Hearty Irish Beef Stew Recipe for Comfort Food Lovers

I can already smell the savory aroma of this hearty Irish Beef Stew wafting its way through your house. Can you? This traditional dish is perfect for any time of year, but especially during the colder months. Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or just looking for a comforting dinner, this recipe is sure to impress.

But let’s not kid ourselves, the real star of the show here is the beef. If you want a perfectly tender and flavorful meat in your stew, then it’s all about the quality and cut. That’s why I recommend using stewing beef or chuck roast – both are affordable and readily available at most grocery stores. Trust me, once you taste the rich and velvety texture of these meats in your Irish Beef Stew, you’ll never go back to anything else.

So grab your favorite pot or slow cooker and let’s get started on this authentic Irish Beef Stew recipe that will warm you from the inside out.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Beef Stew
Irish Beef Stew

Do you want to warm your heart and satisfy your hunger with a rich, delicious meal? Look no further than this Irish Beef Stew Recipe. This dish is the perfect blend of tender beef, fresh vegetables, and rich tomato broth that will have you coming back for seconds (and maybe even thirds).

But that’s not all – there are so many reasons why you’ll love this recipe. For starters, it’s incredibly easy to make. Even if you’re not an experienced cook, you can follow these simple instructions and create a meal that looks and tastes like it came from a gourmet restaurant.

And let’s talk about the flavors. The richness of the beef, the sweetness of the carrots, and the subtle heat from the Worcestershire sauce all come together in perfect harmony. Plus, the addition of Guinness beer adds a distinct flavor that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Another reason to love this stew is its versatility. You can easily adjust the ingredient amounts or swap out certain vegetables to suit your preferences or dietary needs. And don’t forget about the leftovers – this stew reheats beautifully and tastes just as good (if not better) the next day.

Finally, there’s something special about enjoying a traditional Irish dish like this one. It’s a hearty meal that’s meant for gathering around the table with loved ones and sharing stories over steaming bowls of stew. So why not bring a little bit of authentic Irish flavor into your home with this delicious recipe? Trust me – you won’t regret it.

Ingredient List

 A hearty bowl of Irish comfort.
A hearty bowl of Irish comfort.

Let’s take a look at what you need for this Irish Beef Stew Recipe. Don’t worry, you don’t need any extravagant, hard-to-find ingredients. Just some basic and traditional ones that you might already have in your kitchen.


  • Stewing beef: 2 pounds of beef stew meat cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes. You can use chuck roast or any kind of beef suitable for stews.
  • Carrots: 4 large carrots peeled and chopped. They add sweetness and texture to the stew.
  • Onion: 1 large onion chopped. It gives a savory, aromatic taste.
  • Potatoes: 2 pounds of potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes. They add creaminess and richness to the stew.
  • Garlic: 3 cloves of minced garlic. It adds depth and intensity to the flavors.
  • Fresh parsley: chopped, for garnish.
  • Butter: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil, for sautéing.
  • Button mushrooms (optional): 8 ounces sliced button mushrooms add extra umami flavor and a chewy texture to the stew (not traditionally used but delicious).
  • Beef broth: 4 cups, low-sodium or homemade. It is used as a base for the sauce.
  • Guinness beer: 1 can or bottle (about 12 ounces) of Guinness Stout beer, or any dark beer of your preference. It adds complexity and bitterness to the stew.
  • Tomato paste: 2 tablespoons of tomato paste add acidity to balance the dish.
  • Worcestershire sauce: 2 teaspoons remove the beefy smell and add umami flavors.
  • Bay leaves: dried bay leaves (2 units), for seasoning.
  • Dried thyme: 1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves, for seasoning.
  • Sugar: 1 teaspoon of sugar will balance the flavors and reduce acidity.
  • Cornstarch: 3 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with water (optional), for thickening.

The Recipe How-To

 Get cozy with a warm bowl of Irish Beef Stew.
Get cozy with a warm bowl of Irish Beef Stew.

Now, let’s dive into the how-to of this mouth-watering Irish Beef Stew that will leave you feeling satisfied and comforted.

Step 1: Preparing the Meat

First, we want to make sure the meat is ready to be cooked. Cut 2lbs of stewing beef into 1-2 inch cubes and season with 1 tsp of kosher salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Then, dust the meat with 1/3 cup all-purpose flour so that it’s evenly coated.

Step 2: Sauté Vegetables

In a Dutch oven or a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Once heated, add 2 chopped onions and 4 minced garlic cloves to the pot and sauté them for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.

Next, add 4 cups of beef broth, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 3 bay leaves, 1 tsp-dried thyme, and 1 tsp sugar into the pot with onions and garlic.

Step 3: Cook the Meat

Add the seasoned beef to the pot as well and stir it in so that all the cubes are coated in the vegetable mixture. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let the stew simmer for about 90 minutes or until the meat is tender.

