Food with passion: Beef & Guinness Stew with Irish potato cakes

Food with passion: Beef & Guinness Stew with Irish potato cakes

I’ve made many versions of Irish stew over the years but I believe I’ve mastered it with this delicious version which is made using Guinness as one of the main ingredients!

Served with these Irish potato cakes, you have the perfect St. Patricks day themed menu.

I love this stew as its one pot cooking; perfect comfort food that requires little preparation – all you need to do is bung it into the oven to cook low and slow after which you are left with most tender fall apart beef that is mouth wateringly good.

The Irish potato cakes are perfect served with the stew but can be served with many other dishes such as my maple glazed ham and cabbage or on their own as mid-week supper!

Happy St. Patricks Day.


Beef & Guinness Stew (Serves 6 – 8)

  • 1 large piece of Beef Brisket about €12 in monies worth- Best to source this from your local butcher and ask them to trim it and cut into four separate chunks, that way it cooks quicker! Or you can use 2lbs of stewing beef pieces if you can’t get Brisket .
  • 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
  • 2 Carrots roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 100g smoked bacon lardons
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pint of beef stock
  • 400ml Guinness
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of beef gravy granules (optional)
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper for seasoning


  1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees/ Gas Mark 2.
  2. In a large casserole dish heat half the oil over a medium heat, then add the beef and cook for about 5 minutes turning to ensure evenly golden brown. Remove the beef from the casserole dish and place onto a plate.
  3. Add the remaining oil, onion, carrots, celery to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
  4. Then add the beef stock and Guinness; cook for another 5 minutes then add the bay leaves and fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  5. Return the beef back into the pan and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover with a lid and pop into the preheated oven, turning the beef half way through cooking for 3.5 hours until the meat is lovely and tender.
  7. Remove the beef from your casserole dish and using two forks pull the meat apart and pop back into the casserole dish (if using stewing beef pieces you won’t need to complete this step). Add the beef gravy granules to thicken the sauce stir (if required) and return to the oven for 10 -15 minutes.
  8. Before serving remove the bay leaves and serve with my Irish Potato cakes!

Irish Potato Cakes: Makes 8- 10

  • 1kg potatoes (Maris Piper are the best I find)
  • 1 egg Yolk
  • 100ml crème fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 spring onions finely chopped
  • 100g smoked bacon lardons cooked (or leftover chunks of ham)
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until nice and tender, drain and mash with a potato masher.
  2. While the potatoes are still warm add in the crème fraiche, mustard, egg yolk, salt and pepper then add in the spring onions and mix well to combine.
  3. Add the flour and bacon lardons / ham pieces and mix well again.
  4. Using a tablespoon take a generous piece of the mixture and roll into a ball and pat down into a patty shape.
  5. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the potato cakes on both sides until nice and golden brown. I recommend doing this in two batches to make it easier to turn them on the pan.
  6. Transfer to a warmed plate until you are ready to serve them with my Beef and Guinness stew – Irish Comfort food heaven!
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