Irish Beef Stew with Guinness is a recipe that cooks all day to deliver a delicious, warm and comforting meal in the evening. Or make this in the Instant Pot! The perfect comfort food meal.
When we think of the foods of Ireland, potatoes come to mind. And I love potatoes! When I was a kid and my mom would make stew all I would eat is the potatoes.
Once those cubes had cooked in the gravy for hours they were soaked with all the flavors of the meat and veggies.
Can I make this stew in my Instant Pot pressure cooker?
Stew beef is typically not from a tender cut of meat, so it needs to either simmer for a long time to break down and tenderize the beef or it needs to cook under high pressure.
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If I have a busy day, I like to use my slow cooker, because I can prepare the stew in the morning, forget about it, and have a Gr8 meal that evening.
My mom always used her pressure cooker to make stew. This method tenderizes and cooks the meat in a fairly short amount of time. So I've also added the instructions for the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.
PS - I prefer the stew in the Instant Pot, but only because it reminds me of the stew my mom made. The CrockPot® is still a Gr8 alternative if you want to do all the work in the morning.
Whichever method you use, enjoy an Irish Stew, easy enough for a weekday, delicious enough for company!
How to serve stew as a weeknight meal.
- First, buy the stew meat already cut up. This saves a LOT of time!
- Cut your veggies up the night before and store in sealed containers in the fridge.
- You can also measure out all the spices the night before.
- In the morning, brown your meat then just throw everything in the slow cooker.
- After work, you'll just have to thicken the gravy! Easy!
How do you thicken Guinness stew?
Sometimes the potatoes will thicken the stew juices enough. However, if your dish is finished cooking and the gravy is still thinner than you prefer, use corn starch as a thickener.
Remove the meat and veggies from the slow cooker and place in a large bowl or serving dish. Turn the cooker to high and whisk in a couple tablespoons of corn starch. Continue to whisk occasionally until the gravy is thickened.
If you want this step to go faster, pour the liquid into a small pan and put in on the stove over medium-high heat. Then add the corn starch, whisking until thickened.
If you've used the pressure cooker, use the same method. Remove the meat and veggies, turn the instant pot saute feature on, and whisk in the corn starch until thickened.
Then pour the thickened gravy over the stew, stir, garnish with parsley and serve.
Does Guinness stew contain alcohol?
As the stew cooks the alcohol from the beer cooks off, evaporates, so the finished meal does not contain alcohol.
But the flavor from the Guinness is unmatched!
What to serve with Irish Beef Stew?
Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker or Electric Pressure Cooker
- Slotted Spoon or Spider
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½" cubes. I buy large potatoes and only need 2 or 3. This makes peeling much easier.
- 1 pound carrots, about 6 medium or 4 large, cut into 1 ½" to 2" pieces
- 1 large onion, cut in 8 wedges
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 pounds stew beef, fat trimmed and cut into 1 ½" cubes
- 1 ½ cups beef stock
- 1 12-ounce can Guinness beer
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled. If the cloves are small, feel free to use 3 or 4. Depending on how zesty you like your food!
- 2 Tablespoons corn starch
- 3 Tablespoons chopped parsley, to finish the dish
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Put the potatoes, carrots, and onions into the bottom of a large slow-cooker.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. (I find my cast-iron skillet works best for browning meat.)
- Add 2 Tablespoons oil to the pan and heat until shimmery.
- Put 1-pound of the beef into the pan and cook until browned and slightly caramelized, this will give your stew and lovely, deep flavor. Don't crowd the pan or the meat won't brown.
- Remove the browned beef from the pan with a slotted spoon and put on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan, if needed, and repeat the browning process with the rest of the meat. When this 2nd batch is finished browning, put the beef into the slow cooker and pour the drippings in on top.
- Add the stock, beer, balsamic vinegar, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the slow cooker.
- With the side of a wide knife or mallet, smash the garlic cloves and throw them into the mixture.
- Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 to 9 hours. If you're home, give it a stir every couple hours.
- When the beef is tender, if the gravy hasn't thickened to your liking, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and veggies to a bowl. Turn the slow cooker to high and whisk the corn starch into the gravy. Whisk occasionally, until thickened.
- Liberally sprinkle the fresh chopped parsley over the top just before serving. This adds a gr8 fresh taste to the stew that has been cooking all day.
Electric Pressure Cooker Instructions - 1 hour of pressure cooking time from start to last release - plus the ~40 minutes of prep/browning time.
- Turn the electric pressure cooker to the Sauté function, add 2 Tablespoons of the oil and heat until shimmery.
- Put half of the beef cubes into the cooker and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Remove the beef to a bowl and add the other pound of meat to the pot to brown. If you think you need to add a bit more oil, then add it 1 Tablespoon at a time. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.
- When those cubes are browned leave them in the pot and add about ½ cup of the beef broth. Stir, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom. This gets all that delicious caramelization incorporated into the mixture.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, and onion, then put the first batch of beef on top and add the rest of the broth, the Guinness, balsamic vinegar, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
- With the side of a wide knife or mallet, smash the garlic cloves and throw them into the mixture. Then give it a stir to mix it all up.
- Turn the Sauté function off and set the pot to pressure cook on HIGH for 25 minutes. It usually takes about 15 minutes to come to pressure, then 25 minutes to cook.
- Once the 25 minutes is up, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Use a slotted spoon to move the meat and veggies from the pot to a serving bowl, remove the bay leaf and discard.
- Now thicken the gravy. Turn the pot to the Sauté function then whisk in the 2 Tablespoons of corn starch until dissolved. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened. This should take about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Pour the gravy over the beef mixture, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve.