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Dutch Oven Guinness Beef Stew is the perfect comfort food dish for those colder months. With flavorful, tender meat and the addition of Guinness, this rich gravy stew is the ultimate winter dinner recipe you don’t have to wait for St. Patrick’s day for.
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Guinness Beef Stew
I love a good stew that can simmer for hours on the woodstove or come together quickly for a hearty meal. This rich stew is definitely one of them. There are really rich flavors built in with the use of varying vegetables and of course Guinness.
Even those who are not fans of stouts, like myself, will find themselves digging into the Dutch oven for just “one more bowl.” The dark, almost chocolate flavor of Guinness pairs so well with beef and other red meat that if you didn’t know what you were eating, you would have no idea it was a beer. And yes, this stew is completely kid safe because all the alcohol burns out of the beer during deglazing. Meaning you’re left with layers upon layers of deep flavor.
This recipe is a delicious way to cook up tougher meats from a variety of animals like deer, bison, beef, and mutton. The seared and slow-cooked method adds texture while also giving the cartilage in meat time to breakdown.
Stews are wonderful last minute meals, make-ahead meals, and ever freezer meals. You really cannot go wrong with a good stew and a side of freshly baked bread.
Ingredients for Guinness Beef Stew
- Meat– bison, lamb, mutton, beef, or venison
- Vegetables – onions, baby Yukon gold potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, celery
- Spices – garlic, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, salt, and pepper
- Guinness – Most stouts will work for this recipe, Guinness is just the more widely known and available.
- Extras – bacon, tomato paste, flour, beef broth, and water
What kind of meat to use for Beef Stew
The most common type of meat you’ll find at the grocer is beef stew meat. It will actually say stew meat on it and is already cut to size. You can of course cut your own as well. For that, you’ll look for a chuck roast or a chuck steak. You don’t have to use beef though. You can substitute beef with bison, venison, or even lamb as traditionally used in Irish Stew. If butchering your own, think the upper shoulder portion.
Tip: Think about when you want to dig into this stew. If you’re going to let it simmer for a few hours, use larger chunks of meat from a chuck steak or chuck roast. If you’re looking for a quick hearty meal the family can enjoy in about an hour, opt for the smaller more delicate cuts of meat that don’t require a long simmer such as chuck eyes or boneless short ribs, that are already super tender.
Tips for Guinness Beef Stew
- Best way to cook the meat – Grab a stew meat package or cut your own, with bigger chunks. This will allow for a longer cooking time that suits both the potatoes and the breakdown of the cartilage in the meat – thus tenderizing tough meat.
- How long to let it cook – This stew can take as little as 1 hour and as long as all day. Though depending on the heat level, you may find you need to add more liquid to keep it from becoming more of a gravy and less of a stew. Though I will say, enjoying this as a thick gravy over polenta or mashed potatoes is not a bad idea.
- Making a bigger batch – easily double or triple this recipe to whatever will fit in your Dutch oven. A straight double or triple will work for this recipe.
How to Make Guinness Beef Stew
Find the full directions in the recipe card below, but here is brief overview with photos on what to look for.
Step 1: Start by cooking your bacon and setting it aside. We want to use the grease from the bacon to cook our meat and vegetables. So don’t drain any of it.
Step 2: Sauté the harder vegetables like the onion, carrot, and celery. Next sear the meat with the spices so the spices have a chance to cook out any raw flavor and infuse the meat as it cooks.
Step 3: Add the other vegetables such as potatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and tomato paste. These need to be cooked out a bit to give flavor and texture, but most of the cooking will be done in the broth. You’ll also add the flour in here to act as the thickener. It needs to be cooked out before adding liquid as well.
Step 4: Deglaze the pan with the Guinness. The alcohol will burn off in this step as well as loosen any delicious bits on the bottom of the Dutch oven. You’ll notice the gravy really starts to come together at this point.
Step 5: Add the beef broth and stir. We want to gradually add the liquid so that is stays nice and thick.
Step 6: Add additional water if needed. Enough to cover the potatoes while it simmers on the stovetop. Do not add extra broth as it will likely end up too salty that way. The liquid will reduce while simmering. Also add a bay leaf at the end on top to easily remove once ready to serve.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To freeze, let the stew cool completely, then transfer into freezer containers or a vacuum sealed bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place overnight in the refrigerator.
Canning Beef Stew
This stew is perfect to pressure can and save for later, but keep in mind that during the canning process the vegetables will break down a bit more than they already are. One way to get around that is to make a batch specifically for pressure canning and add the vegetables as raw ingredients to the rest of the stew once cold. From there, pressure can the finished stew at 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts, adjusting the pressure based on your elevation. When ready to serve, reheat on the stovetop. You can also do this using raw meat since it will cook while pressure canned, but then you miss out on the flavor developed while searing.
What to Serve with Beef Stew
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Guinness Beef Stew
- 5 quart dutch oven
- vegetable peeler
- bottle opener
- Cutting board
- Measuring Cups
- measuring spoons
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 pound bison stew meat venison or beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 12 ounces baby Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 2 ounces mushrooms sliced and chopped
- 1 Tablespoon garlic
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 11.2 ounces Guinness Beer standard bottle
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- In a Dutch oven over medium-low heat, cook the bacon for about 10 minutes until crispy. Remove and set to the side on a paper towel lined plate.
- With the bacon grease still in the Dutch oven, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté for about 5 minutes to start tenderizing.
- Increase the heat slightly to a medium and add the stew meat along with the spices. Allow the stew meat to sear on all sides, about 7 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, mushroom, and tomato paste. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the flour, stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the beer and slowly stir for about 3 minutes to cook off the alcohol before adding the beef broth, water, and bay leaf. Stir well and cover, reducing to a simmer for 20 minutes. Stew is ready when the potatoes are fork tender.