Beef and Guinness Stew

beef stew with guinness, Irish stew with Guinness

While Spring has sprung elsewhere in the country, we in Southern California have had a little taste of winter in the past two weeks. When weather that strays from the usual mild, sunny, 70 degree days, newscasters and weathermen warn us for days of impending precipitation. Usually, the storm systems travel down from Nor Cal so we can watch the progression and make preparation for “Storm Watch 2012”, like stocking up on groceries and wine and doing what errands you can to avoid driving through walls of water with people who shouldn’t be operating heavy machinery in adverse conditions.

Instagram, storm in southern California

Such a deluge pounded us on St. Patrick’s day weekend and this past weekend as well. When we’re set to have “weather” I like to be prepared with comforting, warm and satisfying meals like this Irish stew, which really isn’t Irish at all except for the substitution of Guinness Extra Stout for broth.

My hot tip for the day is substituting wine and beer for flavor in soups and stews, especially if you should be watching your sodium – and really, we all should – it’s a silent culprit in heart disease. I use wine, beer, and another beverage that might surprise you:  coffee, in almost all my soup, stew, and chili recipes because they have zero sodium – even low sodium broths have more sodium than Don should be having at one meal. Wine and beer (and coffee) also  impart a depth of flavor not achieved with broths.

Give it a try – I’m certain you’ll agree, and, if Spring and Easter are on your mind – bookmark this recipe for next fall/winter  :-)

Guinness Beef Stew, Irish stew, beef stew

Beef and Guinness Irish Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The marrow of beef shank, caramelized onion, and Guinness Extra Stout instead of broth imparts deep flavor to this hearty, comforting stew.
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
  • 1 lb. beef shank, with bone and marrow
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pint Guinness Extra Stout
  • 1 15 oz. can diced No-Salt tomatoes*
  • 1 can tomato paste*
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1½ cup peas
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes*
  1. Heat large heavy pot over medium heat - I use my trusty Lodge cast iron Dutch Oven for stews, just as my mother did. Cook the onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until browned, remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of beef shank with salt and pepper (use only pepper for low-sodium diets). Add another tablespoon of olive oil and brown the beef on both sides. Remove from pot and cut into several pieces - allows for quicker fall-apart tender results.
  3. Return beef, including the bone and marrow to the pot. Add Guinness, tomatoes, onions, carrots, cinnamon, and bay leaf to pot. Cover and simmer on low for 3-4 hours until beef is to desired tenderness. Alternatively, you may transfer to a slow cooker and cook 6-8 hours on Low.
  4. While stew is cooking, peel and boil the potatoes for mashed potatoes. Prepare your favorite mashed potatoes. Prepare frozen peas according to package directions. Add to stew in the last half hour of cooking to retain their bright green color.
  5. Preheat oven to Broil.
  6. To serve, spoon stew into oven-proof bowls, top with mashed potatoes, drizzle with a little butter, and place under the oven broiler for a minute to brown. Watch carefully. Serve immediately.
*I buy No-Salt diced organic tomatoes and organic tomato paste from Trader Joes. For heart healthy mashed potatoes, I add only a tablespoon of butter along with low-fat milk and sour cream or Greek yogurt and a no-salt herb garlic seasoning or mashed roasted garlic.

Enjoy :-)

Beef and Guinness stew, Irish stew, beef stew

19 Responses to “Beef and Guinness Stew”

  1. Victoria March 26 at 11:08 am #

    This is fantastic, Priscilla! I’m sorry to hear about the horrible weather, but you’ve taken full advantage of your time inside. I don’t usually like to drink Guinness, but I know it’s a great addition to stews like this one. I also agree that wine and beer are great components in soups, stews, and sauces, but I’ve never tried coffee! Will have to keep it in mind.

    • Priscilla March 26 at 9:31 pm #

      Thx, Victoria! Yes, I use coffee in my Cowboy Chili especially – you should try it :)

  2. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts March 26 at 11:52 am #

    I am loving the super warm weather we have been having in CO, but we haven’t had rain or snow in months! Hope it makes its way here!

    What a great stew, so many great flavors in there!

    • Priscilla March 26 at 9:42 pm #

      It has been an unusually mild winter for you all and everyone is a little wary about that! Hopefully, some of the rain will come your way :)

  3. patty March 26 at 12:38 pm #

    Nothing like a cast iron dutch oven for stew making, my mother used the same thing for her pot roast and I still remember how good it made the house smell. I think we just sent another storm down your way and looking out the window I see more dark clouds forming! Oh well, we need the rain and the garden looks good;-) I always throw wine in the pot with my stew and will have to try Guinness next time, as I do have a stash of it right now.

    • Priscilla March 26 at 9:39 pm #

      Yes, our garden is flourishing from the rain, too. Cast iron served our moms and their moms, and can still perform as well as more expensive cookware for braising and roasting!

  4. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 26 at 7:34 pm #

    Whoa your cast iron looks like something you have been using a lot for your cooking. It’s been raining here and cold and this sounds so good to have!

  5. Suzanne March 26 at 8:12 pm #

    That looks like a wonderful stew for a raining stormy day or whenever. I like the mashed potatoes on top :)

    • Priscilla March 26 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks, Suzanne. That’s my signature touch – a little bit stew, a little bit Shepherd’s Pie! Glad you like it :)

  6. Marsha @ The Harried Cook March 26 at 8:27 pm #

    That looks hearty, warming and absolutely delicious! Perfect for a rainy day… I love the marrow in there and the potato on top! Yum!

  7. Laz March 26 at 8:45 pm #

    Awesome! Nothing much more to say. Guinness Stout! Bone Marrow! Pass me a damn cup.


  8. Terra March 26 at 9:49 pm #

    I remember when I first tried Guinness, I was in love with the flavor! I love it used in savory or sweet dishes, so beautiful! I love that you used the bone and marrow too, something new to try for sure:-) Hugs, Terra

  9. Angie@Angie's Recipes March 27 at 12:03 pm #

    A really flavourful and nutritious beef stew with black beer and bone marrow.

  10. Magic of Spice March 27 at 12:20 pm #

    What a fantastic looking stew…I think the boys are on there way to see if there are leftovers 😉 Love the tip!

  11. Nancy March 27 at 1:15 pm #

    Yay, I’ve been waiting to see this recipe :) I can eat soup and stew year round so I’ll be bookmarking this to try soon. Wine is great in food, beer I’ve only tried a few times but did like it. I am surprised with the coffee though. Definitely something to try, thanks!

  12. Sumayya (@pukkapaki) March 27 at 1:21 pm #

    Hey I love this recipe! how very Irish :) I am in the UK so this is something u come by a lot around here, though I have not found such lovely recipe nor such a good looking picture to do it justice! I shall be making this soon! thanks!

  13. Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) March 28 at 7:03 am #

    Where was the spring we had in winter, LOL! This stew would definitely be perfect right now. It’s cold and wet outside right now-I don’t really mind it, especially if it means I can enjoy heartwarming food like this.

  14. Jen L @ Tartine and Apron Strings March 28 at 7:51 pm #

    love your cast iron pot, by the way! yummm…looks unctuous and gooey and good to the bone (pun intended)!

  15. juliana loh (@bilbaobab) February 10 at 2:08 am #

    Looks and sounds delish!! comfort winter foods.. with a pint of Guinness…Yum!

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