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bowl of homemade Irish stew.
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5 from 2 votes

Irish Stew

Bursting with flavor, tender beef, creamy potatoes, and a rich broth flavored with Guinness beer, this Irish Stew is the ultimate comfort food.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Servings: 8 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef or lamb stew meat
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 6 ounces bacon diced (I used thick cut Rancher's bacon, you can also use pancetta)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup stout beer
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/5 pounds baby potatoes skin on, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 pound carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (1 pound is about 4 large carrots)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper


  • Sear meat: Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, add half of the stew meat. Arrange in a single layer and do not stir. Allow the meat to sit, undisturbed, until golden to dark brown on the bottom. This will take about 5 minutes. You do not want to cook the meat all the way through; you just want to give one side a good sear. When done, transfer the seared meat to a bowl and repeat with the second batch.
    seared stew meat in white bowl.
  • Sauté onions: Add the chopped onions and bacon to the pot. Give them a good stir to coat them in the residual oil, and then let them sit, undisturbed, to let them brown just a bit. After 5-10 minutes, add the garlic and tomato paste. Stir and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
    sauteed onions and bacon in pan.
  • Make roux: Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to coat. Allow the flour to cook for several minutes while stirring to prevent burning. The mixture should start to stick to the bottom of the pan.
    onions and garlic with flour and tomato paste for Irish stew recipe.
  • Deglaze: Add the stout to the mixture and stir with a flat bottom spoon to release anything that may have stuck to the bottom of the pot. A rich, thick gravy will form.
    Pouring stout into pan for Irish stew recipe.
  • Braise meat: Add the beef broth, thyme, bay leaves, and seared stew meat (along with any liquid in the bowl) to the pot. Stir well to combine. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to the lowest amount needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover the pot loosely and simmer for one hour.
    Pot of Irish stew ready to be cooked.
  • Cook potatoes and carrots: After the stew has cooked for at least an hour, stir in the prepared potatoes and carrots. Mix in the salt. Continue cooking with a gentle simmer, uncovered this time, for another hour. As the liquid evaporates with the lid off, the stew will slightly thicken.
    Pot of Irish stew with colorful potatoes.
  • Season and serve: Taste the stew and add freshly ground pepper and additional salt, if needed. Remove the thyme stem and bay leaves prior to serving. Tastes great with Irish soda bread!
    bowl of homemade Irish stew with sliced bread.


Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 1018mg | Potassium: 1066mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 9551IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 4mg