I gotta tell ya about this recipe, an old family favorite, the Beef Guinness Stew from Simon Pearce. I pulled this recipe ages ago from either Bon Appetit or Gourmet; I think it might have been a write-in request and it’s been a St. Paddy’s Day celebration dinner and family fave off and on ever since.
I haven’t made this stew for a while, though; I have another recipe on my site, my Beef & Guinness Pies that I love and many years I make one of my Corned Beef Recipes; you can easily find them on my page of Irish Recipes. Well, technically that would be Irish & Irish American Recipes.
About Beef Guinness Stew from Simon Pearce:
This year, though, this recipe has been on my mind…and I just couldn’t seem to feel settled until I made it again. It’s really worthy of any St. Paddy’s Day celebration and there is no doubt that’s it’s pure comfort food on many levels, especially when ladled over some good, sturdy mashed potatoes, maybe with some Soda Bread, too. If you’ve been landed at home with plans canceled because of the coronavirus, maybe this stew will cheer you up.
It’s not often I make a stew that doesn’t have a whole array of veggies just to balance things out nutritionally (and stretch the budget) but sometimes ya gotta let loose. This Beef & Guinness stew is basically just beef, lots of onions and of course Guinness, which I love! Hey, my name IS Mollie, after all!!
I’d forgotten how much big beefy flavor this stew has and how gloriously silky the broth is! If you have a meat & potatoes person in your family, this is the stew for them, for sure!! My son, in particular, who was here for a few weeks just went nuts over it. I had to give him several dire warnings to leave some behind as I was snapping pics. He seriously went for seconds and then thirds!
Over the years, with no real intention, I’ve developed a little collection of recipes from the Mill at Simon Pearce in Quechee, Vermont. I love developing my own recipes and with the majority of them on my site, I have, but when something’s this good, you don’t want to mess with perfection! I do want to give a big shout out to Simon Pearce and if you’re anywhere in the area, I hear it is a dining destination not to be missed! If you’d like to see some of the other recipes, there’s a tag at the bottom of the page for Simon Pearce. Give it a click or use the search bar at the upper right.
Below are my Beef & Guinness Pies. If you want to use this recipe and top it with puff pastry, click over to see and use the same method.
Making Beef Guinness Stew from Simon Pearce:
This is really a super easy recipe with only a handful of ingredients, but speaking of ingredients, if for any reason you don’t want to use Guinness, you can substitute it with another beer or just replace the amount with more beef stock. If you use beer, there’s always a bitterness that needs to be dealt with and that’s one of the little changes I made.
As the stew reduces, if you do any testing at all, you’re probably going to notice it’s absolutely amazing…then you’re going to notice just about the time the beef is tender right, the bitter flavors start coming forward. At that point, I like to add a little dark jelly or jam preferably something like black current, but blackberry or even grape in a pinch will work. Some people like to add a little sugar or brown sugar.
Use what you have, but trust me on that jam! It’s a little sweet, yes, but there’s something just kind of magic that happens when it’s added to something beefy! See my post on Top Secret Super Stealth Arsenal of Ingredients, if you’d like to see more about it. I know, I know, that title; I’m kinda full of it sometimes.
This stew is not a thick, hearty stew. It’s tender chunks of beef in a silky, saucy gravy and the thickening comes from a mixture of flour and butter (a beurre manie) that is kneaded together and then slowly, bit by bit dropped in to melt away after the stew is done. This works much better if the liquid (in this case, the stew) isn’t super over the top boiling hot when the flour/butter mixture is added. Turn off the heat, let it sit for a few minutes then proceed. How do you proununce beurre manie (except wrong every time, lol?) Check out this link on youtube.
The other thing to know is that the recipe calls for a pound of beef. That makes 4 tiny servings. Double or triple it at least. I thought about altering it as I wrote out the recipe but my recipe printer has a button that lets you do that, 2x or 3x.
Saving Money on Beef Guinness Stew from Simon Pearce:
Much as I love Pot Roasts and Stews, I gotta admit some of the old-school country type meat & potato meals don’t always give the best “bang for your buck.” Shop well for your more inexpensive roasts like chuck or cuts from the round, stocking your freezer when they’re at a low.
Generally, you’ll find the best pricing in the fall as well as a week or two after any Holiday in which more pricy beef cuts are served. That’s usually going to be January and February. After the Christmas roasts and the New Year’s and Valentine’s day steaks are over, something has to be done with the remainder of the beef.
Of course, if you love Guinness, before St. Paddy’s Day is the best time to buy. Sign up for email alerts from your fave liquor stores. If you’d like to see what else is on sale around St. Patrick’s Day, see my post, Win at the Grocery – Saving on St. Paddy’s. If you’d like to see what I shop for around other holidays, check out my post Win at the Grocers and you’ll see all the different holidays linked, each with their own strategies and items to look for.
Serve this stew over my Perfect Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes or Best Company Mashed Potatoes if you don’t have an Instant Pot or baked potatoes. If you’d like, whip up some of my Ballymaloe’s Soda Bread to fill out the meal. Both the bread and the potatoes are so inexpensive to make, they help balance out the pricier beef stew.
Hey, I hope you guys enjoy this beef stew as much as we have over the years and I hope you’re enjoying your St. Paddy’s day celebration even if it is quieter this year. If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how you like it!!
Above all, stay safe!
Beef Guinness Stew from Simon Pearce
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 to 2 1/2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Soups & Stews
- Cuisine: Irish
- 2 large onions sliced pole to pole, about 3/8ths of an inch thick
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons) divided, plus more, below
- 1 pound chuck, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup Guinness Stout
- a teaspoon to a tablespoon dark jelly or brown sugar
- parsley for garnish
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon flour
In a heavy Dutch oven, melt butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides and in it brown the chuck, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper. Work in batches as needed, removing the beef to a plate as it is browned. Add the additional butter and the onions, turn down the heat to low and cook, stirring as necessary, bringing up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. If at any point it looks as if the onions or the bottom of the pan is burning, add a little water, about a tablespoon at a time, scraping the bottom of the pan.
Add in the garlic and cook for a minute or two longer, stirring, until fragrant. Add the thyme, the sage, the bay leaf, the broth, and the Guinness stout, bring the liquid to a boil and simmer the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
Discard the bay leaf, and whisk in bits of the beurre manie, whisking until the sauce is thickened. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, add the jelly or brown sugar to taste. Serve over baked or mashed potatoes, garnished with parsley.
For Buerre Manie:
In a small cup, mix butter and flour together; if needed, scrape out and knead it together with fingertips, being careful to not overheat the butter.
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef, Beef Stock, Chuck Roast, Guinness, Irish, Simon Pearce, St Paddys, stew