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Guinness Beef Stew Doesn’t Have to Be Bitter

Our simple Guinness Beef Stew has just the right amount of beer for balanced flavor.
By Published Mar. 17, 2022

If you’re looking for a hearty meal to serve this Saint Patrick’s Day and you love beef stew and dark beer, we’ve got the perfect solution for you: Guinness Beef Stew.

Meaty hunks of boneless beef chuck-eye roast and hearty pieces of carrots and Yukon Gold potatoes make up the bulk of this winter warmer while a rich Guinness-enhanced broth ties it all together. Just a handful of other ingredients—a couple onions, sautéed until well browned; tomato paste for depth; garlic; brown sugar for its molasses-y notes; and fresh thyme—round out the dish.

You might be thinking: Won’t Guinness make the stew bitter? Not if you use the right amount of beer and add it at the right time—or in this case—times.

With the goal of a Guinness stew that really tasted of its namesake but wasn’t too bitter, we took it to the edge to find out just how much beer this stew could handle. At 1 cup, we wondered where the beer flavor was. At 1½ cups the stew was unpalatably bitter. Eventually we found that quantity wasn’t the issue. It was the timing. 

In order to get beer flavor without that bitter bite, we needed to introduce the beer at two stages. 

With ¾ cup of Guinness added to the stewing liquid and another ½ cup stirred in after the stew finished cooking and just before serving, we landed on the ideal balance: robust stout flavor plus roasted, toasty, and malty notes. This was a Guinness stew we wouldn’t hesitate to polish off.

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

A bonus: There’s no need to sear the beef (the stew cooks uncovered in the oven allowing the top of the meat to take on flavorful browning). So go ahead and try this complex, bold, easy-to-put-together stew. And maybe crack open a beer to go with it.

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