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Irish beef stew in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew

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  • Author: Kelli Avila
  • Prep Time: 00:15
  • Cook Time: 07:00
  • Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow-Cooker
  • Cuisine: Irish-American


Tender chunks of beef braise all day with potatoes and carrots in a rich stout broth. This Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew is perfect for early spring, when the days are still chilly, and is a must-make on St. Patrick's Day.


Units Scale
  • 2 pounds beef brisket or boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more for seasoning (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup Guinness or other stout beer (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 12 ounces mini potatoes, halved
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces


  1. Add the diced beef to a large bowl. Sprinkle the beef with a big pinch of salt, then add the flour. Toss to coat until the flour is evenly distributed on the meat. Set aside.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large slow cooker.
  3. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides in the leftover bacon fat. Once browned, transfer the beef to  the slow cooker with the bacon.
  4. Lower the heat to medium. Add in the onions and cook until they are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the tomato paste, thyme, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and cook for 30 seconds until the tomato paste has turned a rusty color.
  5. Deglaze the pot with the beef broth, stout, and honey, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then shut off the heat. 
  6. Carefully pour the mixture into the slow cooker. Add in the potatoes and carrots and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it’s well combined.
  7. Cook in the slow cooker on low for 7-9 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling apart.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  9. Serve warm with extra fresh thyme leaves.


This recipe was tested using Diamond Crystal coarse kosher salt. If you use Morton's kosher salt or fine salt, decrease the volume by half.

Adjust the amount of Guinness in the stew to your taste. Use one cup instead of a can for a less overpowering flavor. You could also replace the stout with beef broth but the stew won't be as flavorful.