St. Patrick’s Day Feast: Guinness Beef Stew

Written by Shaina Olmanson.

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. Tomorrow, in fact. I’ve been cooking up a few Irish-inspired meals for the family to celebrate with stews, corned beef and plenty of potatoes. You’ll find no green beer here, but a pint of Guinness may be consumed by the of-age participants.

With Chicago dyeing the river green, parades and people dressed as leprechauns, it’s hard not to get swept up in the magic of St. Patrick’s Day and embark on a treasure hunt for that pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow. It all begs the question: What is St. Patrick’s Day really?

Photos by Shaina

St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday in Ireland to honor the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, who served as a bishop in Ireland and sought to Christianize the pagans there. Did you know the reason the clover and the color green is worn and used in St. Patrick’s Day decor is because Saint Patrick would use it to explain the Holy Trinity?

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated to show allegiance to Irish heritage more than for its religious significance. During the 1798 rebellion against British occupation, Irish rebels dressed in all green. It is under that same British control that Irish farmers were limited in land and needed to choose a crop that would give the most bang for their buck. Potatoes were then widely cultivated for their complete nutritional properties, which made them a staple in the Irish diet.

More Irish-Inspired Fare:

:: Corned Beef and Cabbage – thank the Irish-Americans for this classic.
:: Colcannon – mashed potatoes with kale, cabbage and cream.
:: Irish Soda Bread – dense brown bread made with whole wheat flour.
:: Leprechaun’s Rainbow Cookies – can you find the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow?
:: Beer Mug Cupcakes – no drinking required.
:: Shepherd’s Pie – mashed potatoes, beef and vegetables all in one.
:: Irish Brownie Bombs – Guinness brownies, Bailey’s cheesecake, Jameson clovers.

Guinness Beef Stew

This Irish beef stew is deep and rich with flavour and made with the Irish stout, Guinness. Serve it over a bed of colcannon or with a wedge of Irish soda bread to sop it up. This type of meat and potatoes meal is one I could get used to.
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Course: Soups & Stews
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 304kcal
Author: Shaina Olmanson


  • 3-5 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds stew beef like chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef stock or beef broth
  • 12 ounces Guinness
  • 2 prunes minced
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups parsnips roughly chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley minced


  • In a stockpot or Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Salt the beef and dredge through the flour. Brown the beef chunks in the oil for 2-3 minutes, stirring to turn. Don't overcrowd the pot, and remove from the pot into a separate bowl when finished. Add the remaining oil as necessary.
  • Once the beef has been browned, add garlic to the oil and sauté for 30 seconds. Add in the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste until incorporated throughout.
  • Add the beef back to the pot and pour in the beef stock and Guinness, then add in the prunes, caraway seeds and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour.
  • After one hour, remove the cover from the pot and add in the carrots and parsnips. Continue simmering, uncovered for 30-45 minutes until vegetables are tender.


Serve alongside boiled potatoes or over colcannon. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.


Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 629mg | Potassium: 873mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4185IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 3.5mg

 What do you do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Have you baked up any Irish-themed goodies or done crafts with the kids?

About Shaina

Shaina Olmanson is the home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family, where she shares recipes, tips, opinions and her philosophy on food as she wades through the process of feeding her family, her friends and anyone else who will let her. She strives to teach her four children how to eat well: seasonally, locally, organically, deliciously and balanced.

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  1. Steve @ HPD says

    Interesting bit about St Paddy’s Day lore:

  2. I don’t cook any Irish food, but I do celebrate engineering. My college of engineering at my university has a tradition based on the saying, “St. Patrick was an engineer.” Of course he wasn’t really an engineer, but it’s a time when students get to have a week of fun and celebrate their part of university history.

  3. Awesome stew. I’ll be making this today, thanks for sharing.

    Stan Susmanon

  4. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says

    My goodness, this stew looks perfectly savory and comforting!

  5. Great job Shaina! This look fantastic!

  6. OMgoodness!
    That is one bowl of COMFORT right there!

  7. Shaina, this stew looks so scrumptious! It seems around St. Patrick’s Day, we all have a little Irish in us, and you did a great job being inspired by the holiday. 🙂 Great recipes!

  8. I love the idea of Guinness in a stew.

  9. What a hearty, delicious-looking stew! Yum!

  10. Shaina, this looks absolutely delicious! I’m all about the stout right now!

  11. Oh this just looks out of control delicious!

  12. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) says

    We ate a big pot of oily, boiled cabbage and corned beef one year…. not my fondest memory. 🙂
    But you suggestions sound delicious!

  13. Fact: I am yet to taste Irish Soda Bread, let alone all these delicious stews 🙂

  14. I always wonder about the origins and meanings of the holidays we celebrate, I never knew the significance of the color green or the clover. How interesting.

  15. Oh, I just LOVE colcannon, and I only ever make it in the spring because it just feels like such a spring dish. This might be on next week’s menu plan!

  16. This looks absolutely delicious. Maybe I shouldn’t be so upset that my husband didn’t put the Irish Beef Stew in the crock pot today (which sent us out to McMenamins for fish and chips for dinner) because this recipe looks better than the one we had. We’ll try yours this weekend and let you know!

  17. Shaina – We just made the stew last night and it was so great. I loved the way it made the house smell while it cooked, and the taste lived up to the aroma. We all agreed that it was the best stew we’ve had. My daughter gobbled it up for lunch today too. Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. It’s 7:30 am and I want a big plate of this stew!! Sounds like the perfect St. Pat’s meal Shaina!

    Thanks for linking up to I’m Lovin It! I featured your post in my wrap up!

    Have a great weekend!

  19. I like Guinness beer, and I love beef. This is a great combination.

  20. I made this on my woodstove yesterday, but with venison. I found that it took quite a bit longer to cook than the recipe stated, and was too salt and peppery for my taste. Served it to guests, who thought it could be improved with peas, and/or turnip, but that would make it NOT be truly an Irish stew.

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