Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any cold winter night, this healthier Guinness Beef Stew is a hearty meal sure to warm you up from the inside out.
Happy (almost) St. Patrick’s Day! And I have just the meal to help you celebrate, all you have to do is not drink 1 and ½ bottles of your St. Patrick’s Day Guinness supply (but I can’t stop you from drinking the other ½ while cooking- wouldn’t want it to go to waste 😉 ). I’ve tried a few Guinness stews in the past and have always been disappointed in how faint the Guinness flavor was. So going into this stew I knew I needed to find a way to bring that dark coffee taste Guinness is known for center stage. My solution? strong-brewed coffee and chocolate.
Note: recipe and pictures updated 3/14/18 (originally posted 3/16/2016)
Let me preface by saying I am not a beer drinker. Life would be so much easier (and cheaper), but I just never am able to finish a whole glass. Except for Guinness. I don’t know if it’s the creamy mouthfeel, the dark coffee and almost chocolate-like undertones, or my Irish heritage, but Guinness is one of the few beers I find myself truly enjoying each sip.
I went into this recipe wanting the Guinness flavor to shine, so if you don’t like the flavor of Guinness you may want to sit this one out. In order to get the full flavor of the Guinness I subbed out 1 cup of broth for a cup of strong-brewed coffee, which I made in a French Press by doubling the recommended amount of beans per 8-oz of water. While the coffee would add, well, a coffee flavor, I knew it wouldn’t be enough to bring out those dark, malty notes, so I also added 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. The flavor at this point was close, but I still wanted just slightly more Guinness, so I went with an obvious solution: add an extra ½ can of Guinness. And it was just the right amount. Yes, this stew has a Guinness flavor, but I was relieved to find it is not too “alcohol” tasting after adding the extra beer.
A final note on flavoring: I strongly recommend using low-sodium beef broth. If you don’t have the option to buy low-sodium broth, then I recommend you dilute your stew with water. Start by adding 1 cup of water, taste, and then add more if necessary. I also didn’t put potatoes in this recipe, but if you do decide to throw some in, they will also help to soak up some of that extra sodium.
Despite it seeming like half the population has some percentage of Irish heritage, growing up I was always most proud of being Irish. So when St. Patrick’s Day would come around, my family would always do something special. Whether it was cooking an Irish stew or potato soup at home or going out to eat and listening to traditional Irish music, this day always brings back warm memories of being surrounded by family. Whatever you intend on doing for St. Patty’s, I hope you too surround yourself with people who love you and good food!
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
3/14/18 Update: If you want to decrease the cooking time, you can throw the carrots in the pot 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. The taste though is just as good!
P.S. This stew goes PERFECTLY with whole wheat beer and cheese bread 😉
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This looks so delicious!