Dutch Oven Irish Stew

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Dutch Oven Irish Stew is made with beef and Guinness beer, which makes it the perfect recipe for St. Patrick's Day or any day in between. Stout Guinness beer adds a hearty richness to the delicious gravy that just screams comfort food!

Dutch Oven Irish Stew after coming out of the oven.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • hearty meal with simple ingredients
  • made in one pot so clean up is easy
  • cooked low and slow for fork-tender meat
  • includes Guinness beer that adds complex flavor
  • delicious meal when served with Irish soda bread, cornbread or biscuits

A really good Irish stew will have you at hello! The first bite will tell you that you're tasting a rich and hearty meal with tons of flavor from the Guinness beer. It's the perfect dish for Sunday supper or a cold night in front of the fire.

What's the Difference Between Irish Stew and Regular Stew?

A classic Irish stew recipe contains lamb as the main ingredient, while regular stew is traditionally made with beef. Lamb is a popular choice of meat in Ireland, but in the United States, beef is often substituted in an Irish stew recipe because lamb is not as abundant.

bowl of Irish stew with a bottle of Guinness beer.

Why Cook in a Dutch Oven?

A dutch oven is the preferred method of cooking a recipe for an Irish stew because it creates more tender beef and vegetables in half the time. It's my preference for cooking everything from pot roasts in the oven to creamy soups on top of the stove.

Slow cooking is practically foolproof, and yields consistent results you can count on.

If you want to make the best Irish stew recipe...bake it in a dutch oven! This Guinness beef stew cooks low and slow for hours before any root vegetables are added.

Using this method allows the meat to tenderize perfectly and the vegetables to stay intact and not become mushy.

Dutch Oven Irish Stew with potatoes and carrots in a Guinness beer gravy.

Ingredients

You can find most of these simple ingredients in your pantry at home or local grocery store. See recipe card for quantities.

  • olive oil
  • stew meat
  • fresh thyme
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • dried parsley
  • yellow onion
  • beef broth
  • Guinness beer
  • tomato paste
  • bay leaves
  • carrots
  • potatoes
  • cornstarch
  • water
ingredients needed to make Dutch Oven Irish Stew.

How to Make Dutch Oven Irish Stew

  • Brown meat - Season beef with salt, pepper, thyme and parsley. Add olive oil to the bottom of the pot. Add meat and onions cut in large chunks.
browning beef in dutch oven.
  • Sauté beef with onions over medium heat until there is no pink showing.
adding onions to the browned beef.
  • Add broth and beer - Add 2 cups of beef stock (or broth) to meat, then pour in the bottle of dark beer.
adding Guinness beer to the beef stew.
  • Stir in tomato paste - along with thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
adding tomato paste to Irish stew meat.
  • Bake - Close the lid and place dutch oven in a 350ºF oven. Bake 2 ½ hours.
  • Add carrots and potatoes - Remove from oven and add the reserved 2 cups of beef broth. Stir in carrots and baby potatoes. Close the lid and bake for 1 more hour.
Irish stew after baking in a dutch oven.
  • Thicken stew - Take stew out of oven. Make a cornstarch slurry with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Add it to the liquid in the large pot and stir.
cornstarch being added to Guinness stew.
white bowl of Dutch Oven Irish Stew on a green cloth.

Variations

  • Omit the potatoes and serve over any type of mashed potato to soak up the rich gravy.
  • Substitute 1 cup of red wine (like a Cabernet Sauvignon) instead of beer.
  • Use mutton or lamb as a substitute for beef.
  • Make an alcohol-free stew by substituting extra beef broth for Guinness beer or wine.
  • Try different herbs like sprigs of rosemary or fresh chopped parsley.
  • Make stew in an instant pot, pressure cooker, crock pot or slow cooker.

Recipe FAQs

How long to cook stew in a dutch oven?

For 2.5 pounds of meat, it takes 2 ½ hours until the beef is almost tender at 350ºF. This recipe adds carrots and potatoes and cooks 1 hour longer for a total of 3 ½ hours. This process results in fork-tender meat and veggies.

Will Guinness make stew bitter?

Guinness stout is definitely a bitter beer and can add a strong bite to this dish. Some folks are opposed to the earthy and complex flavors of dark beer. Others find it delicious. If you'd rather not use beer in this recipe, feel free to add more beef stock or broth as a substitute. If you make this dish with Guinness and it's too strong for your taste, add a little bit of brown sugar to the pot to balance out the bitterness.

Can this dish be made ahead?

Yes, you can make this recipe up to 2 days ahead and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Reheat it on the stovetop in a saucepan, or place it in a large casserole dish and bake at 350ºF until meat and vegetables are warm throughout.

Top Tips

  • Try not to hurry. This dish takes time, which is why the end results are so great!
  • In keeping with Irish tradition, try making this recipe with lamb meat.
  • Add extra vegetables to extend the quantity of this dish. You'll want leftovers...I promise!
bowl of Irish stew with Guinness beer beside a dutch oven.

Storage and Freezing

  • Make ahead up to 2 days in advance and store in the refrigerator until time to serve.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw out leftovers in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat this recipe in a saucepan over low heat on the stovetop, or microwave in 1 minute intervals until beef and vegetables are heated throughout.
Guiness Irish stew being ladled out of a dutch oven.

What to Serve with Irish Beef Stew

If you love Irish cuisine and are looking for more great recipes, enjoy these dishes on St Patrick's Day, or all year long...

Recipe Card

Irish Stew in a dutch oven.

Dutch Oven Irish Stew

Dutch Oven Irish Stew is made with beef and Guinness beer, which makes it the perfect recipe for St. Patrick's Day or any day in between. Stout Guinness beer adds a hearty richness that just screams comfort food!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dutch Oven, Main Dishes
Cuisine: American, Irish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings6
Calories: 417kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 pounds stew meat
  • 1 medium onion (sliced in chunks)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 32 ounces beef broth (reserve half for later)
  • 1 bottle Guinness dark beer
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 each bay leaves
  • 6 medium carrots (sliced in chunks)
  • 24 ounces baby potatoes (sliced in half)
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 2 Tablespoons water)

Instructions

  • Season beef with salt, pepper, thyme and parsley. Add olive oil to the bottom of the pot. Add meat and onions cut in large chunks.
  • Sauté beef with onions over medium heat until there is no pink showing.
  • Add broth and beer - Add 2 cups of beef stock (or broth) to meat, then pour in the bottle of dark beer.
  • Stir in tomato paste - along with thyme sprigs, garlic and bay leaf.
  • Bake - Close the lid and place dutch oven in a 350ºF oven. Bake 2 ½ hours.
  • Add carrots and potatoes - Remove from oven and add the reserved 2 cups of beef broth. Stir in carrots and baby potatoes. Close the lid and bake for 1 more hour.
  • Thicken stew - Take stew out of oven. Make a cornstarch slurry with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Add it to the liquid in the large pot and stir.
  • Serve - Ladle Guinness stew into large bowls and enjoy with a loaf of Irish Soda Bread (ad) or cornbread.

Notes

  • Make ahead up to 2 days in advance and store in the refrigerator until time to serve.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw out leftovers in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat this recipe in a saucepan over low heat on the stovetop, or microwave in 1 minute intervals until beef and vegetables are heated throughout.
  • View the Google Web Story for Dutch Oven Irish Stew!

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1117mg | Potassium: 1608mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I'm excited to try your version of Irish stew. My mother used to make hers in a big cast iron pot. Your recipe looks so good!

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