Easy Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew

An easy, tried and tested way to cook the most deliciously robust Irish beef stew with tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef. This easy slow cooker Irish beef stew has a secret ingredient that makes this dish so flavorful! Perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or to enjoy as comfort food for a chilly evening!

St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate Irish culture, and what better way to do so than by indulging in a hearty bowl of delicious Irish stew? This classic dish has been a staple in Irish kitchens for centuries, and for good reason. Its simple, yet satisfying combination of meat, vegetables, and herbs is sure to warm you up on a chilly March evening.

The origins of Irish beef stew can be traced back to the 1800s when Irish peasants would use inexpensive cuts of beef and vegetables to make a nourishing meal for their families.

This tasty Irish beef stew recipe is made even easier by cooking it in the slow cooker or in this case, the Instant Pot Dutch Oven Slow Cooker. It has a deliciously robust flavor that’s not only perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day but is the best antidote to any cold winter evening.

The combination of beef, vegetables, and Guinness beer creates a rich and flavorful broth that’s perfect to drizzle all over your mashed potatoes or dip some bread into. This St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy a bowl of this flavorful Irish beef stew with your loved ones. Sláinte!

WHAT’S TYPICALLY IN AN IRISH BEEF STEW?

Irish beef stew typically contains beef (often a cheaper cut such as chuck roast), root vegetables like carrots and potatoes, onions, and garlic. The stew is typically cooked low and slow in a flavorful broth made with beef broth or stock, Guinness beer, tomato paste, and various herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.

The broth is usually thickened with flour, and some recipes may include additional ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, or even soy sauce for added depth of flavor. The stew is often served with a crusty bread or soda bread for dipping into the savory broth.

WHAT OTHER MEAT CAN I USE FOR AN IRISH STEW?

While beef is the most traditional meat used in Irish stew, there are other meats that can be used as well. Here are some options:

  1. Lamb: Lamb is another popular and traditional meat used in Irish stew, especially in the southern part of the country. It has a slightly gamey flavor that pairs well with hearty vegetables and savory broth.
  2. Venison: Venison is a lean and flavorful meat that can add a unique twist to Irish stew. It has a rich, earthy flavor that complements the other ingredients in the stew.
  3. Chicken: If you prefer lighter meat, chicken can be used in place of beef in an Irish stew. It will create a milder flavor, but the vegetables and broth will still be hearty and satisfying.
  4. Pork: While not as traditional as beef or lamb, pork can be used in Irish stew for a slightly different flavor profile. Try using pork shoulder or pork belly for a rich and savory stew.

No matter which meat you choose, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly as different meats require different cooking times. The key to a delicious Irish stew is using high-quality ingredients and cooking it low and slow to allow the flavors to meld together.

IS IT EASY TO COOK IRISH STEW IN THE SLOW COOKER OR CROCKPOT?

Yes, cooking Irish stew in a slow cooker is a great option. In fact, many people prefer to use a slow cooker for this dish because it allows the flavors to develop over a longer period of time without the need for constant supervision.

Here are some tips for cooking Irish stew in a slow cooker:

  1. Brown the meat first: Even if you’re using a slow cooker, it’s still a good idea to brown the meat first. This step adds flavor and creates a nice crust on the beef.
  2. Layer the ingredients: To ensure even cooking, layer the vegetables and meat in the slow cooker, starting with the vegetables on the bottom and the meat on top.
  3. Use low heat: Irish stew should be cooked low and slow to allow the flavors to meld together and the meat to become tender. Set the slow cooker to low heat and let it cook for 6-8 hours.
  4. Don’t overfill the slow cooker: To ensure that the stew cooks evenly and doesn’t overflow, don’t overfill the slow cooker. Leave at least an inch of space at the top.
  5. Thicken the stew: This can be done in the beginning by coating the meat in flour so it thickens the stew as it cooks. It can also be done towards the end of cooking. To thicken the broth, mix flour or cornstarch with water to create a slurry and add it to the stew during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Overall, cooking Irish stew in a slow cooker is a convenient and easy way to make this delicious dish. Just be sure to follow these tips to ensure that it turns out perfectly.

WHAT ARE GUARANTEED TIPS & TRICKS TO MAKE A DELICIOUS IRISH BEEF STEW?

