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A Cooking Adventure with Thom

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Irish Guinness Stew

Servings: 4

Guinness Stout Beer is an Irish institution that is almost a meal in itself.  After a recent trip to Ireland and eating real Irish Guinness Stew for the first time, I knew when I came home I had to develop my own recipe for it.  My Classic American Beef Stew is where I started adding rich Guinness and using Lamb instead of Beef.  Lamb is the traditional Irish Meat used in most Irish Stews but Beef is a perfect substitute.   The Guinness and flavors of the Vegetables and caramelized Lamb create an amazing taste like no other.  Use either Beef or Lamb and the Stew will be incredible either way.  When you are cooking with Guinness you will be cooking with the luck of the Irish and Cooking The Amazing.


4 lbs.  Lamb Shoulder or Beef Chuck Roast
2 T  Olive Oil
3/4 c  All Purpose Flour
1 t  Fine Grain Sea Salt
1 t  Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1  Can Of Guinness (14. 9 Oz)
6 T  Tomato Paste
1 T  Worcestershire Sauce
2 t  Fine Grain Sea Salt
2 t  Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 t  Dried Thyme
3 t  Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
4  Cloves of Peeled Garlic
2  Bay Leaves
6 T  Beef Base
5  Large Potatoes Peeled, Quartered
3  Large Yellow Onions Peeled, Quartered
3  Medium Carrots Peeled, Chopped
3  Stalks Celery Chopped Large Chunks
2 c  Water (more if needed)

Cooking Method

1.  Prepare all of the Vegetables ahead before you touch the Meat.  Peel the Potatoes and quarter them, peel the Carrots and cut into large 2 inch pieces, peel and quarter the Onions, Peel the Garlic and cut each clove in half and cut the Celery into large 2 inch pieces.  Big pieces of Veg will stay large and will not shrink up to nothing while it stews.  Set all aside.  Measure out all of the other ingredients and set aside ready for use later.

2.  Use a large heavy bottomed pot for this recipe like a Dutch Oven that is at least 6 qts.  A flimsy thin pot will burn your stew and not allow the Meat to brown (where all the flavor starts) properly.  Have a Cookie sheet ready to help transfer the pot to and from the oven safely.

3.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

4.  Pat dry the Lamb or Beef Roast using paper towel and then cut off excess fat and reserve it.  Leave a small amount of fat on the Meat because this will give the Stew some flavor.  Cut the Lamb or Beef into large chunks about 2 inches square.   The Meat shrinks while it stews so you want big pieces and not look like baby food when it's done.

5.  Place all the chunked Meat into a big zip lock bag and pour in 3/4 c All Purpose Flour.  Seal the bag after removing any air and shake until the Meat is all covered with Flour.  The Flour will thicken the Stew as it cooks.

6.  Place a large heavy bottomed pot (like a Le Creuset Dutch Oven) over medium heat with 2 T Olive Oil.  Add all the removed fat you trimmed to the Olive Oil and brown it for 5 mins.  This will melt the fat and give the Stew lots of flavor.  After the fat has rendered remove the pieces of browned fat and discard.

7.  Brown the Lamb or Beef in 2 batches.  Add 1/2 of the Flour covered Lamb or Beef chunks to the pot keeping them well spaced so they caramelize.   Putting them too close together and crowding the pot will make them steam and not brown.  Add 1/2 t of Salt and 1/2 t of Black Pepper, fresh ground to each batch as it browns.  Brown the Lamb or Beef to a dark color on all sides, turning frequently and watching closely to avoid burning.  This step is critical to the final Stew's flavor, don't lightly brown the Meat.

8.  Remove the well browned Lamb or Beef and set aside on a platter or plate.  The bottom of the pot will have a lot of browned cooked on bits.  This is full of Meat flavor.  Turn the heat up to high and slowly add a 14.9 oz. can of Guinness Beer.  Using a large wooden spoon scrape up all the cooked on brown bits on the bottom of the pot as the Guinness deglazes it.  Be aggressive with the wooden spoon and work to scrape it up into the Guinness.  Bring to a boil.

9.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the Tomato Paste, Worcestershire Sauce, 2 t Sea Salt, 2 t Black Pepper, fresh ground, 2 t dried Thyme, 3 t Rosemary that has been finely chopped, 4 cloves of fresh Garlic, peeled and cut in half, 2 Bay Leaves, 6 T Beef Base (such as Better Than Boullion brand found near the Boullion cubes at the market) and 2 c water.  Simmer for 2 minutes then add back all of the browned Lamb or Beef including any juices that accumulated on the platter.  Stir well.

10.  Add all the prepped Veg on top.  Use a large spoon and push the Veg down into the Meat and Sauce.  Add up to 1 c of Water if needed to have enough Sauce almost, but not completely, cover the Veg.  Some Veg and Meat should stick out above the Sauce.  Turn up the heat to High and bring to a boil with the lid off.  Once at a boil cover with the lid and place on the Cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven.  Cook for 2 1/2 hours at 325 degrees undisturbed.

11.  After 2 1/2 hours remove from the oven and remove the lid and allow to sit for 20 mins.  Any excess fat will rise to the top.  Spoon this off and discard.   As it sits the Sauce will thicken.  Taste the Sauce for seasoning and add more Salt or Black Pepper if needed and stir in well.  REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES so no one chokes on them.  Serve with Irish Soda Bread with Butter or any dark Bread like the Irish do with a pint of ice cold Guinness.

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