Irish Beef Stew

This simple, yet traditional recipe Irish Beef Stew is the ideal hearty comfort food to serve on St. Patrick's Day! Tender chunks of beef are simmered in a rich Guinness-infused broth with aromatic vegetables and savory herbs for a cozy and flavorful dish that's perfect for chilly nights.

A soup bowl of Irish beef stew next to a filled cast iron pot.

I mostly cook Italian food because I grew up cooking with Italian side of the family, but the truth is that I'm also half Irish. And it wouldn't be March if I didn't have a big pot of Irish Beef Stew simmering away on the stove and a pan of Irish nachos in the oven.

This Irish Beef Stew recipe comes from my friend and college roommate, Kate, who is about as Irish as they come. It embodies the essence of traditional Irish cuisine, marrying robust flavors with simple ingredients to create a dish that's satisfying to both the belly and the soul.

Whether you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day or simply seeking a comforting meal to enjoy with loved ones, this stew is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Searing the beef develops rich, deep flavor..
  • Guinness stout and beef broth create a complex, flavorful broth.
  • Slow cooking in a Dutch oven ensures the meat is fall-apart tender.
Fresh, raw beef stew meat cubes on butcher paper.

Ingredient Notes

  • Beef - Opt for well-marbled chuck steak, as it becomes fork-tender when simmered in the stew. You can substitute with other tougher cuts of beef, but avoid extra lean cuts, as they can become dry and tough.
  • Guinness stout - The deep, malty flavor of Guinness adds depth and richness to the stew, but you can substitute with another stout or dark beer if desired.
  • Beef Stock or broth - If you can use homemade beef stock, it will add an extra layer of flavor and complexity to the stew. Otherwise, use a high-quality beef broth that's unsalted or low sodium to control the overall saltines of the dish.
  • Aromatics - Onions, carrots, garlic, thyme, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce form the flavor base of the stew. Don't leave them out!

*Full ingredient list with quantities is in the recipe card.

Helpful Equipment

  • Large, heavy-bottomed pot: Choose a sturdy pot with ample space to accommodate all the ingredients and allow for even simmering.
  • Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is ideal for stirring and scraping up any flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Ladle: Use a ladle to serve the stew into bowls, ensuring each serving is filled with hearty chunks of beef and vegetables.
Beef and carrot Irish stew in a cast iron Dutch oven.

Step by step instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Season the cubed chuck steak with salt and pepper, then brown them in batches until well-seared. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  2. Lower the heat to medium and add butter, onions, and carrots to the pot. Sauté until softened, then add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and cook until vegetables are coated. Add potatoes and cook for 2 minutes more.
  4. Add thyme, bay leaf, Guinness stout, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and the browned meat to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours until the stew thickens and the meat is tender.
  5. Adjust seasoning if needed, then stir in remaining thyme and parsley before serving.

Tips For Success

  • Ensure the beef is well-seared on all sides to develop the best flavor.
  • Try replacing the beef with lamb for a more traditional Irish stew recipe.
  • Use homemade beef stock or broth if possible.
  • Don't rush sautéing the vegetables. Let them sweat out nice and slow to develop their natural sweetness and depth of flavor.
  • Allow the stew to cook nice and slow over a low simmer. Don't let it boil.
A fork in a bowl of beef and carrot Irish stew.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Irish Beef Stew piping hot, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. And of course a big pint of Guinness stout or your favorite Irish beer (or whiskey!).

Serve the stew over mashed potatoes or colcannon, an Irish dish of mashed potatoes with cabbage, or alongside a slice of crusty bread, Irish soda bread or my Irish cheddar and stout biscuits for a satisfying meal.

Pair the stew with a side salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette to add freshness and balance to the hearty flavors. Or try a more robust salad, like this warm spinach salad or this shaved Brussels sprout and kale salad.

Don't forget to finish the night with something sweet, like my famous Irish Potato Candy or Salted Caramel Brownies and a glass of Irish cream over ice!


How to store and reheat leftovers?

Allow the stew to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove top or in the microwave.

Can I make this stew in advance?

Yes, this stew actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld. Simply store it in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.

Can I make this stew in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?