Here are some tips and tricks to make a delicious Irish beef stew:

  1. Choose the right cut of meat: Irish stew is traditionally made with tougher cuts of beef like chuck, brisket, or round roast. These cuts have a lot of connective tissue that breaks down during the long cooking process, resulting in a tender and flavorful stew.
  2. Brown the meat: Before adding the beef to the pot, make sure to brown it first. This step adds depth of flavor to the stew and creates a nice crust on the beef. Be sure to not overcrowd the pan and to work in batches if necessary to ensure that each piece of meat gets properly browned.
  3. Use Guinness beer: Guinness is a traditional ingredient in Irish beef stew, and it adds a rich and complex flavor to the broth. If you prefer not to use beer, you can substitute beef broth or red wine.
  4. Add the vegetables in stages: To ensure that the vegetables in your stew are cooked properly, add them in stages. Start with the root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, and then add in other vegetables like onions, celery, and garlic later on in the cooking process. This is especially important if you’re cooking your Irish stew on the stovetop.
  5. Don’t forget the herbs and spices: Herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and black pepper add a depth of flavor to the stew. Be sure to tie the herbs together with kitchen twine or place them in a cheesecloth so that they are easy to remove once the stew is done.
  6. Let the stew simmer low and slow: Irish beef stew should be cooked low and slow to allow the flavors to meld together and the meat to become tender.
  7. Thicken the stew with flour or cornstarch: To thicken the broth, mix flour or cornstarch with water to create a slurry and add it to the stew during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. This will create a rich and hearty broth.

By following these tips and tricks, you can create a delicious and authentic Irish beef stew that is perfect for any occasion.

WHAT MAKES THIS PARTICULAR SLOW COOKER IRISH BEEF STEW EXTRA-SPECIAL?

To add depth of flavor and make the meat extra tender, I add some balsamic vinegar to the stew. It won’t taste vinegary at all but just adds enough acidity balanced by its sweet notes. A little sugar is also added to the stew not to sweeten it but to enhance the overall flavor. The result is one robustly-flavored stew with an unforgettable taste!

FOR FULL RECIPE & INSTRUCTIONS and to PRINT, SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW.


WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS FOR THIS EASY SLOW COOKER IRISH BEEF STEW?

  • 1 kilo (2.2) lbs Stewing beef (pref. chuck steak or roast), cubed
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 (12 oz) bottle of Guinness Stout Beer
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth (adjust amount as needed)
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 4 medium Carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 3 large red potatoes, cubed (same size as carrots, more or less)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste, or to taste

HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS EASY SLOW COOKER IRISH BEEF STEW?

Liberally season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. Add the flour and coat the beef. The flour will help thicken the stew as it cooks.

Heat a deep pan or large skillet. If using the Instant Pot Dutch Oven Slow Cooker, choose the saute function. Melt the butter and oil using medium-high heat. Brown the cubed beef to sear. Do it in batches to avoid overcrowding the meat. Place the beef cubes on a large platter as you cook. Searing is worth the work to add more depth of flavor.

Quickly, sauté the onions and garlic in the remaining fat in the pan or the Instant Pot Dutch Oven Slow Cooker for a couple of minutes. Pour a little of the beer to deglaze the pan. Scrape all that yummy brown bits in there.

Place the sauteed onions and garlic and everything else left on the pan on the slow cooker and add the beef cubes on top. Add the potatoes and carrots. Pour in the rest of the beer, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. Add the dried thyme and bay leaves. Give it a quick stir. Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours. 5 hours on low on the Instant Pot Dutch Oven Slow Cooker was sufficient to make the meat tender.

Once the beef is already tender, add the tomato paste and stir to dilute. Cook for another 15 minutes or until fully heated through. If the stew is thicker than you prefer, add some more beef broth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Transfer to a serving platter and serve over mashed potatoes. In our house we love this with rice!

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Easy Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew

Manila Spoon
An easy, tried and tested way to cook the most deliciously robust Irish beef stew with tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef. This easy slow cooker Irish beef stew has a secret ingredient that makes this dish so flavorful! Perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or to enjoy as comfort food for a chilly evening!
4.87 from 23 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Course Dinner, Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 188 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) Stewing beef (pref. chuck steak or roast), cubed
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 4 medium Carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 3 large red potatoes, cubed (roughly same size as carrots, more or less)
  • 1 (12 oz) bottle of Guinness Stout Beer
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth, adjust amount as needed
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Liberally season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. Add the flour and coat the beef. The flour will help thicken the stew as it cooks.
  • Heat a deep pan or large skillet. If using the Instant Pot Dutch Oven Slow Cooker, choose the saute function. Melt the butter and oil using medium-high heat. Brown the cubed beef to sear. Do it in batches to avoid overcrowding the meat. Place the beef cubes on a large platter as you cook. Searing is worth the work to add more depth of flavor.
  • Quickly, sauté the onions and garlic in the remaining fat in the pan or the Instant Pot Dutch Oven Slow Cooker for a couple of minutes. Pour a little of the beer to deglaze the pan. Scrape all that yummy brown bits in there.
  • Place the sauteed onions and garlic and everything else left on the pan on the slow cooker and add the beef cubes on top. Add the potatoes and carrots. Pour in the rest of the beer, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. Add the dried thyme and bay leaves. Give it a quick stir. Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours in a regular slow cooker. 5 hours on low on the Instant Pot Dutch Oven Slow Cooker was sufficient to make the meat tender.
  • Once the beef is already tender, add the tomato paste and stir to dilute. Cook for another 15 minutes or until fully heated through. If the stew is thicker than what you prefer, simply add some more beef broth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and serve over mashed potatoes. In our house we love this with rice!

