Stick-to-your-ribs comfort food for a cold, rainy day, this slow cooked Beef and Guinness Stew with Crispy Onions is perfect!
Bowl of beef and Guinness Stew with mashed potatoes and green cabbage
This recipe was sponsored by CrockPot.

Fluffy jumpers, thick socks, a blanket on the sofa, listening to the rain at night when you’re tucked up cosy in bed, and slow-cooked, make-your-kitchen-smell-amazing dinners.

Yeah, I’m so ready for Autumn.

To be fair, I could eat a casserole in the middle of Summer (have you seen my summer casserole? yes, it really is a thing), but this hearty Guinness casserole, with thick, rich gravy and fall apart beef, all serve up with mashed potatoes and buttered greens is definitely winter food.

Crockpot with beef stew. Onions, Guinness and cabbage on the table.

Oh, and not forgetting the topping of crispy onions:

Plate of crispy fried onions

It doesn’t need them, but whenever I make them, I always vow that I’ll make them for every casserole and soup forevermore.

They’re a simple mix of thinly sliced onions, plain (all purpose) flour, salt, pepper, garlic salt and paprika which are fried in hot oil.

Onions in a bowl with flour, salt, pepper and paprika

Coming back to the stew itself. This is a big batch recipe – for 8 people.

It freezes well, so you can eat some and freeze a batch for quick midweek meal.

First toss the beef in flour and seasoning, sear on the sear setting. Then add the onions:

Crockpot filled with seared beef and onions

Next add mushrooms and carrots:

Seared beef, onions carrots and mushrooms in a crockpot

Then add garlic, Guinness, stock, tomato puree/paste, bay leaves, dark brown sugar, salt and pepper and place a lid on and cook for 4-7 hours (depending on setting). Easy as that!

Crockpot filled with Beef and Guinness stew, just about to be slow cooked.

So let’s talk Crockpot. Specifically this CrockPot.

Crockpot filled with beef and Guinness stew

I bloomin love it! Here are a few reasons why:

  • There’s a sear function that allows you to sear your meat and any other ingredients right in the Crockpot. No need to dirty another pan or transfer big piles of seared food to the slow-cooker (which inevitably ends up mostly on my work surface). And it works really well (I seared a whole lotta meat in one go with no problems). That hands-down 100% sold it to me. It could have had no other functions, and I’d have been happy.
  • It’s got a digital timer, telling you how long is left. It’s a simple thing, but too many slow cookers don’t have it.
  • The bowl is dishwasher safe. Yaasssss!
  • It’s got a keep-warm mode – so once your food is ready, you can keep it warm without the fear of everything turn to mush or drying out.
  • It’s got other fandangly features that I haven’t yet tried, but made me go ‘What?? no way’. Like the steam feature, the roasting feature and the baking feature. I’m looking forward to trying them out.

Bowl of beef and Guinness stew with mashed potato, greens and crispy onions.

Can I make it gluten free?

Yes, replace the Guinness with gluten free pale ale (Brewdog do one) or gluten free golden ale.

Replace the plain (all-purpose) flour with gluten free flour blend.

Ensure the stock and tomato puree/paste is a gluten free version too.

Can I make it alcohol free?

Yes, replace the Guinness with the same amount of beef stock. I also like to give it an extra kick by adding half a tablespoon of vinegar (the picking juice out of jarred beetroot is particularity good)

Can I make it ahead?

Yes – this stew takes a while too cook, so start it in the morning, and it will be ready for dinner. If you want to make it the day before, simply cook, cool, cover and refrigerate. Then reheat until piping hot the next day.

Will it freeze?

Yes. Leftovers can be cooled, covered and frozen. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight, then reheat until piping hot.

The Beef and Guinness Stew with Crispy Onions Recipe:

5 from 7 votes

Beef and Guinness Stew with Crispy Onions

Rich, melt-in-the-mouth beef stew made with Guinness and topped with crispy fried onions
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British

Ingredients

Beef and Guinness Stew:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.8 kg (4 lbs) braising/stewing beef chopped into bite-size chunks
  • 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour mixed with a good pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 200 g (7 oz) mushrooms sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 800 ml (3 1/3 cups) Guinness
  • 400 ml (1 2/3 cups) beef stock water plus 2 stock cubes is fine
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree paste for US
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp crushed black pepper

Crispy Onions:

  • 1 large onion peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • vegetable oil for deep frying you'll need enough to fill a large pan 1/3 full - I use approx. 720 ml/3 cups

To serve:

  • sliced spring greens sauteed in butter
  • mashed potatoes
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Instructions 

