Colleen’s Irish Guinness Stew

I really enjoy the warmer, not yet hot, weather we experience here in southern California during the spring.  But fall and winter are my favorite seasons for cooking.  I love making cozy comforting soups, stews, and casseroles.  There’s no reason why I can’t make these sorts of dishes during spring and summer, but it just doesn’t feel quite the same.

A few months ago, during one of our colder January spells, I got a craving for Irish stew.  But I’d never made it before.  I starting scouring cookbooks and websites for good recipes.  I couldn’t find any single recipe I really liked, so I selected what I did like from each one and came up with my own:

I opted to go a little heavy on the Guinness, but I happen to love the stuff. You might want to start off with just 1 can, and add more according to your taste during the baking process.

This is excellent with warm sourdough bread. Oh, and with another Guinness of course.

Colleen's Irish Guinness Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound lamb stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 medium potatoes, cubed (I like to keep the skins on)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • ½ large onion, chopped in big chunks
  • 2 cans Guinness
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • cornstarch mixed in water, to thicken
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pat lamb dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle lamb generously with salt and pepper. In a Dutch Oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking.
  3. Add the lamb in a single layer and brown well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer nicely browned pieces to a bowl.
  4. Melt the butter in the pot. Saute onions until translucent, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the garlic, continue stirring, and cook 1 minute more.
  6. Return meat to the pot. Add the potatoes, carrots, thyme, basil, and bay leaf. Pour the Guinness over the pot mixture. Dissolve the been bouillon granules in the 1 cup of water (this is twice the normal concentration), and add to the stew.
  7. Cover and bake 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until vegetables are tender.
  8. Check the stew with 30 minutes remaining. If the broth isn’t a thick enough consistency for you, dissolve cornstarch in a small glass of water and add it to the stew. Continue until it’s the consistency you like.
  9. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

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