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Festive Irish Cooking

St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching, and I am here to help you harness the Irish Spirit!  And to give you some options to help soak up all the green beer you will be drinking.

While corned beef and cabbage is traditional St Patrick’s Day fare in America, it’s not traditional Irish food.  While I was touring the island a few years ago, the one meal that was on every pub menu, and that my husband absolutely fell in love with, was Guinness Stew.  Every Irish family had their own recipe.  Some use beef, most use lamb, all taste amazing!

I have tried countless recipes since returning to the states, so today I am going to share my best stew yet and teach you how to make an easy bread to go with it.

Guinness Stew

  • 2lb stew meat, cut into 1-2” pieces
  • 8 oz bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, halved and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4-6 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-2” pieces
  • 2-14.9oz cans Guinness Stout – plus one more to drink while cooking
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • ½ tsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • *Optional – 8oz mushrooms, slices


Step 1:  Cook bacon bits in sturdy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  When done, remove bacon and set aside.  Remove half of the bacon drippings and set aside.

Step 2: Brown meat in bacon fat in small batches until browned on all sides and set on paper towel lined plate to drain.  Make sure not to overcrowd the meat as it will steam and not brown.

Step 3: Place the second half of the bacon drippings in the pot and cook onion, carrots, leeks, and celery until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and stir.  Sprinkle flour over veggie mixture and stir to combine.

Step 4: Add a couple ounces of Guinness and scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot – this is called deglazing.

Step 5: Return bacon and beef and add all other ingredients to the pot, including mushrooms, if using.  The Guinness may not cover all ingredients at this point, but they will cook down.

Step 6: Bring to boil then reduce to simmer and cover for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables and potatoes are fork tender.


  • If you don’t like the taste of Guinness, you can substitute beef broth for all of part of the beer.
  • If the broth isn’t thick enough you can add a cornstarch slurry.
  • Make sure all ingredients are washed, cut, or prepped prior to cooking the bacon.


Guinness Beer Bread

I love having a hearty bread to go with stew and I’m always happy about a double dose of Guinness! This bread is super simple and required no rising or kneading.

  • 3 cup flour, SIFTED
  • 3 tsp baking powder – sifted with flour
  • ¼ cup sugar (can use more or less depending on preference)
  • 1 can of Guinness
  • ¼ cup butter + 1 tbsp

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease pan with 1 tbsp butter.

Step 2: Sift flour and baking powder together.

Step 3: Gently mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and Guinness together until just combined.

Step 4: Place in pan and smooth with spatula.

Step 5: Melt ¼ cup butter and pour over bread.

Step 6: Cook for 1 hour or until inserted knife comes out clean.

Step 7: Cooling on cooling tray for 10-15 minutes before slicing.


  • You MUST SIFT THE FLOUR! If the flour isn’t sifted you will end up with a football, not bread.
  • Guinness bread tends to be a bit bitter. While I love the bitter bread with this stew, you can double the sugar to counteract the bitterness.
  • You don’t have to use Guinness; any beer will work. I have made this bread with Blue Moon and added orange zest and it was amazing.
  • If you don’t like hearty bread, you can mix the melted butter in the dough and it will be softer.
  • Feel free to add whatever you want to the dough: nuts, herbs, seeds, dried fruit, etc.

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