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overhead photo of Robust Irish Beef and Stout Stew in a white bowl on butcher block, with noodles and yellow cloth

Robust Irish Beef and Stout Stew

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
Save the potatoes as a side dish, because like Carbonnade, Robust Irish Beef and Stout Stew focuses solely on lots of beef, beer, and onions.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Irish
Servings 4 servings
Calories 798 kcal


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    Ingredients for Robust Irish Beef and Stout Stew

    • 2 pounds beef chuck cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • Kosher salt
    • black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 4 slices bacon a quality smoked, thick cut; chopped
    • 6 cloves garlic rough chopped
    • 5 large yellow onions sliced lengthwise, some thin, some thick
    • 1/4 cup red wine may substitute 1/4 cup brewed coffee
    • 2 cups stout room temperature, I am using Guinness Extra Stout
    • 3/4 cup chicken stock homemade if you have it on hand
    • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    • 5 sprigs thyme fresh
    • 3 sprigs parsley fresh
    • 3 sprigs tarragon fresh
    • 1 bay leaf


    The Method

    • Prepare a bouquet garni by tying the sprigs of thyme, parsley, tarragon, and the bay leaf. Set aside.
    • Pat the beef dry VERY WELL using paper toweling. Place into a large mixing bowl and liberally salt and pepper, turning to coat all sides. Add flour and toss to coat.
    • Heat the vegetable oil along with 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add beef. Do not crowd the pot. Cook, turning, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining beef. Set aside. 
    • Reduce the heat and add bacon, cooking until its fat renders, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the plate with the beef.
    • Add remaining butter to the pan. Add the garlic and onions and cook until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Mixture will be thick and without much liquid at the point it's sufficiently caramelized.
    • Increase the heat to medium-high again. When the onion are just beginning to stick, add the red wine (or brewed coffee if substituting, see NOTES). Working quickly, use a wooden spoon to scrape the fond from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Reduce the heat when most of the liquid has evaporated.
    • Add half the beer and cook, again scraping bottom of pot, until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. 
    • Return beef to pot with remaining beer, stock, sugar, vinegar, bouquet garni, and additional salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until beef is very tender, about 1 ½ hours. Serve over a bed of mashed potatoes, wide noodles, homemade dumplings, or mashed parsnips. Offer thick crusty bread tableside for mopping up the gravy.


    If substituting brewed coffee in place of the red wine, consider adding an additional tablespoon of brown sugar. This is because the combination of the stout and the coffee can come across bitter to some palettes. Introducing something sweet without acid balances the nuances. 


    Serving: 1servingCalories: 798kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 49gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 204mgSodium: 265mgPotassium: 1199mgFiber: 4gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 747IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 7mg
    Keyword beef, beer, Molly Malone's Irish Beef Stew Recipe, onion, stew, stout