Step 4: Add Vegetables

After 90 minutes, add 4 chopped carrots, 4 chopped potatoes, and any additional vegetables you’d like such as button mushrooms or celery. Let everything cook for another 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender but still firm.

Step 5: Make it Thick

Now that our vegetables are cooked through and our meat is tender, we want to thicken up our stew. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup cold water and 1 tbsp cornstarch. Once mixed, add the cornstarch mixture to the pot and stir until it is evenly distributed.

Step 6: Garnish and Enjoy!

Remove the bay leaves, adjust seasoning if needed and let your stew cool down for a few minutes before serving. You can garnish with fresh parsley or any other herb you like. Serve hot with some bread or mashed potatoes on the side.

Get ready to enjoy the most authentic and traditional Irish Beef Stew!

Substitutions and Variations

 The ultimate winter warmer.
The ultimate winter warmer.

Let’s get creative and put a twist on the traditional Irish Beef Stew recipe. Here are some substitutions and variations to consider:

1. Vegetarian Irish Stew: Substitute the beef for veggies like mushrooms, bell peppers, and portobello mushrooms for a hearty vegetarian version.

2. Lamb Irish Stew: Beef is not for everyone! Try using lamb instead which brings a richer flavor to the dish.

3. Guiness Beef Stew: To give our Irish beef stew an added depth of flavor, add in Guinness beer or any other stout beer.

4. Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew: Save time with an instant pot! Cook your stew in just 35 minutes instead of simmering it for hours.

5. Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew: This method stays true to the traditional cooking process of this dish – slow cooking the beef to tender perfection.

6. Gluten-Free Irish Beef Stew: Use cornstarch instead of flour to thicken the stew and substitute any Worcestershire sauces with a gluten-free alternative.

7. More Veggies! Add in more vegetables like parsnips, turnips, or sweet potatoes for an even heartier meal.

No matter what variation or substitution you choose, make sure to follow the recipe’s base ingredients and measurements so that you get the irresistible taste of an authentic Irish Beef Stew recipe every time!

Serving and Pairing

 A rustic Irish classic to warm up your soul.
A rustic Irish classic to warm up your soul.

Alright, folks, now that you’ve made a hearty bowl of traditional Irish beef stew – it’s time to talk about serving and pairing. This dish is perfect to warm your soul on a cold winter’s day, and it can be enjoyed in many ways. So, let me give you some ideas:

First off, how about we pair it with a pint of freshly-poured Guinness? Yep, this is the classic Irish beer that perfectly complements the rich flavors of the beef stew. Plus, it adds an authentic feel to the experience.

If you’re not much of a beer person, don’t worry, there are other options. For red wine lovers, I suggest going for a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. The tannins in these wines will match beautifully with the beefy texture of the stew.

Now, let’s talk about sides. You’ll want something that won’t overshadow the main star of the show but still add some variety to your meal. How about some crusty bread or dinner rolls? They’re perfect to mop up every last drop of stew left in your bowl.

Another great option is serving a fresh green salad to cut through the richness of the dish. You can toss together some leafy greens like spinach and arugula with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers for a refreshing mix.

Finally, if you’re feeling daring and want to try something different, make some colcannon – the Irish version of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage stirred in. It’s not only delicious but also packed with nutrients.

In conclusion, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy this slow-simmered Irish beef stew! Just pick your favorite pairing and grab a spoon!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This one-pot wonder is sure to impress.
This one-pot wonder is sure to impress.

Ah, the wonderful aroma of slow-cooked Irish Beef Stew is wafting from my kitchen. But sometimes, we don’t always have the time to cook a dish like this from scratch when our stomach is growling for a warm and hearty meal. Not to worry, because with a little bit of preparation, you can make this stew even ahead of time and store it till you need it. Here’s how:


One of the best things about Irish Beef Stew is that it can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer until needed. You can cook the stew up to a day before you plan to serve it if you are planning to refrigerate it. Simply allow the stew to cool completely; then transfer it to an airtight container or ziplock bag and place it in your fridge.


If you have any leftovers after your meal, they can be stored safely in the fridge for up to four days. Be sure to only reheat the amount that you need when you’re ready to enjoy it; never reheat the entire pot as this will potentially compromise both flavor and texture.


To reheat your Irish Beef Stew – simply remove it from the fridge or freezer and place it into a heavy-bottomed pot or microwave-safe container. You can reheat small portions in your microwave on “low,” or heat over medium-low heat on your stovetop stirring gently until hot so as not to break down the tender beef chunks.

And there you have it! A perfect way to keep enjoying hearty and delicious Irish Beef Stew all week long without having to rely on take-outs or delivery orders.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The taste of Ireland in every spoonful.
The taste of Ireland in every spoonful.

To create the perfect Irish beef stew, there are a few tips and tricks that I use in my own kitchen. These tips will ensure that your stew is rich in flavor, tender, and delectable.

