Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any cold winter night, this healthy Guinness Beef Stew is a hearty meal sure to warm you up from the inside out.
This healthy Guinness Beef Stew is my go-to St. Patrick’s Day meal.
I’m not a huge beer drinker, but when it comes to stew, I love the taste of beer along with the veggies and meat (or lentils).
This recipe came about as I’ve tried a few Guinness stews in the past and have always been disappointed in how faint the Guinness flavor was. And since making it for the first time about four years ago, my husband always requests it when St. Patrick’s Day comes along.
Just keep in mind, that this recipe was designed to let the Guinness shine. So, if you don’t like the taste of beer, you may not like this stew.
However, if you’re a fan of Guinness, then keep on reading!
Why you’ll love this healthy Irish stew
Healthier twist on traditional Irish beef stew.
High in protein to keep you nice and full.
Cauliflower instead of potatoes to keep it lower in carbs.
Packed with a rich, Guinness flavor.
Tastes even better as leftovers.
What kind of beer is best for beef stew?
I recommend making this healthy Irish beef stew using Guinness Draught. Guinness just has a deep, malty flavor that just goes so well with beef and root vegetables.
But it’s not your only option. Porters are usually my next go-to as they’re also known for their complex, malted flavor.
Ingredients Used to Make Healthy Guinness Beef Stew
Boneless chuck roast: My go-to meat for stews is a boneless chuck roast. When I can’t find chuck roast, a good back-up is a bone-in short-rib.
Butter or avocado oil: I prefer butter for the flavor in this stew, but to make it slightly healthier, you can also use avocado or olive oil.
Flour: Regular all-purpose, whole wheat, or a gluten-free all-purpose mix should all work.
Shallot: Shallots are slightly sweeter and more garlicky than regular onions, which is why I prefer them. However, you can also use a small yellow onion instead.
Garlic: I cheated and used pre-minced, but fresh will have the best flavor. You can also use dried garlic instead (about ¼ tsp for every 1 clove of fresh garlic).
Tomato paste: I like buying my paste in a tube since you won’t use a whole jar. But leftover tomato paste can also be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Unsweetened cocoa powder: This is the first secret ingredient in this healthy beef stew. It may sound odd, but the cocoa really brings out the flavor of the Guinness and beef. Just make sure to use unsweetened, not sweetened!
Low-sodium chicken stock: I used to use beef broth, but I’ve found that unless you make your own beef stock, store-bought chicken stock tends to taste better and still works just as well. My go-to is Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Stock.
Strong-brewed coffee:This is my second secret ingredient to making a stew with a depth of flavor. I’ll usually just make an extra cup of coffee in the morning and set it in the fridge for when I’m ready to cook the stew later in the day.
Guinness: You’ll need 1 ½ cans (about 22.4 ounces) of Guinness. I’ve only tried this recipe with Guinness Draught.
Worcestershire sauce: This will help add a little umami flavor to the stew.
Dried thyme, black pepper, and salt: Add to taste.
Peeled carrots: I love using fresh carrots in beef stew, but frozen will work too.
Cauliflower florets: To make this a lower carb Guinness Beef Stew, I swapped out traditional potatoes for cauliflower. However, if that sounds blasphemous to you, feel free to add in some sliced red potatoes.
How to Make Healthy Guinness Beef Stew
Brown the beef.
Saute shallot and garlic in butter before adding tomato paste and cocoa powder. Let it get all bubbly.
Add beef, broth, coffee, and worcestershire sauce.
Boil, cover, and let simmer for 1 hour. This gives the flavors ample time to meld together.
Add carrots then cook for another 50 minutes or so uncovered. The goal is to soften the carrots and evaporate some of the liquid.
Finally, add in cauliflower and simmer on low for 30 minutes. If still too liquidy, you may need to cook another 10 minutes uncovered.
I know it’s a lot of time, but for the best flavor, the longer it can cook the better.
Tip for decreasing the cooking time
To take an hour off of the cooking time, you can throw the carrots in at the same time as the broth.
Still bring to a boil and cover, but then simmer for just 30 minutes.
Remove lid, bring back to a boil, and allow to boil for 30 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid. Continue with instructions as written.
This should save you an hour of cook time, but note that the stew liquid will be a bit thinner than if you follow the recipe as originally written.
Can you make this stew in the slow cooker?
I still recommend browning the beef first and sauteeing the shallot in butter.
But after that you just throw everything in your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8.
How do you thicken Guinness Beef Stew?
The best way to thicken beef stew is a long cooking time so that it naturally reduces.
While you can add more cornstarch or flour, doing so will muddy the flavor a bit. This is why my recipe only uses flour for browning the beef and calls for periods of simmering with the lid off.
Tips for making this healthy Irish stew
Don’t leave out the coffee and cocoa powder. It may sound odd, but the two together really bring out the Guinness flavor.
Use a chicken stock rather than beef broth. Store-bought chicken stock is always better than store-bought beef stock (in my opinion). Of course, you can also make your own beef stock for the best flavor.
Brown the beef before adding it to the stew. This will make the flavor of the beef so much better!
If you tried this Healthy Beef Stew or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!
I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!
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