Irish Guinness stew with mashed potatoes, soda bread and — of course — a pint of Guinness. (Quil Ceda Creek Casino)

Irish Guinness stew with mashed potatoes, soda bread and — of course — a pint of Guinness. (Quil Ceda Creek Casino)

Don’t wait for St. Paddy’s Day 2025 to cook up this Irish stew

This take on traditional Irish stew from a Quil Ceda Creek Casino chef is a delicious and practical way to feed the whole family.

  • By Greg Guest Quil Ceda Creek Casino
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024 12:07pm
  • Food & Drink

By Greg Guest / Quil Ceda Creek Casino

Stewing first came to prominence in Ireland during a period of economic turmoil and mass poverty in the 18th century. With only a hanging pot over an open fire and a handful of easily attainable ingredients, even poor families could survive on a simple stew.

Irish stew was originally made with as little as two additional ingredients — onions and potatoes. Luckier families may have been able to use goat or lamb and been fortunate to add more root vegetables like carrots, turnips or parsnips.

The flavorful Irish stews of today are often made with varieties of meat and Guinness Extra Stout as an added ingredient. And though (and maybe because) the basic elements of the recipe remain unchanged, it is still one of the best-loved dishes in Ireland.

It’s a delicious and practical way to feed the whole family — a week after St. Patrick’s Day and year-round.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2½ pounds boneless beef chuck

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 onions, chopped (white or yellow)

3 tablespoons flour (all purpose)

15 ounces Guinness beer

4 tablespoons tomato paste

3 cups beef broth

3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

2 (large) celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 bay leaves

3 thyme sprigs (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves)

Cut the beef into 2-inch chunks; pat dry, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef in batches and brown, turning frequently. Remove beef from pot.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and caramelize to a medium brown; add garlic and cook until soft (approximately 2 minutes).

Stir in carrot and celery and heat until softened.

Add flour and stir for one minute

Add Guinness, beef broth and tomato paste; mix well.

Add bay leaves and thyme.

Return the beef to the pot, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for two hours. Remove lid, simmer an additional 30-45 minutes until sauce has reduced and thickened.

Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems.

Serve with mashed potatoes, and for added authenticity a loaf of Irish soda bread, available in many bakeries around St. Patrick’s Day.

Gregory T. Guest is a veteran chef with more than 40 years of experience in the food service industry. In 2009 he joined the Quil Ceda Creek Casino.

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