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    Irish Beef Stew Recipe

    Published March 11, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This delicious homemade Irish beef stew recipe is jam-packed with root vegetables, beef stew meat, and herbs simmered in a stout beer broth. The flavors in this rich dish are incredible.

    ‘Tis the season full of fish frys, corned beef, and other hearty spring favorites.  In Chicago, it’s still always cold in March, so soup is still on the menu.  This Beef Stew is essential for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s also delicious all year round.

    cup of beef stew with fresh herbs


     

    Irish Beef Stew

    Irish beef stew is a classic dish of beef and vegetables that are cooked until tender in a flavorful broth. Both tomato paste and Dark Beer are traditionally used to give body, color, richness and flavor to the stew. There can also be adaptations to the recipe with the inclusion of different root vegetables.

    This stew was said to be created in the 1600s by Irish shepherds and farmers who had few ingredients but needed to make a hearty meal. It was later expanded upon during hard times in the depression as Mulligan Stew, which has more vegetables in it.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    • Oil — Any neutral-flavored oil will work, like avocado oil. You can also use tallow, lard, ghee, or clarified butter.
    • Onions – I used a yellow onion, but a white or sweet onion can also be used. In addition, you will need some whole garlic cloves. You can also add in 1 to 2 thinly sliced leeks as well if you’d like.
    • Vegetables — My recipe used carrots and parsnips. However, you can also add turnips, rutabaga, celeriac root, or any other root vegetables that you see fit. If you add more of these, you may need more stock to the recipe.
    • Beef — This recipe will work with beef stew meat, such as top or bottom round, flank, sirloin, chuck, ribeye, or rump roast.
    • Tomato Paste – You need some tomato paste for color, body, and flavor.
    • Beer — The best beer is a dark one, such as a stout or porter. I used Guinness, of course. If you do not drink alcohol, then simply skip this ingredient and procedure.
    • StockBeef stock is best for the most flavor. However, you could use vegetable stock, chicken stock, brodo, or water if that is all that is available.
    • Potatoes – Yukon potatoes would be the more classical potatoes to use. Substitute with Russets or red potatoes if that’s all you have.
    • Herbs – I used a combination of fresh thyme and parsley. Fresh rosemary would also be an option in this beef stew.

    How to Make Irish Beef Stew

    1. Caramelize the onions until brown over low heat in a large pot with oil, about 20 minutes.
    2. Next, add in the carrots, turnips, and garlic and sweat over low heat for 5-10 minutes.
    3. Remove the vegetables and add the pot back to the burner over medium-high heat with more oil.
    4. Add in the meat and brown on all sides, about 4-6 minutes.
    5. Pince with the tomato paste over low heat to help thicken.
    6. Add in the Guinness and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and slightly reduced.
    7. Pour the stock and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes to tenderize and braise the beef.
    8. Add in the sweated vegetables, potatoes, herbs, salt, and pepper and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and serve.
    step by step procedures on how to make Irish beef stew

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: For freshness it’s best to serve this soup once it is finished cooking. However, it can be made up to 2 days ahead.

    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It will freeze well covered in the freeze for up to 2 months. Be sure to thaw in the fridge for 1 day before reheating.

    How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of Irish beef stew to a small pot and cook over low heat until hot. 

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • After adding the beer, I mentioned reducing it. This simply means some of the liquid evaporates while becoming more concentrated in flavor. You would only reduce the amount of liquid in this recipe by a few tablespoons so that the beer flavor profile still comes through.
    • ” Pince” is a French term for browning the paste in beef fat over low heat until it becomes rusty. This adds more flavor and helps to thicken the dish.
    • This serves 8 people, but because of the tremendous storage options, we always freeze the leftovers.
    • The Guinness beer in this recipe adds incredible body and flavor to the soup. Since most stout beers mimic the dark coffee taste, you will absolutely get some of those flavor notes in the soup.
    • If you want an extremely thick soup, try mixing in a roux once it’s done.

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    Irish Beef Stew Recipe

    5 from 26 votes
    This delicious homemade Irish beef stew recipe is jam-packed with root vegetables, beef stew meat, and herbs simmered in a stout beer broth.
    Servings: 8
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 4 tablespoons oil
    • 1 peeled small diced large yellow onion
    • 3 peeled medium diced carrots
    • 3 peeled medium diced parsnips
    • 3 finely minced cloves of garlic
    • 1 ½ pounds beef stew meat cut into ½” cubes
    • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 ½ cups Guinness Beer
    • 80 ounces beef stock
    • 4 peeled medium diced large Yukon or russet potatoes
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
    • sea salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

    • Add 2 tablespoons of olive to a large pot over medium-low heat.
    • Sauté the onions until well browned about 20 minutes. Stir every 2 to 3 minutes.
    • Next, add in the carrots, parsnips, and garlic and sweat the vegetables for 5-10 minutes or until just tender while occassionally stirring.
    • Remove the vegetables from the pot and set them aside on a plate or in a bowl.
    • Add the pot back to the burner over medium-high heat and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
    • Once the oil begins to smoke lightly, add in the beef and cook for 4-6 minutes or until browned on all sides while stirring every 20 to 30 seconds.
    • Over medium heat, stir in the tomato paste until coated and pince for 2 to 3 minutes or until it becomes a rust color.
    • Pour in the beer and cook over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until it becomes thick and slightly reduced in the amount of liquid.
    • Add in the stock and cook over medium-low heat for 45 minutes or until the beef is tender.
    • Add the cooked vegetables and potatoes back to the pot and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
    • Finish with parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper and serve.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: For freshness it’s best to serve this soup once it is finished cooking. However, it can be made up to 2 days ahead.
    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It will freeze well covered in the freeze for up to 2 months. Be sure to thaw in the fridge for 1 day before reheating.
    How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of Irish beef stew to a small pot and cook over low heat until hot.
    After adding the beer, I mentioned reducing it. This simply means some of the liquid evaporates while becoming more concentrated in flavor. You would only reduce the amount of liquid in this recipe by a few tablespoons so that the beer flavor profile still comes through.
    ” Pince” is a French term for browning the paste in beef fat over low heat until it becomes rusty. This adds more flavor and helps to thicken the dish.
    This serves 8 people, but because of the tremendous storage options, we always freeze the leftovers.
    The Guinness beer in this recipe adds incredible body and flavor to the soup. Since most stout beers mimic the dark coffee taste, you will absolutely get some of those flavor notes in the soup.
    If you want an extremely thick soup, try mixing in a roux once it’s done.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 29gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 735mgPotassium: 1614mgFiber: 6gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 4130IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 6mg
    Course: dinner, Main
    Cuisine: American, irish