Irish Beef Stew is a hearty beef stew with an amazingly rich and delicious broth made with Guinness Extra Stout Beer and red wine. The tender stew meat, potatoes, parsnips and carrots combine for a special and comforting Irish-inspired meal. My family loves this stew all year and it is wonderful served with Classic Potato Rolls or 4 Ingredient Biscuits.
Ingredients to Have on Hand
- Stew meat (I use chuck roast)
- Carrots, parsnips and russet potatoes
- Beef stock
- Guinness Extra Stout beer, or any dark beer
- Red wine
- Worcestershire sauce
- Dried thyme
Cooking Methods for Beef Stew
I've made Irish Beef Stew for St. Patrick's Day and other times of the year on both the stovetop in a large pot, and in a 7-quart Crockpot, or slow cooker. Both methods work great and the result is a rich broth with tender stew meat.
Slow Cooker: I love how easy is it to prepare this stew in a Crockpot since everything cooks together all day. The veggies are softer after cooking all day.
Stovetop: But there's something special about the texture of the vegetables after cooking on the stovetop. The veggies are thoroughly cooked but have slightly more definition.
Here are two pictures so you can see the difference between the cooking methods, but the bottom line is, both ways of preparing this St. Patrick's Day, or Irish stew taste equally delicious!
Slow Cooker: It all depends on how much time you have and whether you'd prefer to simply switch the slow cooker (Crockpot) to low and have the stew cook all day, or whether you'd like to be on hand in the kitchen.
Stovetop: The stovetop version includes instructions to add the veggies and potatoes at intervals during the cooking process after the broth and beef have simmered on their own for about 45 minutes.
Irish Beef Stew on the Stovetop
If you opt to cook Irish Beef Stew on the stovetop, I recommend browning the stew meat first in about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large stockpot, then adding the garlic and all of the liquid ingredients, tomato sauce and spices.
The stew will cook for about 90 minutes.
About halfway through that cooking time, partially cook the carrots, parsnips and onion in a little olive oil in a skillet. You'll want them to be about half-cooked or just barely fork-tender. This ensures the veggies don't get overcooked after you combine them with the rest of the simmering stew.
Add the partially cooked veggies to the broth and meat mixture and continue to simmer.
Add the diced potatoes for the final 30 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf before serving.
Substitutes for Wine or Beer in the Stew
While beer and wine loom large in the recipe card you don't have to use either ingredient. I always like to offer options and substitutions in recipes like these including my Pork Chops and Sauerkraut recipe that also calls for beer. Don't worry, there's always a substitute.
Pro Tip: If you prefer not to use beer or wine in your stew, just swap both ingredients with the same amount of beef broth and increase the amount of Worcestershire sauce to two tablespoons instead of one.
Irish Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker
The key to everything cooking perfectly is to layer the ingredients in the following order in the Crockpot or slow cooker, starting with the stew meat as the bottom layer:
- Stew meat and garlic
- Tomato sauce
Both carrots and parsnips are somewhat sweet but parsnips have a slightly spicy flavor. They're so good! I love to use them in this beef stew or any time I want a sturdy veggie added to a soup, and they're delicious in a pan of oven-roasted veggies.
My maiden name is O'Malley, and I've always been curious about ingredients that are authentic to the flavors of Irish cuisine. Given my family's lineage to Ireland and County Mayo in particular I've done my best with this recipe to capture the flavors, textures and spices found in Irish cooking.
Thicker Broth Option
If you and your family prefer a slightly thicker broth for your St. Patrick's Day Stew, that's easy!
Pro Tip: For a thicker stew broth, in a very small bowl, combine two tablespoons cornstarch with two tablespoons cold water and whisk together until it creates a thin slurry - a concentrated liquid that thickens broth, sauces or gravy.
Pour the mixture into the stew and stir well to blend thoroughly. You'll watch the broth thicken right away.
There are many celebrations of Irish culture related to St. Patrick's Day. Enjoying all things green - and wearing green - are certainly two of them. Many folks enjoy corned beef and cabbage on March 17, which is wonderful. But this St. Patrick's Day beef stew is a terrific option.
Here are a few more recipes that I think you'll enjoy on St. Patrick's Day!
If you tried Irish Beef Stew or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below.