Guinness Irish Stew

5 from 16 votes

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St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t mean just serving up corned beef. This Guinness Irish Stew is a great alternative with an incredibly rich, thick broth. Lamb or beef get layered with flavors due to a slow braise in Guinness beer, vegetables and herbs. Plus it’s made all in one pot!

Guinness Irish Stew

For today’s post I’m sharing my gramma’s Irish Stew recipe since St. Patrick’s Day is approaching.

Irish stew is traditionally made using mutton, an older sheep, and while most of us today don’t have that on hand lamb shoulder meat comes to the rescue. If lamb is not a meat you typically purchase, a good beef chuck roast would be a great substitute.

Irish Stew is pure comfort food and a classic recipe. For my version, and to add a richness and depth to the gravy, I use Guinness beer when simmering the stew. For those who do not drink alcohol this can easily be substituted with beef broth and some Worcestershire sauce if you prefer. Not the exact same flavor of course, but a good stand in for the beer. See my Recipe Note for more on this.

ingredients for Guinness Irish Stew

After sautéing the onion, leek and garlic I sprinkle flour on top, stir it around to cook a bit and add the Guinness and beef broth.

Along with the potatoes, this slow cooks and develops not only an amazing flavor, but a rich and thickened gravy.

cooking Guinness Irish Stew

This Guinness Irish Stew recipe and traditional Irish Stew recipes have only a few ingredients. Mutton (lamb), onions and potatoes.

In southern Ireland carrots and sometimes turnips are added. My gramma’s had more of a broth to it and I like to thicken it up a bit for dunking crusty bread in to sop up the goodness of that gravy.

Guinness Irish Stew

Pretty simple dish that only requires one to brown the lamb and sauté some vegetables. Adding the beer and broth you cover and forget about it for a few hours. This Guinness Irish Stew is a keeper!

Guinness Irish Stew

While this Guinness Irish Stew is incredible as is, you could also serve this without potatoes in the stew and have my Colcannon Irish Mashed Potatoes. If you’re hoping for a great corned beef recipe I got you covered, too! Also, if you have any leftovers, try my Corned Beef Potato Gratin with Brussels Sprouts. Enjoy!

Guinness Irish Stew
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A bowl of Guinness stew with chunks of meat and vegetables

Guinness Irish Stew

5 from 16 votes
St. Patrick's Day doesn't mean just serving up corned beef. This rich, thick gravy Guinness Irish Stew has lamb or beef layered with flavors due to a slow braise in Guinness beer, vegetables and herbs. Plus it's made all in one pot!
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours 45 minutes



  • Peel and cut up carrots and potatoes, mince garlic. Trim root end off leeks, strip off tough greens. Cut leeks lengthwise and rinse any grit off under water. Slice into 1/2″ pieces. Cut the lamb into 2″ chunks. Pat dry and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or heavy based pot over high heat. Add lamb in batches and brown well all over. Remove to plate and repeat with remaining lamb. Set aside.
  • Lower heat to medium and add remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion and leek, cook for 3 minutes until softened, then add garlic, cook 2 minutes. Stir flour into the vegetable mixture and cook for 3 more minutes.
  • Add Guinness beer (See Note 1 and 2), stirring and scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan then add beef broth.
  • Return browned lamb to the pot, including any juices, along with carrots, potatoes and thyme tied with kitchen twine.
  • If lamb and vegetables are not fully covered add enough water to do so. Cover, bring to a boil, stir then lower heat so it is bubbling gently. Cook 2 hours then remove lid and simmer for 30 minutes more until lamb falls apart and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove thyme bundle and serve with crusty bread.


  1. Substitute Guinness beer using 2 1/2 cups water mixed with 2 beef boullion cubes and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Not the same, but will due. See below regarding alcohol burned off if concerned.
  2. When slow-cooking food in beer at a low simmer for several hours most of the alcohol will evaporate away. The boiling point of alcohol is 173°F which is lower than that of water, 212°F.
    The United States Department of Agriculture states, simmering beer alone for 2.5 hours will remove 95 percent of the alcohol it contains, leaving 5 percent of the original alcohol content behind.


Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 828mg | Potassium: 1008mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7560IU | Vitamin C: 18.5mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 6.5mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: Irish
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
guinness irish stew in bowl with spoon


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. Hi Kevin, If I need to cook the lamb stew the night before serving do you recommend a slow cooker the day of, or just reheating on stove top before serving?

  2. 5 stars
    Easy recipe with common ingredients….. first time I felt like too much Guinness so will half in next making …….. very tasty …… also made colcannon & that is super delicious !! The two recipes pair well together !! Thank you ! PS the ads & pop ups are very annoying!! I may have to go back to using cookbooks!!!

  3. Hi Kevin

    We spent two weeks in Ireland this past May and just loved the Irish stew. We actually went back to the pub three times for the stew! Problem is I did purchase a recipe book from Dublin but no where in there does it say exactly how to make the beef broth. Please can you give me some insight? Thank You

    1. Back when I worked in restaurants were used beef bones and roasted them with onions, carrots and celery until brown. Poured them in a large stock pot and covered with water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook overnight. Skim the foam from the surface, strain (discarding bones and vegetables) and use broth, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. I like to also add herbs like thyme and parsley as it simmers, too. It’s a lot of work so I buy beef stock these days. Up to you!

      1. If you do it in an Instant Pot you’ll have the beautiful
        Nutritious beef broth in 35-40 minutes. High pressure.

  4. 5 stars
    Hi Kevin. This stew got rave reviews from my family on St Patrick’s Day. Even those who profess to not like lamb tried it and loved it. Thanks for all your great recipes. You have become one of my go to sites.

    1. That makes me smile, so glad it was a hit. I often times don’t need the holiday to enjoy it myself. 😉

    1. Jessica, on the recipe card it states 6 people. If you roll your mouse over the number you can adjust for how many people and the ingredient list will adapt. Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you for explaining this! I’m cooking for 16 people for St. Patrick’s Day, and adjusting the number gave me the perfect ingredients list. I don’t know if other recipes online are set up this way, but they should be! Your stew looks amazing. I’m going to serve it with a scoop of colcannon in each bowl, and soda bread.

  5. Hey there! The recipe looked good. During the simmering process I tasted to make sure flawless were good. It hasn’t a slightly butter afterstate due to the beer, not bad, but noticeable. I added a tablespoon (maybe less) or brown sugar to counteract. The stew came out great with no left overs. Thank you!

    1. I’ve seen other recipes that suggest throwing 2 prunes in the pot to take out the bitterness from the Guinness. Haven’t tried it, but sounds intriguing.

      1. I’m just now simmering my first batch. But I have to say, three leeks look like a HUGE amount, those things are giants! Do we really add 20 pounds of leeks? (I know that’s an exaggeration) 🙂 I just added one so I hope I didn’t ruin it.

      2. I guess it would depend on how big they are, but I’d safely say about 2+ cups 3 is fine. They do cook down and add a lovely, subtle flavor.