Go Back
Overhead shot of Irish beef stew in a ceramic serving dish.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Save this Recipe

Please leave a rating!

5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew

This is a simple peasant meal that cooks all day in the slow cooker or in less than an hour in the pressure cooker. Some people add peas at the end for color and flavor. I like a sprinkle of parsley for the fresh flavor it lends to the dish.
Cook times are for the slow cooker.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Slow Cooker Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 40 mins
Course: Beef, Main Course, Stew
Cuisine: Irish American
Keyword: Beef Stew, Guinness Irish Beef Stew, Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 474kcal
Author: Anna

Special Equipment

  • Slow Cooker or Electric Pressure Cooker
  • Slotted Spoon or Spider
  • Whisk


  • 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.



Gr8 Do Ahead Tips:
This dish can be made the day before and reheated on your stove-top or in the microwave.
I have frozen mine in a freezer bag. It reheats okay, but the potatoes are a little mealy. This stew is definitely better before being frozen.
*Recipe amended 2/22/21 - removed butter used in browning and just use oil.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1041mg | Potassium: 1551mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 12815IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Great8Friends or tag #gr8food!