Traditional Irish beef stew

Embark on a culinary journey to Ireland with the heartwarming and satisfying experience of Traditional Irish Beef Stew. This comforting dish is characterized by tender chunks of beef, complemented by a medley of root vegetables, including potatoes, carrots, and onions—all brought together in a rich and flavorful broth typically infused with the robust essence of Guinness or hearty beef stock. The addition of aromatic herbs like thyme and bay leaves contributes to the dish’s depth of flavor, creating a truly soul-soothing meal that encapsulates the very essence of Irish comfort food.

At the heart of Traditional Irish Beef Stew is the art of slow simmering, allowing the beef to tenderize and absorb the savory goodness of the broth. This method not only enhances the dish’s taste but also fills the kitchen with an inviting aroma that beckons all who enter.

The root vegetables, meticulously chosen, add both substance and sweetness to the stew. Potatoes provide a comforting heartiness, while carrots and onions contribute layers of flavor and texture. This combination not only creates a visually appealing dish but also ensures a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

The choice of Guinness, a staple in Irish cooking, imparts a distinctive depth to the broth. Alternatively, beef stock can be employed to achieve a similarly robust flavor profile. Whichever base is chosen, the result is a stew that encapsulates the warmth and hospitality for which Irish cuisine is renowned.


– 2 lbs (about 900g) beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized chunks
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
– 2 large onions, chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 4 cups beef stock
– 1 can (14.9 oz) Guinness beer (optional, can substitute with additional beef stock)
– 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks
– 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
– 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced into chunks (optional)
– Two stalks celery, chopped
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme)
– Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


1. In a large bowl, season the beef chunks with salt and pepper. Dredge the beef in flour, shaking off any excess.

2. In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef chunks in batches and brown them on all sides. Remove the browned beef and set aside.

3. In the same pot, add chopped onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

4. Deglaze the pot by pouring in the Guinness beer or beef stock, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

5. Add the browned beef back to the pot. Pour in the remaining beef stock.

6. Add carrots, potatoes, parsnips (if using), celery, bay leaves, and thyme to the pot. Stir to combine.

7. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours or until the beef is tender.

8. Check the seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.

9. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs if using fresh thyme.

10. Serve the Irish beef stew hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley.

Traditionally served during chilly days, this stew brings not only physical nourishment but also a sense of connection to Irish culinary heritage. The melding of simple, wholesome ingredients and the slow-cooking method results in a dish that resonates with both tradition and taste. Whether enjoyed with a slice of crusty bread or on its own, Traditional Irish Beef Stew is a timeless and comforting classic that invites you to savor the essence of Irish home cooking.

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