First, make sure to properly sear your beef before adding it to the stew. This step may seem insignificant, but it’s actually crucial to building layers of flavor. Be patient while searing the meat and let it cook for at least five minutes on one side before flipping it. This way, you’ll get a nice brown crust that adds depth and richness to the final result.

Another essential tip is to not overcrowd the pot or slow cooker when cooking the stew. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and cause certain ingredients not to soften entirely. Opt for a Dutch oven or a large pot with plenty of space for all the ingredients.

When adding liquid to your Irish beef stew, opt for beef broth instead of water or vegetable broth. Beef broth helps enhance the rich meaty flavors in the stew and provides a more authentic taste.

To thicken the stew, use cornstarch mixed with cold water instead of flour which can create clumps. Mix the cornstarch and water together thoroughly first before adding it slowly into the soup mixture while stirring continuously.

Finally, once the stew is done simmering, give it time to cool down slightly before serving. This will allow all the ingredients to come together, resulting in an even richer and more fabulous taste.

By following these tips, you can guarantee delicious and authentic Irish beef stew every time you make it!


Now that we’ve covered the recipe how-to, substitutions and variations, serving and pairing as well as make-ahead tips and storing methods, let’s move on to some commonly asked questions about this Irish Beef Stew Recipe. If you’ve got any lingering doubts or queries, this next section shall address all your concerns.

What is the difference between Irish stew and beef stew?

When it comes to distinguishing between a beef stew and an Irish stew, the type of meat and broth used are the key factors. A beef stew is typically made using cubed pieces of beef, while an Irish stew is known for its rich and hearty broth made with lamb or mutton.

What cut of beef is best for Irish stew?

For a hearty and budget-friendly stew, the ideal meat to use is chuck steak, which is also referred to as braising steak or gravy beef. It’s taken from the neck, shoulder blade, and upper arm of the forequarter of the animal. Chuck steak is easily obtainable and a cost-effective option.

What is traditional Irish stew made of?

While some may insist that the only true Irish stew is made using solely mutton, onions and potatoes, it is widely acknowledged and customary to incorporate a variety of vegetables into this hearty dish. Carrots, potatoes, celery, turnips, swedes, parsnips, leek, kale and cabbage are all commonly used in creating an authentic Irish stew.

What thickens Irish stew?

When it comes to thickening gravies, there are three common options to choose from: flour, cornflour, and arrowroot. Typically, flour and cornflour are used in savory dishes, while arrowroot is reserved for sweet dishes – although it can still be used in savory dishes due to its neutral taste.

Bottom Line

And that’s it, my dear friends! I hope you enjoyed making and savoring this Irish Beef Stew recipe as much as I do. Remember, the perfect stew must always have a perfect balance of flavors, that melt and coat your tongue like butter on hot toast. I’m sure this stew, with the blend of the ingredients and flavors in this recipe, will be a hit, no matter what occasion or season it is.

So don’t hesitate, grab those ingredients from your pantry, whip up a delicious pot of Irish Beef Stew using this recipe, and experience the authentic taste of slow-cooked stew in Ireland itself. Whether it’s for an intimate dinner party or a family gathering, this hearty and flavorful stew is sure to excite your taste buds and leave everyone asking for more.

The aroma of the beef chuck slow-cooked to perfection with Worcestershire sauce, Guinness beer, and fresh thyme cannot be denied. So why not serve it with some freshly baked bread or over some fluffy mashed potatoes and carrots? Trust me; it will be a match made in heaven.

In conclusion, keep experimenting with your ingredients to create your own unique twist to this Irish Beef Stew recipe while keeping the authenticity intact. So let’s get cooking and dig right into that bowl of comfort food goodness. Sláinte!

Irish Beef Stew

Irish Beef Stew Recipe

This is "Hands Down" the best I've ever made! The thyme is what sets it appart. The garlic will end up very mild. Use less if you like. (I have now edited the recipe to include corn starch to thicken the broth. This of course is optional)
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, European, Low Cholesterol, Meat, St. Patrick's Day, Stew, Stove Top
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Calories 299.5kcal


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 garlic, bud peeled and cut the cloves into large chunks
  • 8 cups beef stock or 8 cups canned beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed . 5 inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and cubed, . 5 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add beef and sauté 1 minute uncovered.
  • Add beef stock, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, worcestershire sauce and bay leaves.
  • Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • ---------------.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat.
  • Add potatoes, onion and carrots.
  • Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minute.
  • Add vegetables to beef stew.
  • (Optional) mix corn starch in 1 or 2 tablespoons cold water. Add to stew and stir thoroughly to thicken broth.
  • Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender.
  • Discard bay leaves, let cool then tilt pan and spoon off fat.
  • Can be made in morning or day before.
  • Heat, sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Serving: 448g | Calories: 299.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.4g | Protein: 18.2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Cholesterol: 42.4mg | Sodium: 847.6mg | Fiber: 4.3g | Sugar: 4.6g

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