Irish Beef Stew

Irish Beef Stew is a comforting and hearty dish that embodies the rich culinary traditions of Ireland. This classic stew is renowned for its simplicity, yet it delivers robust flavors and a satisfying warmth, making it a staple in Irish households and a cherished comfort food worldwide.

At the heart of this dish is tender chunks of beef, often marinated and seared to enhance their flavor. The beef is then simmered in a savory broth along with an array of vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, onions, and sometimes celery, imparting a wholesome and well-balanced taste. The slow-cooking process allows the ingredients to meld together, creating a luscious, thick broth that coats each element with savory goodness.

Key to the distinctive flavor profile of Irish Beef Stew is often a generous addition of Irish stout or beer, which not only adds depth but also tenderizes the meat, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Fragrant herbs like thyme and bay leaves contribute to the stew’s aromatic character, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Traditionally served during colder months, Irish Beef Stew is a comforting dish that brings people together around the dinner table. It’s often enjoyed with a side of crusty bread or Irish soda bread to soak up the flavorful broth. Whether served for a cozy family dinner or as a centerpiece for festive occasions, Irish Beef Stew is a timeless and heartwarming culinary delight.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of hard fat, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 medium sweet onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup Guinness stout beer
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 springs thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 small yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 2 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Warm oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat until very hot.
  2. Pat beef dry and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  3. Add beef to the pot in batches and brown well all over. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining beef.
  4. Lower heat to medium. If the pot looks dry, add a touch more oil.
  5. Stir in the onion, carrots, and celery; sauté for 5 minutes until vegetables have softened. Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds until fragrant.
  6. Add flour and stir for 1 minute to cook off.
  7. Slowly pour in the beef broth and whisk to combine until the flour dissolves.
  8. Add in the water, Guinness beer, red wine, Worcestershire, beef bouillon cubes, and tomato paste; mix well.
  9. Toss in the bay leaves and thyme.
  10. Return beef to the pot (including any juices). Liquid level should just cover.
  11. Cover with a lid, adjust heat to medium-low so it’s a gentle simmer. Cook for 2 hours until the beef is tender.
  12. Add in the potatoes and parsnips; simmer for another 20-25 minutes (without the lid) until the potatoes, parsnips, and beef are very tender, the sauce has reduced, and thickened slightly.
  13. Skim off fat on the surface, if desired. Discard bay leaves and thyme.
  14. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste, if necessary.
  15. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with some fresh chopped parsley, and enjoy with crusty bread, if desired.


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