Flat tires. Work problems. Bills. Stuffy colds. Relationship issues.
We all have our bad days. Bleh.
But even when your laundry machine unexpectedly breaks when you were in the middle of using it, or when you totally forgot that really important thing you promised yourself you wouldn’t forget, that frustration and defeat can easily disappear.
It’s all thanks to the healing power of comfort food.
You know you’ve found your ultimate happy place when you’re on a comfy couch in your pj’s, curled up with your favorite soft blankie (judge-free zone), and caressing a big, warm bowl of this hearty Guinness beef stew.
We make our recipe in the slow cooker, letting all the flavors blend together throughout the day – you’ll love the end result of coming home, completely exhausted, to an amazing meal.
So fill up your belly, and fix your nearly broken spirit, with chunks of melt-in-your-mouth beef, tender pieces of potatoes, carrots, and onions, and a thick, flavorful broth.
|6 servings||20 minutes|
|Cook Time||Passive Time|
|15 minutes||7-8 hours|
Nothing fills up your belly better than a hearty beef stew. Our Guinness version, with its robust flavor, is a crowd pleaser.
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon chopped
- 2 pounds beef tips or stew meat cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound potatoes chopped (about 2 large potatoes)
- 3 large carrots chopped
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 bottle (11 ounces) Guinness stout
- 4 cups (32 ounces) Beef stock or broth
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place the chopped bacon in a large pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the fat renders and the pieces are slightly crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the bacon grease in the pan. Keep the pan heated.
- In a large sealed bag, or in a bowl, combine the flour with a little salt and pepper. Mix in the beef tips to evenly coat them in the seasoned flour. Remove the beef and add the pieces to the pan with the bacon grease. Sear the beef until all sides are browned and crispy.
- Once the beef tips are seared, remove from the pan and place in your slow cooker. In the same pan, saute the chopped onions until slightly softened. If the pan seems dry, add a splash of beef broth. Mix in the garlic, cooking for one more minute. Add the onion and garlic to the slow cooker with the beef tips.
- Add the chopped potatoes, carrots, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and reserved bacon in the slow cooker. Pour in the bottle of Guinness, can of diced tomatoes, and beef stock. Mix everything together.
- Secure the slow cooker lid and cook on low for 7-8 hours, until the broth has thickened slightly, and the beef and vegetables are tender.
- Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving. Enjoy!
Original recipe by Ashley Martell.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep the Ingredients
Set out the stew meat, all-purpose flour, beef stock, Guinness, tomato sauce, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove and discard the skin from the carrots.
With a sharp knife and sturdy cutting board, chop the onions, potatoes, and carrots. Mince the garlic, either by chopping it finely, grating it, or using a garlic press.
On a separate cutting board and knife, dice the bacon into small, evenly sized pieces.
Step 2 – Cook the Bacon
In a large pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until most of the fat is rendered, and the pieces are cooked and just a little crispy.
If you have an Instant Pot, Breville Fast/Slow Cooker, or another type of slow cooker with a Sear setting, this can be done directly in the appliance on your countertop instead.
With a slotted spoon, place the bacon pieces on a plate lined with paper towels, keeping the bacon fat in the pan. Leave the pan on the heat to cook the meat in the following steps.
Step 3 – Dredge the Steak
In a large sealed bag, or in a bowl, combine the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper. Use freshly ground salt and pepper for the freshest flavor!
Add the steak, and toss until all of the pieces are evenly coated with the seasoned flour.
Step 4 – Sear the Steak
Add the dredged steak to the preheated pan with the reserved bacon grease. Briefly sear until all sides are browned and crispy. Remove from the pan and place the steak in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Step 5 – Brown the Onions and Garlic
In the same pan, add the onions. Saute briefly until browned and slightly softened. If the pan appears dry, add a splash of beef stock.
Add the garlic and saute for just another minute, stirring constantly so the garlic does not burn.
Step 6 – Combine and Cook
Add the cooked onions and garlic to the beef. Add the potatoes, carrots, reserved bacon, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and the bottle of stout.
Pour in enough of the beef stock, or beef bone broth, to coat most of the ingredients in the bowl. You may not need to use all of the stock. Mix everything together.
Secure the lid, and cook on low for 7-8 hours. About halfway through, you may want to taste the cooking liquid for seasoning and add salt if needed.
7-8 hours… yikes! If you want to save time, learn how to make beef stew in the electric pressure cooker with our tutorial!
Step 7 – Serve
Once the stew has cooked for 7-8 hours, the liquid will be thick and slightly reduced, and the meat and vegetables will be tender.
Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, adjust your seasoning, and serve while warm with crusty bread, like our Irish Soda Bread.
Nothing is Better than Beer and Beef
You may be having a really bad day today. Maybe it’s because of a horrific first date, or you banged your knee on the side of your bed frame (not again!).
You don’t need any of that nonsense.
But what you do need is a big bowl of this comforting beef and veggie stew, to help you remember that this crazy thing we call life isn’t always going to be filled with bad days.
Because there’s no way that you would feel worse after eating soup with a whole bottle of Guinness stout mixed into the broth…
And if you’re having an extra horrible day, you might need some backup. Take a look at all of our comfort food dishes to keep you full and happy for many more meals.
Want to know more about using beer in the kitchen? Learn how to brew your own, and get all the info you need on the perfect beer and food pairings.
And for the perfect summer dinner, have fun grilling this Lager and Lemon Chicken, with a beer-based marinade.
Craving dessert? Try our Guinness chocolate cupcakes with Baileys buttercream frosting, and turn that frown upside down with booze and sugar! You can find all of our St. Paddy’s Day recipes here.
What comfort food do you like to eat on bad days? If you love a big bowl of stew, keep these meaty recipes in mind when you’re feeling a little blue:
What do you think of this recipe, flavored with stout beer? Give us your own tips in the comment section below for how to stay sane and happy in this crazy world!
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Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.