Yes, Irish beef stew can be easily adapted for slow cooker or Instant Pot cooking. Simply follow the same steps for browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables, then transfer everything to your slow cooker or Instant Pot along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours in a slow cooker or on high pressure for about 30 minutes in an Instant Pot.

How can I make the stew thicker?

For a thicker stew, you can whisk in a slurry made from cornstarch or flour and water. Mix equal parts cornstarch or flour with cold water to form a smooth paste, then stir it into the simmering stew until it reaches your desired consistency. Alternatively, you can mash some of the cooked potatoes against the side of the pot to naturally thicken the stew.

Close up of cooked beef stew meat on a fork over a bowl of Irish stew.

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Awhite bowl of Irish stew with a fork.
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Irish Beef Stew

This simple + traditional Irish Beef Stew is made with beef, potatoes, and Guinness Stout. It's hearty comfort food that's perfect for St. Patrick's Day!  Adapted from the one and only Kate Wood!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 600kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lbs chuck steak cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large yellow onion halved and sliced
  • 3 medium carrots sliced into coins
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 medium red skin potatoes cut into large chunks*
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme divided (substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 8 ounce bottles Guinness stout**
  • 1 32 ounce carton of beef broth**
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley finely chopped, divided


  1. Pour the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then add to the pot in a single layer, working in batches if necessary. Allow the meat to brown really well on all sides, about 15 minutes, then remove from the pan.
  2. Lower the heat to medium, then add the butter, onion and carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add the tomato paste and stir until the vegetables are coated. Continue cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes, then add the potatoes and cook for 2 minutes more.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of thyme, the bay leaf, Guinness, beef broth, Worcestershire, sugar, and browned meat. Bring up to a boil, then lower the heat all the way and simmer until the stew has thickened slightly and the meat is falling apart, about 2-3 hours.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of thyme and half of the parsley.
  5. Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with a sprinkling of parsley. Serve hot.


  • You can peel your potatoes if you want, but I leave the skin on.
  • Ensure the beef is well-seared on all sides to develop the best flavor.
  • Try replacing the beef with lamb for a more traditional Irish stew recipe.
  • Use homemade beef stock or broth if possible.
  • Don't rush sautéing the vegetables. Let them sweat out nice and slow to develop their natural sweetness and depth of flavor.
  • Allow the stew to cook nice and slow over a low simmer. Don't let it boil.


Calories: 600kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 919mg | Potassium: 1470mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6512IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 6mg

5 from 13 votes

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  1. 5 stars
    I thoroughly enjoyed this article from my awesome high school classmate Nicole and her college roommate. So much that this non cook decided to make the meal a few days past St. Patrick’s Day. It turned out great and I’m so thankful that Nicole shares her passion with all of us.

  2. 5 stars
    Kate is da bomb! This is so wonderful I followed her strict guidelines as I didn't want someone showing up at the doorstep! LOL Made some traditional Soda bread to dip in it!

    1. Hey Chris, thanks for pointing this out. The meat gets added back in along with the liquid and herbs before simmering for a few hours. I've updated the recipe to include that! Hope you give it a try. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I made this last night and everyone LOVED it! I had to make a few substitutions since I didn't have exactly everything on hand... I used russets instead of red potatoes and didn't have carrots so I used celery... oooh... and Coors light instead of Guiness....... PSYCHE!!! Hehehe! I used all the correct ingredients. I don't know you personally, Kate, but you sound like somebody I'd like to get to know. awesome recipe... seriously! <3

    1. Haha! This comment is too perfect. SO glad you made it and loved it! Hope yours was "stewy" enough haha. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I have so many comments, but am too overwhelmed by this whole experience to make them. I mean, I almost had a panic attack in the Safeway parking lot discussing this. Good enough job, Italy, good enough job.

    1. 5 stars
      Also, okay, not fifteen minutes to brown, like five, til it's just properly browned. I'm dying, I just died. Dead.

      1. You probably can't see this because you died, but the extra browning adds so much great flavor. This one I stand behind!

      1. 5 stars
        I do believe on this very blog you hated on your Irish heritage a year ago? But yeah, fine with the browning.

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Frank! I'm great, other than having to actually talk on the phone with your daughter about how to ruin my recipe, I am great. Hope all is well!

      1. 5 stars
        Good to hear form you Kate! All is well. Just trying to keep tabs on my daughter. You know she's only half Irish, so we have to compensate!!