The Best Irish Stew Beef Recipe

There is no doubt that the best Irish stew recipes include chuck beef. This hearty, flavorful soup is cheap, warming, and full of vitamins and minerals. However, there’s some debate over how the perfect stew should be prepared. Hard-line purists maintain that it should contain nothing but beef, onions, potatoes, and water. Other families like to thicken the stew with pearl barley or root vegetables. The best way to get the right flavor and texture is to experiment with the ingredients and preferences.

Beef stew recipes

Irish stew recipes typically call for beef or lamb. Although lamb is very unpopular in the United States, it is an essential ingredient in the dish. You can also use kid goat if you don’t have lamb. However, mutton is a slice of more appropriate meat to use. In centuries past, sheep were necessary because of their wool and milk production. Hence, it was not unusual to find sheep in the country.

What Is Irish Stew Beef?

Traditional Irish stews include chunks of lamb or mutton (less tender meat from sheep older than two years), potatoes, onions, and parsley. They are known as “Ballymaloe” or “stomach each” in Gaelic. The only basis for the stock was often the neck bones, shanks, and other trimmings. My friend Tomas acquired the recipe from a chef friend in Europe who had tweaked a Bon Appetit dish for Irish stew by adding Guinness and red wine. This dish is a hit every time we make it!

Irish Stew Beef Recipe

This rich and hearty beef stew is comfort food at its best, slow-cooked with Guinness and topped with a touch of Dijon mustard for depth. Although we love a good Sunday supper in the Dutch oven, we’ve included directions for making the same highly flavorful Irish beef stew in the Instant Pot if you’re in a rush. You’ll get tender steak and a good excuse to buy some fresh, crusty bread.


  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into 1-in. pieces (about eight slices)
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-in. chunks
  • One tablespoon kosher salt
  • One teaspoon black pepper
  • Three medium-sized yellow onions, cut into quarters through the root
  • 8 ounces carrots, cut diagonally into 2-in. pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 8 ounces celery, cut diagonally into 2-in. pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Eight garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Eight thyme sprigs
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • Two tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (11.2-oz.) bottle Guinness stout beer
  • 2 ½ cups beef broth
  • 12 ounces baby red potatoes, halved (quartered, if large)
  • One tablespoon country Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • One teaspoon lemon zest
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  • Salted Irish butter (such as Kerrygold) for serving


Step 1

Instant pot version

Step 2

Repeat steps 1 and 2, omitting the oven.

Step 3

Add the onions and one tablespoon of the reserved drippings to the Instant Pot. Cook for 3 minutes or until browned. Cook, stirring regularly, for 1 minute, or until onions are coated with tomato paste. Cook, constantly stirring, until the flour is evenly coated and browned, about 1 minute. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the Guinness has thickened and decreased. 2 cups of broth, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, potatoes, and browned beef and bacon are added to the saucepan.

Step 4

Cover Instant Pot and turn the valve to Seal. Set Instant Pot to MANUAL. Choose HIGH PRESSURE for 20 minutes (it will take 15 minutes to come to pressure). Quick-release pressure (should take about 5 minutes) and uncover. Stir in mustard.

Step 5

While stew cooks, stir together parsley and lemon zest. Sprinkle over each serving. Serve hot with crusty bread and salted butter.

Tips To Follow While Cooking Irish Stew Beef Recipe

  • Depending on the recipe, you may want to add cabbage to it. Keeping the liquid covered is essential for the best flavor. While cooking Irish stew, it’s better to add a layer of lid or cover.
  • The leftovers taste even better the next day. Make sure to store them in an airtight container. If you want to make extra meals, you can freeze some of the Irish stew. If you’re serving the stew to a crowd, you can save leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy them in the future.
  • While the traditional Irish stew features lamb, beef is also a delicious option. Its rich gravy and long-simmering time make it an excellent dish for any occasion.
  • The recipe usually calls for half a bottle of wine. The stew has a high protein content, with 1 cup of stew containing 23g of protein. If you’re looking for a healthy recipe for a family meal, you’ll want to try an Irish beef stew.

What Gave The Irish Stew Its Fresh Flavor?


