This Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew is full of fall apart tender beef, potatoes and carrots, with a rich broth flavored with Guinness. After cooking all day in the crock pot, enjoy this Guinness beef stew on St. Patricks day or any other day of the year!
It’s no secret that I LOVE St. Patrick’s Day. As an Irish American girl, I grew up eating Irish Beef Stew more often than Corned Beef and Cabbage. A few years ago I developed an Irish Guinness Beef Stew recipe, that is still one of my favorite St. Patrick’s day recipes. But making a good stew can take a few hours in the oven, and that isn’t always a possibility on a weeknight. That is why I decided to develop this Guinness beef stew for the crock pot.
A slow cooker is great for those times you want to “set it and forget it” – but sometimes it can lose all the delicious flavor that we normally get from braising in the oven. I tried to recreate as much of that slow roasted oven flavor in this crock pot stew recipe, so there are a few extra steps at the beginning. But once you get everything in the crock pot, it is hands off!
How to make a flavorful beef stew in the Slow Cooker
It is important to develop some flavor before putting all the ingredients into the slow cooker. We toss the beef in flour, salt and pepper. The flour helps the stew thicken as it cooks. We start by browning the beef, then sauteing some onions. We also add some tomato paste for a richer flavor, and finally the guinness, which adds a deep flavor. These steps help to create a flavorful stew, even when using your crockpot.
How do you thicken Irish Beef Stew?
In this recipe, we toss the beef with flour before browning it. Adding the flour helps the broth to thicken as it cooks. It is important to use all the flour that is called for to toss with the beef. If you find that the stew is not as thick as you would like when it is done cooing, you can create a slurry to reach the desired consistency.
To make a slurry, mix a few tablespoons of flour with about 1/4 cup of broth from the stew. Mix until it is a smooth consistency, then add it back to the stew and stir to fully combine. Allow the stew to cook for 20-30 more minutes, broth will thicken as it cooks.
What sides go with Irish Beef stew?
Stew can easily be a one pot meal, but you may want to serve some sides with it.
A nice, hearty bread is a great side for stew, especially good for dipping into the hearty broth. Check out my Irish Guinness Brown Bread recipe.
What do you drink with Irish Stew?
Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew
- 3 ½ pounds beef chuck cut into 1 and 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 onions finely diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 ½ cups Guinness beer divided
- 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 pound carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
- fresh parsley
- Season beef with salt and pepper toss with flour to fully coat. Use all the flour.
- Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Brown beef on all sides, working in batches if necessary to avoid over crowding pan. Remove beef from pan and transfer to slow cooker.
- Return pan to heat, add another tablespoon of oil. Add the onions, season with salt and sauté until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat as needed to avoid burning the onions.
- When onions are golden, add the tomato paste and garlic, stir until combined and a "fond" (the brown bits) is starting to develop on the bottom of the pot.
- Slowly whisk in the beef broth, scrapping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add 1/2 a cup of the Guinness, the brown sugar, and the fresh thyme. Whisk to combine.
- Add potatoes and carrots to slow cooker. Carefully pour broth over meat and vegetables.
- Set slow cooker to low and cook for 6-8 hours. If broth is not desired consistency, see notes for how to thicken it.
- When finished cooking, stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of Guinness and fresh chopped parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.