Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew with creamy Yukon potatoes, bacon, carrots and a rich tomato beef gravy, this is the perfect winter stew!
Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew
Guinness Beef Stew made in your slow cooker is probably the most comforting and richest beef stew you’re ever going to make. The addition of the beef base, the rich, dark, Guinness beer… This is a stew for a day of curling up on the couch under a blanket.
I don’t usually cook with beer, but in the slow cooker I am a huge fan of it like with my Ultimate Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches and more notably one of my favorite recipes, the Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches. I find it is a quick and easy way to add a great depth of flavor and a very unique savory flavor.
Can you make this dish without the Guinness? Yes, but I’d prefer to direct you to last week’s Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew because I feel like you’ve got the directions and the balance in flavors already.
Why use Guinness in the Beef Stew?
You certainly don’t have to use Guinness, even with the glamour pour shot below this post is not sponsored by them. I just find they are the easiest stout beer to find in markets and convenience stores. Another good stout beer I love is a company from my hometown called Strand Brewing Company.
Tips for making this Crock Pot Guinness Beef Stew:
- Just like with the Ultimate Beef Stew, brown your beef! I used a chuck roast, seared it well on both sides, then trimmed and cut it into 2-3 inch chunks.
- Use Yukon Potatoes! They’re buttery and rich and won’t fall apart after a long day of cooking.
- I browned the beef in my cast iron skillet and got a GOOD crust on both sides with plenty of kosher salt and black pepper. If you have a slow cooker with an aluminum insert I highly suggest browning it in the insert and saving all the browned flavor that stays in the pan for your stew.
- If not using a base use beef stock instead of broth and its even more important to get a good sear on the meat, then deglaze the pan with the stock to make sure all the beef flavor comes with it.
- Instead of crushed or diced tomatoes I use tomato paste. This will minimize liquids and add a bold flavor.
- In a stew you aren’t looking for the consistency to be that of a soup, so minimizing added liquids is helpful. If using canned tomatoes instead of paste drain the can.
Looking for more Slow Cooker Recipes?
- Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak and Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
- Slow Cooker Roast Beef (Sliceable!)
- Ultimate Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Want to make this Guinness Beef Stew in the oven?
Brown the beef in a large dutch oven before cubing (you can also cube before browning if you prefer. Then add in the ingredients, mix well and cook in a 325 degree oven for 3 hours.
Tools Used in making this Slow Guinness Beef Stew:
Slow Cooker: Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse for me… until…
My New Slow Cooker: This recipe was made in this slow cooker. I brown the meat in the insert without losing a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.
Cast Iron Skillet: If you don’t have a slow cooker with a stovetop friendly insert, this is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Pig Tail Flipper: I use this to flip the chuck roast easily. I use this tool EVERY time I cook something that requires flipping, it is amazing.
Beef Base: I almost never buy boxes of broth because I keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon.
- 8 ounces bacon cut into small pieces
- 3 pounds chuck roast
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 12 ounces pearl onions peeled
- 5 medium Yukon potatoes cut into 2 inch chunks
- 5 carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
- 2 stalks celery minced
- 4 cups beef broth *
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 12 ounce bottle Guinness Extra Stout
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Preheat an aluminum slow cooker insert or cast iron skillet on high heat.
- Cook the bacon until crisp, then remove.
- Season the beef with half the salt and the pepper.
- Add to the skillet and brown on each side for 4-6 minutes or until deeply browned on each side.
- Into the slow cooker add the pearl onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, half the bacon, broth*, garlic, beer, second half of the salt, tomato paste, thyme, and sugar.
- Cut the beef into 2 inch chunks and add it to the slow cooker.
- Stir all the ingredients until well mixed and cook on low for 7 hours.
- In a small bowl mix the butter and flour and add it to the slow cooker and stir.
- Cook an additional hour or until thickened.
- Just before serving add in the remaining bacon and stir.
- *Alternately use a big scoop of Beef Better than Bouillon like I did in addition to water/stock. The extra beef flavor is fantastic.
Best beef stew ever. Skipped the celery as I didn’t have it. Went with stew beef rather than a chuck roast as a timesaver. Did use Better Than Bouillon. Good for St. Patrick’s Day for those who don’t care for corned beef and cabbage.
Makes a lot. Will halve next time.
Confused on the better than bouillon. I use that but I would assume I use 4 teaspoons of that with 4 cups of water instead of using broth, but it almost sounds like you used it along with broth?
I’m glad you asked. It is either/or not both.
This recipe turned out pretty well but I would/did change a few things. I wish I had cut everything about half as big as it says. The combination of the thin liquid (as listed) and giant pieces made it feel more like a roast and less like stew. I used at least 4-5x the amount of flour listed to get even a remote stew consistency, but on the whole, the flavor was very good. I wish I had spent more time trimming fat off the meat, but that might have just been the piece I got.
How thick should this stew get? I love the taste but I prefer a thick stew and mine didn’t thicken! I did just read comments though and realize I shouldn’t have melted my butter. Is it worth trying again or is this just not a really thick stew? Flavour was delicious!
Hi! This is one of our thinner stews, its not supposed to be super thick. Sorry!
Do you discard the bacon grease?
I did. Hope you enjoy it!
Can I cut recipe in half for 4 quart Crock-pot?
Can I cook the meat the night before and deglaze the pan with broth to save the drippings?
I don’t recommend it. Doing so could introduce bacteria into the meat. Sorry.