  • Turn on the sear functions on the Crockpot and add the oil.
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Dust the chunks of beef in the seasoned flour and fry for 7-8 minutes until golden brown all over. 
    1.8 kg (4 lbs) braising/stewing beef, 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • Add the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then add the carrots and mushrooms and stir.
    2 large onions, 4 carrots, 200 g (7 oz) mushrooms
  • Stir in the garlic. Add in the Guinness, stock, tomato puree, bay leaves, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to the boil then change the setting to slow cook. Choose either high for 4 1/2 -5 hours or low for 6-7 hours.
    5 cloves garlic, 800 ml (3 1/3 cups) Guinness, 400 ml (1 2/3 cups) beef stock, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 4 bay leaves, 2 tsp dark brown sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • When your stew is almost ready, start preparing the crispy onions.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan (make sure there pan is filled no more than 1/3 full to prevent it from bubbling over).
    vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Mix the onion slices with the flour, salt, pepper, garlic salt and paprika. Test the oil is hot enough by placing one of the onion slices in the pan. It should bubble instantly.
    1 large onion, 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour, 1 pinch salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic salt, 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Cook the onions in 3 or 4 batches for about 2-4 minutes until golden and crispy. Be careful when putting the onions in the oil as the oil will bubble fiercly. When cooked, place on some kitchen roll to drain.
  • Dish out the stew (removing the bay leaves first), and place a heap of onions on top of each dish. Serve with mashed potato and green veg.
    sliced spring greens, mashed potatoes

Notes

Can I make it gluten free?

Yes, replace the Guinness with gluten free pale ale (Brewdog do one) or gluten free golden ale.
Replace the plain (all-purpose) flour with gluten free flour blend.
Ensure the stock and tomato puree/paste is a gluten free version too.
.

Can I make it alcohol free?

Yes, replace the Guinness with the same amount of beef stock. I also like to give it an extra kick by adding half a tablespoon of vinegar (the picking juice out of jarred beetroot is particularity good).
.

Can I make it ahead?

Yes - this stew takes a while too cook, so start it in the morning, and it will be ready for dinner. If you want to make it the day before, simply cook, cool, cover and refrigerate. Then reheat until piping hot the next day.
.

Will it freeze?

Yes. Leftovers can be cooled, covered and frozen. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight, then reheat until piping hot.
.
.Nutritional Information is per serving, allowing for 3 tbsps of oil being absorbed during the cooking of crispy onions & without serving suggestions of mashed potato and green veg. 

Nutrition

Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 642mg | Potassium: 765mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5150IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This post was first published in February 2015. Updated in September 2018 with updated recipe, new photos and tips.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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Comments

  1. Paula says:

    Could I cook this in a Dutch oven/casserole dish on a gas hob or in an oven and if so how long would you recommend cooking for and what temperature?

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Hi Paula, yes, you could cook it in the oven. I would recommend 160c/325f for 3-4 hours, checking occasionally after about 2 hours. Hope that helps!

  2. marco satta says:

    5 stars
    This is delicious! I will prepare this evening for my partner. Thank you very much

  3. danielle says:

    5 stars
    I don’t care is it’s 120 degrees out, I’ll eat a casserole. Especially with those fried onion, those things look awesome!! But it is getting cooler, and this is just perfect for that cold weather (cold=68 degrees in san diego).

  4. Ed says:

    5 stars
    Lovely recipe. You wouldn’t guess there was Guinness in it once it’s done, but it makes a beautiful “gravy”. Being an incorrigible fiddler I added diced celery and a good bit of finely chopped root ginger to mine. I’d go by 4-6 oz stewing steak per serving rather than 8 oz, but maybe we’re light eaters. Thanks Nicky!

  5. Vicky Tipping says:

    I have had my Crockpot for some time now and find it marvellous!
    It is the best slow-cooker I ‘ve Had ( my last one I had for about 30+ years) . The sautéing feature is especially useful . Certainly cuts down the washing up.
    Going to try your recipe in the next few days. Thanks .

  6. Jenn says:

    Another idea for Alcohol Free: I have substituted an equal amount of Coca Cola (Not Diet Coke!) and a splash of vinegar for Guinness in my Guinness stew recipe and it tastes great!

  7. Tony Tatman says:

    Hi Nicky- can I cook this in a conventional electric slow cooker?
    If so any tips for technique?
    Thanks, Tony

    1. Chris Corbishley says:

      Hi Tony,

      Yes you can use a conventional slow cooker. You will need to sear the meat in a pan on the stove top/hob first (upto step 4).

      Thanks

      Chris & Nicky

  8. Stewart says:

    5 stars
    Been waiting for autumn for some delicious comfort food recipes, this one is up there as one of the best.

  9. Tonya says:

    I could ladle bowls of this. Absolutely delicious!

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Thanks Tonya 🙂

  10. Caroline @ Shrinking Single says:

    This looks absolutely amazing and so comforting and love the idea of a slow cooker bowl that can go on the hob. I am all for saving on washing up!

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Yes, saving on washing up is definitely on my top 5 priority list of all time 🙂