Beef and Guinness Stew

by Jacqueline on March 15, 2013

A beautiful dish to commemorate Irish cuisine

Beef and Guinness Stew

Before I took the name of my husband, my maiden name was Duffy so you can imagine Irish blood runs through my veins. I have only visited Ireland on a few occasions but each time, the welcome has been very warm and genuine. With this great nation, comes big hearts and it is a country of which I am very fond. Although, not renowned for it’s soaring temperatures, (a bit like Scotland!), the fields of Ireland are very green for a reason! However, the Irish know how to have fun and good craic is guaranteed each time you visit.

Growing up as a teenager, one of my favourite films was The Commitments, I’m a big fan of soul music and while I listened to the soundtrack incessantly, it was not just the music that made the film for me, the humour and the overall theme of overcoming hardship made it compelling viewing.

At University, if I was in the company of my Irish friends, then it would always lead to an evening filled with belly-aching laughter. I have such happy memories and my time there was more enjoyable in part, thanks to them. Among my favourite comedians are Ed Byrne and Dara Ó Briain. You will understand why if you view this clip here.

It would of course be remiss of me not to mention that beautiful accent too. Okay…. I might be slightly biased! If, you haven’t seen it already, there is a film on Jenny Keogh’s website celebrating Irish slang and phrases here. It brought a huge smile to my face. What do you think of it?

A Bottle of Guinness

It is true what they say, you know, you haven’t tasted the real thing, until you actually drink Guinness in Ireland. It tastes completely different and far superior to any other Guinness I have tasted since. Any trip to Dublin should include a visit to The Guinness Brewery I was very much encouraged about the history of Guinness and how well Arthur Guinness provided for his employees. The sites of Dublin from The Gravity Bar are not to be missed and you can spend some time poring over the many successful advertising campaigns from the Guinness empire.

The Black Stuff

Guinness – One of Ireland’s finest exports

So with it being St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday 17 March, I thought I would make a dish that I have resorted to time and time again using one of Ireland’s finest exports. This Beef and Guinness Stew is quite rich but the slow cooking renders the beef into a melt in the mouth texture, contrasted with the large chunky pieces of carrot and served alongside buttery, fluffy mash – this dish is comfort food all the way. You can find the recipe here.

Intensely flavoured slow cooked Beef and Guiness Stew

Although, it is probably not the most original when it comes to celebrating Irish cuisine, I do make this dish quite a lot, especially in the colder, Winter months. It is such an easy dish to prepare and the slow cooking means that you have plenty of time to catch up on other things. All the better for me!

Serving mashed potato is the obvious choice for me but to accentuate the Irish experience, you could serve it with Colcannon (leaving out the ham!). Rachel Allen has a good recipe here.

Other Irish recipes I spotted that look rather appealing include:

Irish Cabbage and Bacon Soup with Blarney Castle and Sourdough Toasts by GirliChef

Irish Soda Farls by Niamh Shields

Farmhouse Cheese and Caraway Soda Bread Puddings by Ruth Cousineau

So if you are inspired by any of them, why not give them a go?

Guinness can be a very rich, I enjoy it very cold in a half pint, any more then I would find it quite rich. My hubbie on the other hand can sink a few pints quite easily. What are your thoughts on Guinness? Are you a fan? I’d love to know in the comments below!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all celebrating!

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angela Darroch March 15, 2013 at 8:44 am

Reading this post took me back a few years. The first movie my hubby and I watched together was The Commitments. We loved it and still to this day I love the soundtrack album and of course nobody can forget that scene with the horse in the lift. Classic!! This stew looks lovely and perfect for these cold, miserable days.


2 Jacqueline March 15, 2013 at 10:29 am

Glad to have taken you on a nostalgic trip Angela! Loved the music and yes the horse taking the lift was a cracker!


3 rita cooks italian March 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I like beer but unfortunately, I am not a big fan of Guinness (sorry, it is not my type of taste). The stew looks simple and flavoursome thanks to the beer (I guess), so I will check the recipe and buy ….a Guinness!! Ciao and happy St Patrick day.


4 Jacqueline March 16, 2013 at 4:42 am

I think like many others Guinness isn’t loved by all. It can be rich and heavy – I like it cold and in small doses!


5 Katharine March 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Lovely celebration of all things Irish! And a great stew – I make a similar one and I love the rich, intense sauce that the Guinness makes. And so true about how Guinness tastes – I don’t like it generally but love it when I’m in Ireland – as you say, it’s just completely different!


6 Jacqueline March 16, 2013 at 4:43 am

Thanks Katharine. It’s a completely different taste, isn’t it?


7 Heather @girlichef March 16, 2013 at 1:23 am

Oh, this is so beautiful…a big full of that warm, enveloping Irish welcome! I love Guinness here at home…or in Ireland (oh how I want to take another trip soon). I fell in love with both the Irish and the Scots on my trip to learn more about Whisk(e)y. :) Thanks so much for sharing a link to my soup, as well!


8 Jacqueline March 16, 2013 at 4:44 am

It’s a pleasure Heather – I love how creative your dishes are. The soup is an absolute winner! Hope you can make it back to Scotland and Ireland soon.


9 Monet March 16, 2013 at 2:38 am

I had a feeling you’d share something delicious for Saint Patrick’s day. And I wasn’t wrong! I always get so excited when I see another one of your posts. Thank you for sharing this rich and delicious stew, my sweet friend!


