beef chuck, boneless short rib or any other slow cooking beef (no bone)
- 3/4 tsp each salt and black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 onions, chopped (brown, white or yellow)
- 6 oz / 180g bacon , speck or pancetta, diced
- 3 tbsp flour (all-purpose/plain, Note 3 for GF)
- 440ml / 14.9 oz Guinness Beer (Note 1)
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock/broth (or beef broth – Note 4)
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1.25 cm / 1/2″ thick pieces
- 2 large celery stalks , cut into 2cm / 1″ pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs thyme (or sub with 1 tsp dried thyme leaves)
Cut the beef into 5cm/2″ chunks. Pat dry then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a heavy-based pot over high heat. Add beef in batches and brown well all over. Remove onto plate. Repeat with remaining beef.
Lower heat to medium. If the pot is looking dry, add oil.
Cook garlic and onion for 3 minutes until softening, then add bacon.
Cook until bacon is browned, then stir through carrot and celery.
Add flour, and stir for 1 minute to cook off the flour.
Add Guinness, chicken broth/stock and tomato paste. Mix well (to ensure flour dissolves well), add bay leaves and thyme.
Return beef into the pot (including any juices). Liquid level should just cover – see video or photos.
Cover, lower heat so it is bubbling gently. Cook for 2 hours – the beef should be pretty tender by now. Remove lid then simmer for a further 30 – 45 minutes or until the beef falls apart at a touch, the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
Skim off the fat on the surface, if desired. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves and thyme.
Serve with creamy mashed potatoes!!
1. Guinness Beer is a dark coloured rich Irish beer and it is the key flavouring for the sauce of this stew. You CANNOT taste it in the finished dish, it just melds into an amazing sauce. In Australia, you can get Guinness at all major liquor stores.
There is no non-alcoholic substitute, unfortunately. If you cannot consume alcohol, substitute the Guinness with 2 cups water + 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce + 2 beef bouillon cubes crumbled. This will make it a classic beef stew. Taste FAB, it just isn’t Irish Guinness Stew!
2. Other cooking methods:
– OVEN: Cover and bake for 2 1/2 hours at 160C / 320F. Remove then cook for a further 30 – 45 minutes to reduce the sauce, per recipe.
– SLOW COOKER: Reduce the chicken broth by 1 cup. After you add the Guinness and broth/stock into the pot, bring to simmer and ensure you scrape the bottom of the pot well. Transfer everything into the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients per recipe. Cook on low for 8 hours. If the sauce needs more thickening, simmer with slow cooker lid off (if you have that function), to ladle some of the sauce into a separate saucepan and reduce on the stove.
– PRESSURE COOKER: Follow slow cooker instructions, cook on HIGH for 40 minutes (this might seem longer than most but we’re using chuck here which needs to be cooked for a long time until tender and also the pieces are large).
3. FLOUR: I prefer my stew sauce a bit thick, not watery, so I always add flour to slightly thicken the sauce. Some recipes say to dust beef with flour before browning – I prefer not to use this method because the flour burns then this permeates throughout the whole stew.
4. Beef vs Chicken Broth – I use chicken broth because the flavour is slightly more mild which lets the guinness flavour come through more. But beef broth works just as well and you can definitely still taste the Guinness!!
5. Nutrition per serving, excluding mashed potato. This nutrition is overstated because it does not take into account the fat that is skimmed off the surface.