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Beef in Guinness

Posted by Denise on March 16, 2014

beef in guinness in bowl

Tender beef and mushrooms simmer in a delicate beer gravy in this easy recipe.

As we were planning for Saint Patrick’s Day dinner, I happened upon a Beef in Guinness recipe in The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook that looked too good not to try. And it is really good! Although I’m not a fan of drinking beer because I don’t like the taste, the Guinness adds dimension to the flavors of the dish. Onions and fresh mushrooms simmer with the meat and herbs to create a homey gravy that is surprisingly beefy and not beer-y. Add a salad and some crusty bread and it’s the perfect dinner for cool evenings. Both Glenn and Andy ate two bowls each and gave it high marks.

Guinness Extra Stout is an Irish export known the world over. It’s a very dark, heavy-bodied, strong-tasting beer. It seems thick to me. A friend of mine, Jean, loves Guinness Extra Stout because she says she loves a beer that you have to chew before you swallow! But even the strong flavor of Guinness beer is tamed when cooked and making Beef in Guinness stew is no exception. The beer seems to bring out the beefy flavors of the meat without overpowering it. And a touch of brown sugar in the recipe takes the bitter edge off. It was even better the second night.

Stew beef is leftover beef from slicing steaks and other cuts of meat, so it’s a combination of cuts from various parts of the cow, typically mostly from the chuck portion. Some of the meat can be tough if cooked using other methods, but turns tender and juicy when simmered for a long time. Stew beef tends to be cheaper that other cuts. Don’t waste an expensive cut of beef for this stew, because the stew beef turns out perfectly tender. Cut out silver skin or extra fat before slicing the meat into bite-sized pieces. 

I think this would be a wonderful crock pot recipe if cooked on low for 6-8 hours. Take the lid off of the slow cooker for the last half hour only if the sauce needs to thicken slightly. Take the time to brown the flour-coated beef before putting it into the slow cooker since that helps to add flavor and remove the taste of the flour.  Beef in Guinness also freezes well. Reheat on low or medium low on the stove, adding a little water if needed to thin the gravy slightly and it will make a wonderful meal on cool busy evenings.


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Beef in Guinness

 beeif in Guinness ingredients

Beef in Guinness ingredients. 


Makes 8 to 10 servings





pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2” cubes, remove excess fat


cup all-purpose flour


Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


tablespoons vegetable oil


large onions, coarsely chopped


pound mushrooms, halved or quartered if large


12-ounce bottles Guinness Extra Stout beer


cups beef stock


teaspoon brown sugar


teaspoon dried thyme


Generous pinch of ground nutmeg


bay leaves



1.  Combine the meat, flour, and salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss until the meat is coated. Heat the oil in a large cast iron Dutch oven over high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the meat in two batches to brown them on each side, about 10 minutes each batch. When browned, remove from the pan and set aside.

flour mixture flouring beef

browning beef


2.   Add the onions to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the browned beef to the pan and add the mushrooms, beer, beef stock, brown sugar, thyme, nutmeg, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Stir everything together.


 cooking onions mushrooms

mushrooms in pan adding beer

adding beef stock

adding brown sugar to stew


3.   Bring to a boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, just until the beef is nearly falling apart and easily pierced through with a fork, about 2 hours. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if  needed. Remove the bay leaves and serve.


 boiling in pot

beef in Guiness in small bowl


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