Last year for St. Patrick's Day, I tried to make you guys a great Irish pot pie. Irish in that it had Guinness in it. It was so good except for one thing. It was crazy bitter. Like barely choke it down bitter. I took some great pictures (or what I thought were great at the time since I was just starting this take pictures of your food thing), and I was all set to post it. But then I thought and I thought, and I tried it again, and I couldn't. It was too bitter, and I didn't really understand how it came to be so dang bitter.

The week after St. Paddy's day last year, I was watching an episode of Chopped on the Food Network, and one of the basket ingredients was a porter beer, like Guinness. I believe it was Alex Guarnaschelli who said that you couldn't cook that beer for too long or it would turn out really bitter. I was so happy to hear that, and I tucked away that nugget of information for almost a year and finally made this stew.

The beauty of this stew is its simplicity. The only seasoning other than salt and pepper? Bay leaves. I found that the veggies, beef, and Guinness gave it plenty of flavor. I cooked this stew for about five hours and added the beer after three hours. I think you could trim that down to about three hours total and add the beer for just the last hour. You really only need to cook the stew long enough for the veggies to soften and the meat to tenderize. And the valuable lesson is that you definitely don't want to cook that beer for too long. Trust me on that one!

Irish Beef Stew Recipe
Serves 4-6
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2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound stew meat
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Salt and pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
8-10 baby yellow potatoes, cut into small chunks
4 ounces mushrooms, quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cups beef broth
3 bay leaves
1 can Guinness draught

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large zipped bag. Add in the stew meat and shake until the flour is coating the meat. Set aside. In a large saucepan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat until hot. Add in the onion, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms and cook until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove the vegetables to a bowl or plate.

Add the other tablespoon of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add half of the floured stew meat to the pan and let cook for 2 minutes without moving so it can brown. Then stir it around and let it brown on all sides. Repeat with the remaining meat, adding more oil if needed before browning. Pour about 1/2 cup of the broth into the pan and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add in the rest of the broth, the can of tomatoes, cooked veggies, beef, and the bay leaves. Let simmer for 2-3 hours or until the veggies are soft and the meat is tender.

One hour before you are ready to eat, add in the can of Guinness draught and let simmer on low heat. Serve hot.

A She Makes and Bakes recipe
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03/14/2013 8:42pm

Hi, Just came through to your site from foodgawker while looking at Irish Stew recipes. yours is gorgeous! Happy to have found your blog, we must be neighbors to some extent, I am in the Denver suburbs too and am looking forward to following along with your recipes. Holly

03/30/2013 8:03pm

My best friend and I just tried your recipe and while this was his first experience with alcohol and he was a little taken aback by the Guinness flavour, we both indulged in this delicious, hearty stew! It is just as delicious as it is visually appealing! Thank you so much for this! mmmm!

04/25/2013 1:53pm

I have this simmering on the stove right now and it smells delicious! Can't wait for dinner time...


This article has some great and useful information about this subject. Thank you for sharing it in an easy to read and understandable format. Thanks for sharing this great information.


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