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How To Make The Very Best Guinness Irish Stew

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Last Modified: March 7, 2024
Published: March 7, 2024

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It's Fast Easy And Delicious In Your Instant Pot

GUinness Irish Stew

Guinness Irish Stew is a traditional dish often served on St. Patrick's Day. The Irish usually make this dish with lamb, but beef reigns supreme as red meat here.

Beef just works here in Nebraska, with our apologies to the Emerald Isle! I've never shopped for lamb, but if you have a really good lamb dish, you might inspire me to try it.

Good news! It doesn't take all day to make fork-tender beef, swimming with carrots and celery in amazing Guinness-infused brown gravy.

With your Instant Pot, an unforgettable meal of this classic stew is yours to enjoy in less than an hour. Serve it over creamy mashed potatoes. Aye, it's a wee bit of magic.

Guinness Adds Culinary Magic To Your This Traditional Irish Stew

Cooking with beer adds a deep, incredibly earthy flavor to savory dishes like chili and stew. We always add a bottle of beer to our chili. Never fear; you do not taste the beer, but it transforms the dish into something more savory. If alcohol consumption is a concern for you, there are non-alcoholic options, including Guinness' own Guinness 0.0.

Beer is also great for roasting earthy vegetables like carrots, parsnips, turnips, and potatoes. These root vegetables are high in sugars, and the bitterness in beer pairs beautifully with them all.

Beer can be used in marinades, batters, and sauces. It can also be used to deglaze a pan, in a slow cooker, and when you braise less tender cuts of meat. Beer contains enzymes that break down tough fibers in the meat. It also adds another layer of caramelly flavor.

Hops are the green cone-shaped flowers of the Hops vine. Inside each flower are tiny yellow pods that give bitterness and aroma to beer. I have a huge hops vine in one flower bed. I train it to grow on an arched trellis because the fascinating plant can grow thirty feet in a season!

Brewers counteract the bitterness by adding malt, which gives beer its sweetness and balances the flavors.

Why Dark Beer Is Perfect For Guinness Irish Stew

Most beers are brewed with barley malt, a natural sweetener derived from barley. The variation in the color and body of a beer is determined by how darkly the malt is roasted—the darker the roast, the darker the beer that results. The roast affects the flavor of the finished beer.

The flavor of a light beer comes from the floral and fruity essences and the refreshing bitterness of the hops. Dark beers have a deeper, more complex set of flavors, including chocolate and toffee notes from the malt.

Guinness is the most iconic of all Irish beers. It is so dark, almost black, and very rich. Guinness is the not-so-secret ingredient that gives the gravy in this recipe its characteristic deep flavor and color. Irish Stew is the most beloved and flavorful of all stews, and the deep dark brown of this gravy is the best of the best.

A Wee Bit Of History About The Guinness Company In Ireland

The Guinness company was founded by brewer Arthur Guinness way back in 1759. He started his brewery in an abandoned building in a poor area of Dublin. The founder then made an amazing deal with the city. He rented the place for 45 pounds a year and signed a lease for 9,000 years.

Guinness is still brewed at St. James Gate, and the company still pays 45 pounds in rent yearly. In American dollars, 45 pounds is about $61.00.

Today, Guinness is sold worldwide and is one of the most famous stouts. For centuries, a touch of Irish genius, a good-quality product, a strong brand image, and clever advertising have kept it incredibly successful. The harp symbol as a logo dates back to 1862, making the Guinness logo one that has stood the test of time.

How To Make A Fine Pot Of Guinness Irish Stew In About An Hour

Begin by cutting beef stew meat or a similar cut into chunky cubes about the size of ice cubes. Remove excess fat, but leave some for the flavor! This step is easiest when the meat is just barely defrosted. Season the beef liberally with garlic powder and fresh ground pepper, pressing it into the meat.

Pour a puddle of olive oil into the Instant Pot set to a high saute setting. Brown the cubes on all sides. Do not crowd the beef; the meat will steam and not brown. You may need to do it in two batches to achieve a good brown, a step essential for a delicious gravy. For the best results, don't hurry this step!

Pour about half a bottle of Guinness beer (more if you prefer) and four cups of water over the beef. Scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot and stir them into the liquid.

Add a bay leaf or two, two heaping tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon beef base, two teaspoons of dried thyme, and the instant minced onion. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 35 minutes. Drop pressure and remove the lid.

Thicken with a slurry of cornstarch and water to your desired consistency. Ladle into large bowls over mashed potatoes for an incredible dinner! Be sure to have some wonderful bread to sop up all the gravy and mop the bowl clean!


Yield: 6 servings

Guinness Irish Stew

Guinness irish Stew

A hearty traditional Irish beef and vegetable stew with Guinness you can make in about an hour with an Instant Pot.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1.5 to 2 pounds of lean beef stew meat, boneless beef ribs, or chuck steak
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Coarse ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp of garlic powder or to taste
  • 2 tbsp instant minced onion or to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 heaping Tbsp Better Than Bouillon beef base
  • 3/4 cup Guiness beer or more to taste (use less water if you use more beer)
  • 1-2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped celery
  • 2 cups peeled and thick-sliced carrots
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch well blended into 1/2 cup cold water for slurry


  1. Season meat with garlic powder and pepper.
  2. Pour olive oil into the Instant Pot, set to saute high, and brown the beef cubes in two batches, if necessary, to achieve a deep brown color.
  3. Set the browned beef aside.
  4. Deglaze the pot when you add water and beer. Loosen and stir brown bits into the liquid.
  5. Add the beef, bouillon, thyme, bay leaves, celery and carrots, minced onion, water, and beer to Instant Pot.
  6. Pressure cook on high for 35 minutes.
  7. Drop pressure and thicken with a slurry made from cornstarch and water. Add slurry gradually; you may not need all of it.
  8. Serve over mashed potatoes or colcannon.

We think of Guinness Irish stew as a meal served on St. Patrick's Day, but we hope you serve it often when it's this easy to make! For a complete experience and a wonderful Irish dinner on St. Patrick's Day, you might enjoy Traditional Irish Colcannon and Perfect Irish Soda Bread!

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