I’m a paid professional Firefighter and I work in a house with 7 guys. I decided to go with this recipe and I followed it exactly, except for the bacon at the end. Made it in two slower cookers and served it with egg noodles. Came out awesome, every single guy had seconds. Only thing I would say is after the 8 hours, take the top off and turn off the heat and let it sit for 20 mins or so. We just went straight after it and it was lava hot! Great recipe, thank you!
I’m so glad you all enjoyed it! Thanks for the 5 stars, Josh.
Is it ok to let this go in the slow cooker for 8-9 hours?
I would suggest getting a slow cooker that automatically adjusts to a “warm” setting once the cook time is complete.
This was amazing! I omitted the bacon because I forgot to buy it. But we didn’t miss it, it was that good. I used my Dutch oven because I didn’t feel like pulling out my slow cooker, and it was great. Will definitely be making this again. Might add quartered mushrooms next time!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
Great recipe. Thanks for sharing. Took me back to Time spent with family in the UK.
Aw, so glad that it brought back such good memories!
I’m not a good cook and I made this twice absolutely delightful
So glad you love it so much!
I am making this today.It says to mix butter and the flour together.Is the butter melted?
No, you just want to mash it together before putting it into the slow cooker.
This was fantastic! I made this in my dutch oven, and I thought it was amazing! The only changes I made were that I cut up the meat before browning it, and I added 2 bay leaves. My husband made some delicious soda bread to go with it.
Sounds delicious! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
How much tomato paste do we add ?
1/4 cup of tomato paste 🙂
Made this for the first time today exactly as outlined in your recipe (including the Beef Better than Bouillon recommendation). My wife and I both really enjoyed it. This will definitely become part of the rotation of recipes we use. Thanks very much!
I’m so glad you decided to give it a try, Bruce. Thanks for the 5 star rating.
Can’t wait to try your recipe for St Patrick’s Day to go along with corned beef and cabbage. Would it be ok to use Guinness draft beer instead of the extra stout? And I’ve used frozen pearled onions in other recipes but do they have to be peeled?
Shoot, I’m just now seeing this! You should be good either way. I hope you enjoyed it!
Can I cook on high for 4 hours vs on low for 8?
You may want to do high for a little longer, maybe 5 hours but yes you absolutely can.
If I preped the night before do I put the Guinness in or wait for the morning
I don’t recommend browning the meat and then refrigerating it to use the next day. I could introduce bacteria into the roast with partial cooking and time in between. If you’re going to skip that step, I guess you could and just add the liquid in the morning before starting the slow cooker. Searing the meat adds such a richness though that I think that step is totally worth it. Good luck!
I am making this on a snow day, and can not wait to eat dinner! I drained the bacon grease before I cooked the beef. I couldn’t find where it said to keep is or take it out.
I left it in while seasoning the beef but you’ll be ok either way. I hope you enjoyed it!
Loved the stew! I am making it again, do you think I could add some frozen peas during the last hour of cooking?
Yes, they’re a great addition! So glad you’re loving the recipe.
Love the stew! I got back from Ireland a few weeks ago and just had to make this. I didn’t add the bacon just added a few table spoons of bacon fat and it was Perfect!
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Tom. Hope you had a great trip!
One tip I would offer is not to use Guinness Original XX Porter (If it is available in your region). It is far too characteristic (strong?) and spoils the dish. Personally I tend to use Mackeson Milk Stout as it is a little bit milder and does not swamp the other flavours.
Thanks for the feedback!
Did you receive my message…that this was the worst stew I have ever made. Followed the instructions,except I added green beans in the last hour. None of the Vega led were cooked and the stock would not thicken. Can I save it?
I didn’t get any messages about your stew my apologies. I’m not sure what you mean about the Vega led? Do you mean vegetables? If so it may mean your slow cooker may not be cooking at the right temperature or maybe it was overloaded so it wasn’t cooking through enough. If you added the butter/flour mixture and cooked for an additional hour it seems like that should have definitely thickened your stew, if it did not this also makes me think somehow your temperature is too low. Either way my immediate reaction would be to move your stew to a dutch oven/large pot and place it in a 300 degree oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked through. Since you’ve already added your roux (flour/butter) this may cause the liquids to thicken too much so I would check it periodically to make sure you don’t have to add additional liquids. I would not throw out your food. If the vegetables aren’t cooked then the meat isn’t tender either which tells me additional cooking can benefit the ingredients and you can still have a tender delicious meal. I hope it turns out for you.
Outstanding beef stew. Thanks for the recipe.
Wow! What a fine stew this makes. I used the pearl onions the first time. After that just a medium yellow onion rough cut and it is just as good. I have also made with more veggies and less beef. That works great as well.
So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the 5 star rating.
OMG! This is the best beef stew I ever had! My husband and daughter loved it. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Yay! So glad you loved it, Connie! I really appreciate the 5 star rating.
Looks great! What size should my slow cooker be for this size recipe?
I used a 6 qt slow cooker for this recipe. 🙂
Just wondered if you must use the bacon in this stew? trying to cut fat & calories a little bit. Thank you!
You can leave it out if you’d like.
No adequate words to describe this, it was SUPERB! Will be making recipe from now on.
Love it!! Thank you so much for the 5 stars!!
Bring on the slow cooker dishes! I love this one!
Thank you Krista!
I LOVE Guinness beef stew, but have never tried it in the slow cooker!
This looks like the perfect comfort food to me! I bet the Guinness adds so much flavor. 🙂
Thanks, Carrie! It really does!
That looks positively mouthwatering!
This looks like the ultimate comfort food!
Perfect comfort food!