This Irish Bunny Chow is a deliciously hearty crockpot or slow cooker dinner.

Irish Bunny Chow (no bunnies included) - a deliciously hearty crockpot dinner.

No bunnies were harmed in the making of this dinner!

I was unsure whether to share this one with you as it’s not the prettiest meal I’ve ever cooked up.  But it just tastes so gooood!

If you’ve never heard of Bunny chow, it’s actually a South-African fast food consisting of half a loaf of bread filled with meat (again not rabbit) or vegetarian curry.  One of my office buddies (hey Shaun!) told me about it a couple of years ago (I no longer work in an office now).

I loved the idea, but couldn’t get my head around serving curry with a good ole’ English loaf of bread, so I decided to fill it with a hearty beef and Guinness stew instead.
It went down a storm (some very dedicated meat and bread lovers in my house), but then for some reason I haven’t gotten around to making it again until recently.

You may have read in a couple of my previous posts that I’m trying to lose a few pounds at the moment, so I had mine served in a mini wholemeal bread roll – with extra filling on the side.  I do admit to looking jealously at everyone else stuffing themselves with mouthfuls of stew-soaked bread, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it (whilst promising myself that next time I was going to have mine in the biggest bread cob I could get my hands on!).

It’s pretty similar to the Beef and Guinness Stew with Crispy Onions that I make, but I serve that version with mashed potato and veg – whereas I put potato and carrots in this version.

It’s thick and filling, and the perfect thing for a rainy start-of-Autumn evening.

More Amazing Stews

Still hungry for more?  Why not try one of these stews inspired by different countries around the world:

The Irish Bunny Chow Recipe:

5 from 1 vote

Irish Bunny Chow

Irish Bunny Chow (no bunnies included) - a deliciously hearty crockpot dinner.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British, Irish, South African


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.25 kg (2.75 lbs) braising/stewing beef chopped into bite-size chunks
  • 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 large onions
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 500 ml (2 cups + 4 tsp) Guinness
  • 400 ml (1 2/3 cups) beef stock (water plus 2 stock cubes is fine)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree/paste
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 4 medium potatoes peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 3 large carrots peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 6-8 medium-sized bread cobs/boules approx 200g/7oz each if you can find them
  • 1 small handful of flat-leaf parsley
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  • Pre-heat the slow cooker to high.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan. Dust the chunks of beef in the flour and fry the beef for 7-8 minutes until golden brown all over (you can do this in two batches if your pan isn't big enough).
    2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1.25 kg (2.75 lbs) braising/stewing beef, 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • Add the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
    2 large onions, 5 cloves garlic
  • Add in the Guinness, stock, tomato puree, bay leaves, salt, pepper, potatoes and carrots. Bring to a gentle boil then transfer to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours (alternatively, you could put a lid on the pan and cook in the oven for 3 hours at 160C/325F (fan)).
    500 ml (2 cups + 4 tsp) Guinness, 400 ml (1 2/3 cups) beef stock, 2 tbsp tomato puree/paste, 4 bay leaves, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp crushed black pepper, 4 medium potatoes, 3 large carrots
  • Test for seasoning and add a little more salt and pepper if required.
  • Cut the lids off 6 bread cobs/boules. Use your hands to hollow out most of the bread from the inside. Make sure you don’t make any holes that the stew would leak out of
    6-8 medium-sized bread cobs/boules
  • Spoon the stew out into the bread cobs (being careful not to break up the potato as it will be very tender by now), top with a few leaves of parsley and serve with the lid of the bread cob.
    1 small handful of flat-leaf parsley


Nutritional Information is per serving.


Calories: 986kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 72g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 1437mg | Potassium: 1481mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 5125IU | Vitamin C: 22.4mg | Calcium: 307mg | Iron: 15.3mg

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

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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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  1. SC says:

    5 stars
    This is an ultimate autumn comfort dish, so delicious.

  2. Alan says:

    Sounds like a good meal.Thank you.

  3. Nate says:

    A few things: First, I had trouble searing THAT much beef in my largest pan. I had to turn it on high and it was still just lazily cooking through instead of getting that nice sear. If anybody has the same issue as I, I’d suggest doing the searing in multiple batches.
    Secondly, It doesn’t mention anywhere to put the potatoes and carrots in. I put them in with about 1 hour left in the slow-cooker. I like my potatoes and carrots with a bit of resistance to them when I bite down. Some like them mushy – in which case I say put them in with a few hours left, if not when you put the meat in.
    Otherwise, great meal!

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Thanks for your comments Nate. I’ve got to admit that I’m a lazy searer 🙂 I hate searing in two batches. Usually I’ll leave the meat for a good 5 minutes on a high heat without touching it at all, that usually get’s me over the wet/liquidy stage and starts the sear off. However, searing in two batches is a good idea if you think there’s just too much meat for the pan.
      Thanks for letting me know about my mistake! Doh! I put the potatoes and carrots in before it goes on for the slow-cook (I’ve updated the instructions now). It makes them very tender, so you have to be careful not to break the potatoes when dishing out. Thanks again for stopping by 🙂

  4. Amy says:

    My Mum always serves her Beef Stroganoff in a hollowed out cob loaf! There’s nothing like soaking up that last gravy with the crispy-soft bread roll. It’s one of the meals I miss the most now that I can’t eat it. But I love making it for Chris, and I bet he’s going to love this Irish bunny chow!

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      ooh love that idea! Have you tried it with mushroom stroganoff? I love mushroom stroganoff – especially with lots of onions <3