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Irish Beef Stew

While this isn’t the most traditional Irish stew – since it’s made with beef instead of lamb – the addition of deep, flavorful Guinness and the sweetness of the parsnips really work to create an authentic, Irish flavor. Make it with lamb if you’re looking for a more traditional meal, but don’t forget to serve it with some creamy mashed potatoes.

overhead image of Irish beef stew with mashed potatoes

Why I love this Irish stew recipe

When we were living in France, we took a few trips to Ireland. Once to Dublin during the Christmas season and then again with my parents in the spring to check out the rest of the country and see the city where my grandfather was born. We even ended up meeting some distant relatives, which was pretty cool.

Each trip was amazing, and I loved the weather and the food so much. I ate so much Irish stew and so, so many mussels. It was pure heaven.

After both trips, I came home determined to make the best Irish beef stew ever, and the secret ingredient turned out to be parsnips! It gives it the unique flavor and makes the sauce thick and creamy – perfect for spooning over a heaping helping of mashed potatoes.

beef stew in a dutch oven

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

How to make Irish stew

Season and sear your meat. Pat the meat dry with paper towels (if needed and season it liberally with salt and pepper. You’ll need about 1 teaspoon coarse salt.

Heat olive oil to medium-high in a Dutch oven. When it’s hot, add the meat and brown, turning pieces as needed.

Sauté the vegetables. Add the vegetables, and sauté with the meat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Simmer the stew. Pour in your liquid and submerge the fresh herbs in the pot. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 2 hours.

Thicken the stew. Whisk the flour with the remaining broth and add it to the pot with the frozen peas. Increase heat to medium and cook until thickened.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

irish beef stew in a bowl with mashed potatoes garnished with fresh thyme

FAQs and tips for making the best Guinness stew

Does Guinness stew have alcohol?

Technically, yes Guinness stew has alcohol in it, but since it’s simmer for such a long time, the alcohol content mostly cooks out of it, and it will become similar to the content in a non-alcoholic beer. If you are avoiding alcohol, you might want to substitute beef broth for the Guinness.

Is Guinness vegan?

Yes. Guinness has been vegan for some time now. There are a few recently introduced variations of Guinness beer that aren’t, but the original stout is certified vegan.

What is Irish stew called in Ireland?

Irish stew is called stobhach gaelach in Ireland.

How do you thicken Irish stew?

You can thicken Irish stew – or really any stew – with a bit of liquid mixed with flour. Whisk about 1 – 2 tablespoons of flour with cold liquid until smooth and add it to the stew. Allow it to cook at a high temperature to thicken the sauce.

What is the best meat to use for stew?

We used beef stew meat for this recipe, but the best cut of meat for any stew is a fatty cut that benefits from long, slow cooking. My favorite cut for this is chuck roast.

closeup of Irish beef stew with mashed potatoes

More soups and stews you’ll love:

More St. Patrick’s Day recipes:

For more great St. Patrick’s Day recipes, check out roundup of Irish recipes


Irish Beef Stew

Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with this simple Irish beef stew. This stovetop recipe is made with hearty beef and vegetables, simmered until tender in a rich and flavorful Guinness broth. Make it with lamb for a more traditional meal, and serve it with some creamy mashed potatoes.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: Irish


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 sprig fresh)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 sprig fresh)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 14-ounce can Guinness stout
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas


  1. Liberally season the meat with salt & pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large stockpot. When the oil is hot, add the beef and brown.
  3. Add the onion, carrots, parsnip and garlic. All the vegetables to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the beer and beef broth and submerge the herbs. Cover the pot and bring it to a simmer.
  5. Simmer the stew over medium-low heat for 2 hours.
  6. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup beef broth with flour until smooth. Stir the mixture into the stew along with the frozen peas.
  7. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook for about ten more minutes, or until the stew has thickened.
  8. Before serving, remove the herbs and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, to taste.

Keywords: dairy free, Irish, St. Patrick’s Day, winter, comfort food, stew, beef stew

Recipe adapted from Lauren’s Latest.

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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    1. Traditionally Irish stew is made from the cheapest cuts of lamb or mutton – sheep. But beef is nice. I’m Irish, from Galway.

  1. My husband & I made your Irish Stew and it was delious. We both have cooked stew before, but your recipes never tasted as good as yousr. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I made this for my family for dinner tonight and everyone absolutely loved it. The parsnips were so good and the thick meaty gravy smothered mashed potatoes was divine. Thank you for posting. Were having this again soon!

  3. This is by far some of the best Irish Stew I’ve had in a long time! Thanks for the post. I’ll be adding this to my menu rotation for fall/winter. Thank you!!

  4. I just made this…and I planned on cooking it ahead and having it for dinner tomorrow and its taking ALL my self-control to not dive into a big serving tonight. I’ll just continue to “taste test” this a while longer 😉

  5. I just have a question about the mashed potato recipe – when do you add the garlic? I’ve actually seen recipes where you boil the garlic with the potatoes so I’m not sure what your recipe calls for. Thanks!

  6. My husband and I love this recipe! It’s my husband’s favorite thing that I make. I’d never cooked with parsnips before, but they really make the dish. Such a nice, sweet flavor and it’s just so good over the mashed potatoes. Thank you for this recipe!

  7. I made this today. It was delicious. I used baby potatoes red,white and blue potatoes. Thank you.

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