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Hearty Guinness Beef Stew

My goodness, this humble Guinness beef stew is hearty. It’s inspired by the Emerald Isle, but it’s so easy you won’t need the luck of the Irish to pull it off.

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You don’t have to be Irish — and it doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day — to enjoy this pub classic: a bowlful of rich stew brimming with steaming potatoes, onions, carrots, and slow-cooked beef that falls apart with every bite. The deep flavor of Guinness stout makes the savory gravy all the richer. And putting it together is really as simple and throwing everything in the pot and letting your kitchen fill with the homey aroma as it bubbles away in the oven.

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Purists will tell you that in order to be considered a real Irish stew, there had better be mutton in the pot. The Irish valued their sheep’s milk and wool so much that they kept them around until their tough meat had to be stewed for hours just to make it palatable. But Irish immigrants to America started using easier-to-find beef, and so the American image of the traditional dish became this much-loved beef stew.

We can all agree that no Irish-inspired stew would be complete without potatoes. And for good measure, we added a generous pour of Guinness stout to lend the stew a subtly sweet, roasted, and malty flavor. (If you can’t find Guinness, any dark stout will do.)

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We love our slow cooker beef stew recipe, but we wanted to create a stew that you could make without a crock-pot. We also wanted to simplify the standard beef stew recipes that require the additional step of searing the meat before stewing, because we didn’t find it necessary for amazing flavor. Other than that, this recipe is just about as traditional as you can get without cooking over an open hearth. Serve your belly-warming beef stew with a pint on the side.

Chef’s Tip:

  • For a thicker stew, take off the lid off halfway through baking.
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Guinness Beef Stew


Serves 5
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 2 – 2-½ Hours

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 pound new potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 medium onion, cut into a 1-inch dice
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen twine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (14.9 oz) can Guinness beer
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen peas

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.
  2. In a 5-quart heavy, oven-safe pot or Dutch oven, mix the cubed beef with the flour, then stir in the tomato paste. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper, bay leaf, thyme, broth, and beer. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Remove the pot from the burner and place it in the preheated oven. Cook for 1½ – 2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender. (You can let the frozen peas thaw on the counter while the stew cooks, but the stew will be so hot when you take it out of the oven that if you forget, stirring in frozen peas at the end will be just fine.)
  4. Stir in the peas, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary, and serve.
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Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.