Irish Beef & Beer Stew

Wild Mushroom Beef Stew


  • 4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2-1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can dark stout beer (such as Guinness)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freschly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2-1/2 cups stock (beef or chicken), or as needed to cover
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes (optional)


  1. Cook and stir bacon in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until bacon is browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off heat and transfer bacon into a large stew pot, reserving bacon fat in the skillet.
  2. Season beef chuck cubes generously with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. Turn heat to high under skillet and sear beef pieces in the hot fat on both sides until browned, about 5 minutes. Place beef in stew pot with bacon, leaving fat in skillet. Turn heat down to medium; cook and stir onions in the retained fat in the skillet until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes; season with a large pinch of salt.
  3. Cook garlic with onions until soft, about 1 minute; pour beer into skillet and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up and dissolving any browned bits of food into the liquid. Pour cooking liquid from skillet into the stew pot. Stir in tomato paste, thyme sprigs, carrots, celery, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and enough chicken broth to cover.
  4. Bring stew to a gentle simmer, stirring to combine; reduce heat to low and cover pot. Simmer stew until beef is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Stir stew occasionally and skim fat or foam if desired.
  5. Remove cover and raise heat to medium-high. Bring stew to a low boil and cook until stew has slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Arrange mashed potatoes in a ring in a serving bowl; ladle stew into the center of the potatoes.

Recipe adapted from Chef John's Beef and Guinness Stew at

Instant Pot Adaption

If you are a fan of the "instant" meals that you can create in your electric pressure cooker, this recipe is a great fit! The completed dish still benefits from a good sear of your roast, we suggest doing that in a hot cast iron skillet on the stove top while you saute the onions in your Instant Pot on the Saute setting. 

Place the seared beef into the hot pressure cooker with your onions. De-glaze your cast iron skillet with a bit of beef broth using a whisk or spoon to scrape up all of the dark bits and flavor from the skillet, pour this over beef. 

Add remaining ingredients, seal lid and set to STEW for 60 minutes. Use the natural pressure release method. 

If your broth is not thick enough for your liking, you can use a measuring cup to take out about 1/2 cup of the broth and whisk in 1 tablespoon corn starch. Then turn on Saute and slowly pour the cornstarch slurry in to simmer with stew until broth is thickened.

Crock Pot Adaptation

Much like the pressure cooker, the slow cooker can be used to make a "set it and forget it" version of this stew. 

Sear beef, following the same steps as in the pressure cooker recipe adaptation. 

Combine all ingredients (including cooking liquid from the de-glazed skillet) in the slow cooker, seal lid and set on low-medium setting for 6-8 hours. 

The broth can be thickened, to desired consistency, with a corn starch slurry like the pressure cooker recipe adaptation.