Guinness Beef Stew

Inspiration: I love St. Patrick’s Day. Love it. It’s one of my favorite holidays, and I always look forward to it every year. I love the good food, the nicer spring weather and sunshine that’s finally settling in, the good drinks, the celebration of such a great culture…I love it all. In fact, I like to make the holiday into St. Patrick’s Week around our house. This past Saturday, I made this stew in the crockpot in the morning, then B and I went out for some lunch and shopping downtown.  We stopped in at the Irish pub (one of our favorite places in town) for a couple of pints of Guinness, and they were having their “St. Practice Day” party with Irish music, bagpipes, etc. It was so much fun, and coming home to this hearty stew for supper (alongside a nice, cold glass of Bailey’s) was just perfect. It was a great start to our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and a long menu of Irish food that I have planned!

What we Loved: B and I both devoured this stew. My favorite part was the broth, which was just outstanding. It was so rich and flavorful with the juices from the meat and the flavors from the bacon, Guinness, tomato paste, and all of the seasonings. And after cooking for 8 hours, the meat and the carrrots were so tender that they just fell right apart. As we sat at the table eating this, it was cold and rainy outside and the wind was howling. It really was the perfect night for such a comforting stew.

Helpful Hints: The actual Guinness flavor in this stew is really very subtle, so I wouldn’t worry about adding it if you’re not a huge fan of Guinness or beer in general. It certainly doesn’t taste like you’re eating a beer stew! The broth just has a wonderfully rich and intense flavor that I’m not sure would be the same if you left the Guinness out.

Guinness Beef Stew
Source: Adapted from Vintage Victuals

5 slices bacon
1.5-2 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1″ pieces
Salt and pepper
2 onions, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can Guinness (about 15 oz)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste

*I made this recipe using the stove-top safe insert of my crockpot. I’ll give directions for cooking without the stove-top safe insert, but if you have that particular crockpot, then just cook everything in the insert on your stove-top.

1. Add the bacon to a large saute pan, and cook until browned. Remove the bacon to a plate, and set aside.

2. Add the beef to the pan in batches, browning it in the bacon grease. Cook the beef pieces for 2-3 minutes per side, just enough to create a nice, brown crust. Remove the meat as it is browned to the plate with the bacon.  

3. When all of the meat is browned, add the carrots and the onions to the pan. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the onions are softened and browned. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute.

4. Pour the Guinness into the pan, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a spoon.

5. At this point, transfer everything to your crockpot. Add the Worcestershire, thyme, bay, beef broth, and tomato paste. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and mix to combine.

6. Cook on low for 8 hours.

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