1-Season As You Go

This applies to any cooking, but it’s especially crucial with stews and chilis that take longer to cook. Season the pot with salt as you add things to it, rather than waiting until the end of the cooking process. During cooking, the flavor of the salt concentrates, resulting in a more well-rounded and full-flavored dish. To avoid over-salting the pot, remember to taste as you season.

2-Include Dried Mushrooms

Dried mushrooms, such as porcini or shiitake, are a powerful ingredient for infusing a simmering pot with a deep, savory taste. The key is to rehydrate the mushrooms first by soaking them in hot water, chop them once they’re soft, and add them to the saucepan with the newly flavored soaking liquid.

3-Stir In Caramelized Onions

One of the many reasons I keep caramelized onions in my freezer is this. You may toss them into a pot of stew or chili right from the freezer, and you’ll be rewarded with an even more prosperous, more luxurious-tasting dinner.

4-Swap In Roasted Garlic

Garlic’s sharp taste is mellowed by roasting, and its flavor is transformed into one that is rich and nearly sweet. Instead of a few fresh garlic cloves, use a head of roasted garlic.

5-Simmer With Whole Spices

Add whole spices like a cinnamon stick, star anise, or cloves to the pot while simmering to give stews and chilis a warm, spicy flavor. Just remember to take them out before serving.

6-Up The Umami With Miso Paste

Miso is a fermented soybean paste that we use to flavor miso soup, but it also works well with stews and chilis. To make a super-savory, umami-packed boost, whisk a spoonful into the pot.

7-Spice It Up

Stir in some fresh chilies, or go to the spice cabinet for a pinch of chili powder, smoked paprika, or cayenne pepper to add some more zing to your stew or chili.

8-Stir In A Spoonful Of Fish Sauce

I was hoping you could take my word for it: fish sauce is your pantry’s unsung hero. Rest confident that your food will not taste fishy if you use a soft hand (a little goes a long way). Instead, a teaspoon of tangy, delicious fish sauce will complement and deepen the flavors already present in the soup, and you’ll appreciate how it transforms your next beef stew.

9-Add A Dash Of Acid

Stir in a tablespoon or more lemon juice or apple cider vinegar before the pot is removed from the heat. Don’t worry, and neither of these substances will be discernible. A sprinkle of acid will brighten the meal, giving it a more fresh flavor and preventing it from becoming flat.

10-Finish With Fresh Herbs

You’ll want to wait until shortly before serving to make this. Leafy herbs such as parsley, cilantro, basil, and chives lend a splash of color and a welcome burst of freshness to substantial stews and chilis.

Irish stew has been around since the 1800s, and the open-fire cooking style primarily influences it. Initially a peasant dish, it used the cheapest and most readily accessible item – sheep! Sheep farming was the Irish’s principal source of income and had a significant economic impact. They were employed not just as a source of food but also for the production of milk, wool, and cheese. Because of this, traditional Irish stews are cooked with lamb or mutton. Neckbones and shanks from lamb or mutton and root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and turnips are ideal for adding flavor to your dish. However, the recipe began to change when the Irish fled to North America due to the potato famine. Because they couldn’t get enough sleep anymore, they had to make do with alternative meats to make their Irish stew. Nowadays, beef is used more frequently in an Irish stew.

What Is The Difference Between Irish Stew and Regular Stew?

If you’ve never tasted Irish stew before, you might be wondering what makes it different from the beef stew. According to the New York Times, authentic traditional Irish stew is created with only a few ingredients: mutton, onions, potatoes, and occasionally carrots, which distinguishes it from beef stew. Mutton or lamb is usually used in Irish stews, but the beef stew is created with beef. Because Irish stew is cooked entirely on the stove, whereas hotpot is baked entirely in the oven, there is no layer of browned potatoes on top, but potatoes that have stewed in significantly more liquid.


A classic Irish stew is made with lamb, but beef chuck can also be used. The key to a good Irish stew is to use the right kind of meat. Red potatoes are more durable than russet varieties. Besides being starchy, red potatoes also hold up better. And you can use Yukon gold potatoes, which don’t require peeling. They are more flavorful and do not need a lid. When making an Irish stew, you should use red potatoes. The red ones hold up well to the heat, but the potato can be used instead of red potatoes. While red potatoes are more traditional, they’re more starchy and can be overcooked. The stew should be served with a piece of crusty bread, if possible. It will make you feel better when you eat it the following day. In addition, you can reheat it a day or two later.