Notes

TIPS & TRICKS
Choose the right cut of meat: Irish stew is traditionally made with tougher cuts of beef like chuck, brisket, or round roast. These cuts have a lot of connective tissue that breaks down during the long cooking process, resulting in a tender and flavorful stew.
Brown the meat: Before adding the beef to the pot, make sure to brown it first. This step adds depth of flavor to the stew and creates a nice crust on the beef. Be sure to not overcrowd the pan and to work in batches if necessary to ensure that each piece of meat gets properly browned.
Use Guinness beer: Guinness is a traditional ingredient in Irish beef stew, and it adds a rich and complex flavor to the broth. If you prefer not to use beer, you can substitute beef broth or red wine.
Add the vegetables in stages: To ensure that the vegetables in your stew are cooked properly, add them in stages. Start with the root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, and then add in other vegetables like onions, celery, and garlic later on in the cooking process. This is especially important if you’re cooking your Irish stew on the stovetop.
Don’t forget the herbs and spices: Herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and black pepper add a depth of flavor to the stew. Be sure to tie the herbs together with kitchen twine or place them in a cheesecloth so that they are easy to remove once the stew is done.
Let the stew simmer low and slow: Irish beef stew should be cooked low and slow to allow the flavors to meld together and the meat to become tender. This can take anywhere from 2-3 hours, so plan accordingly.
Thicken the stew with flour or cornstarch: To thicken the broth, mix flour or cornstarch with water to create a slurry and add it to the stew during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. This will create a rich and hearty broth.

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 154mgPotassium: 603mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 7025IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mg
Keyword irish beef stew with guinness, slow cooker irish beef stew
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Last updated on March 16th, 2024 at 08:07 pm

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12 Comments

  1. dina and bruce miller
    May 13, 2023 / 9:00 am

    5 stars
    This slow cooker recipe has saved the day! With a kitchen remodel going, this recipe helped us prepare meals! This was so good, and the leftovers were even better!

  2. Lily
    May 13, 2023 / 10:50 am

    5 stars
    This beef stew was exactly what you want with beef stew: savory, tender, and a combination of flavors. I added some pan-sauteed mushrooms at the end- definitely try this recipe!

  3. Ali
    May 13, 2023 / 11:00 am

    5 stars
    Wow these photos look incredible. This looks like a such a hearty stew — and with the Guinness I imagine it makes it even more rich and flavorful, can’t wait to try this!

  4. Erik
    May 13, 2023 / 11:11 am

    5 stars
    Very hearty and satisfying. Great flavors too!

  5. Tara
    May 13, 2023 / 12:42 pm

    5 stars
    Oh yum! Such a comforting stew! The flavors sound absolutely fantastic and I love how easily it all comes together in the slow cooker.

  6. Christine
    May 13, 2023 / 3:01 pm

    5 stars
    This flavor combo is amazing and it’s such a hearty, comforting dish!

  7. Anjali
    May 13, 2023 / 5:12 pm

    5 stars
    This was such a hearty and satisfying meal — and was so easy to make thanks to the slow cooker!! The stew turned out perfectly cooked!

  8. Cynthia
    May 13, 2023 / 6:51 pm

    5 stars
    We’ve had an unusually cold spring, so I made this last week! It’s delicious!

  9. Sara Welch
    May 13, 2023 / 11:32 pm

    5 stars
    This was everything a gourmet meal should be and then some! Bold, hearty and delicious; definitely, a new favorite recipe!

  10. Elisa
    May 14, 2023 / 2:26 am

    5 stars
    Love this Easy Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew, is easy to make and looks delicious. Thanks for sharing :).

  11. Shannon
    March 20, 2024 / 2:17 pm

    5 stars
    I would give this 10 stars if I could. It was so very easy to make.

    • abigail
      Author
      March 20, 2024 / 4:18 pm

      Yay!!! Wow, thank you so much! So glad you liked this. Appreciate you letting us know.

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