10 Jacqueline March 16, 2013 at 4:45 am

Thanks Monet – that’s a really kind thing to say.


11 Maggie March 16, 2013 at 10:38 am

I always enjoy a delicious long slow cooked stew and always leave mine until the next day for the flavours to develop before I use it. I’m not sure if you are in the UK but we need comfort food here. I wonder why Rachel Allen put ham into her Colcannon?


12 Jacqueline March 17, 2013 at 5:46 am

I think leaving it until the next day to eat is a good idea. When I make it – it usually serves 4 people so we eat it over 2 days and the last day is always better as you say, the flavours develop so well. I had always imagined Colcannon without ham but I’m certainly no expert ;-)


13 Janice March 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I’ll bet that stew was good, nothing better than slow cooked beef in ale. Happy St Patrick’s Day.


14 Jacqueline March 17, 2013 at 5:47 am

It’s so easy to make, isn’t it Janice? Makes my tummy very happy!


15 Mich Piece of Cake March 17, 2013 at 9:46 am

Your stew is totally mouth-watering! I would love to have a bowl with bread or rice.


16 Jacqueline March 17, 2013 at 9:52 am

Thanks Michelle. It tastes pretty good. I’m sure one of your homemade breads would go really well with it!


17 Rachel K @MarmadukeS March 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm

As someone with a bit of Irish in me (and with a surname like Kelly, it couldn’t be any other way!) I have to admit that I am rather fond of Guinness, but like you – cold and in small doses. Cooking with it is something of a revelation too – long slow cooking with Guinness gives really complex flavours. Your stew looks absolute fabulous.

My father (who used to work for Guinness in the 1970s) says that the reason why Guinness tastes so much better in Ireland is because of the water they use, the temperature it is served at (cool) and the fact that every self-respecting pub landlord knows how to look after it (it needs tender care!)


18 Jacqueline March 18, 2013 at 1:35 am

Ah, at last a decent explanation for why the taste is so much better! Thanks Rachel! Really enjoy the intense flavour of this stew. Feel good food all round.


19 Franglais kitchen March 17, 2013 at 9:41 pm

As you say, this stew is perfect for places and times where the sun and warm weather is less than obliging! it must smell so lovely as it cooks. I do love the intensity of flavour in slow cooked meat stews. This sounds divine. With Mash I think for me!


20 Jacqueline March 18, 2013 at 1:36 am

Thanks Nazima – I think it tastes even better the next day after resting ;-)


21 Nic March 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Although I don’t particularly like neat Guinness, I would definitely enjoy it in a stew, yours is just right for St. Patrick’s Day. Hope you had a good one! x


22 Jacqueline March 19, 2013 at 3:11 am

I know what you mean Nic, it develops such a deep, rich flavour in the stew. Thanks for your comment!


23 kellie@foodtoglow March 20, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Gosh, that looks so hearty and rib-stickingly good. I just want to grab a spoon (or should it be fork?) and plunge right in. Perfect for the horrid weather we are still getting. PS I loved The Commitments too. I wonder what Andrew Strong is up to now?


24 Jacqueline March 22, 2013 at 4:56 am

It is Kellie and probably not the most healthy of dishes but sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind! Yes, Andrew Strong had such a powerful voice – I’d read stories of the band getting back together but I’m not sure if there is any truth behind it.


25 Katerina March 20, 2013 at 7:42 pm

It is true that tasting the local specialties to their homeland is completely different than trying them in another country! It has happened to me with Greek food in the US. This stew looks caramelized and so delicious!


26 Jacqueline March 22, 2013 at 5:00 am

Hi Katerina and welcome to my blog! There are only a few Greek specialties of which I’m aware. I’ll pop over and find out more on your blog. Thanks for the comment!


27 lisaiscooking March 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Happy (late) Saint Patrick’s Day! I’m mostly Irish and have been to Ireland once. I did visit the Guinness Brewery and loved the view. Your stew looks fantastic with those chunks of carrots!


28 Jacqueline March 22, 2013 at 4:58 am

A belated Happy St. Pat’s to you too Lisa. I think the carrots really make the stew – I would still adore without the beef ;-)


29 Caroline Taylor March 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Lovely recipe. It’s funny how even though it’s March I would love to make this warming ‘winter’ comfort food. A nice nod to St Patrick’s Day!


30 Jacqueline March 23, 2013 at 3:06 am

I can imagine it would be most welcome considering the Winter weather the UK has been experiencing of late ;-)


31 Regula @ Miss Foodwise March 26, 2013 at 9:36 am

Oh I love stout… but lately I’ve growns tired of the bland taste of the Guinness I can buy here in Belgium. I now buy my stout in Canterbury at a small microbrewery. It makes such a difference! I haven’t been to Ireland ever but I would love to go to Dublin to taste the real Guinness! As in cooking, if I can add stout to a dish I’m happy :) So when I say beef stew, there has to be stout in it or I will miss something!


32 Jacqueline March 28, 2013 at 9:46 am

Maybe the next time you are leaving Belgium to travel to old Blighty you can make a detour to Ireland. Really well worth the visit Regula and the Guinness is altogether top notch!


33 Camilla @FabFood4All March 30, 2013 at 11:58 pm

I love Beef in Beer so I imagine Beef and Guinness would be ultra delicious as it has a really strong flavour!


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