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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dorothy Dean presents: Hearty slow cooker Guinness beef stew is a magical pot of gold

UPDATED: Mon., March 9, 2020

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, I was compelled to share this Irish-inspired dish that’s just as magical as a pot full of gold. It’s a slow cooker loaded with the most delicious beef stew you’ve ever tasted.

Rich and hearty, it’s got all your stew basics: tender chunks of beef, velvety bites of veggies and a savory gravy in which the stew is cooked. What really elevates the flavor and adds the Irish spin on this particular stew, however, is the addition of Guinness beer.

Guinness is a traditional stout beer that originated in Dublin, Ireland, in 1759. With its distinctive black color, it’s rich and creamy with hints of coffee and chocolate. Those characteristics, combined with the roasted and unmalted barley from its brewing, add an uncommon caramelized flavor to dishes.

In this instance, the Guinness produces a stew with unparalleled flavor. And since it’s made in a slow cooker, it takes little effort to make; browning the beef and chopping the veggies is the most work you’ll do. The most difficult part is enduring the enticing aromas while waiting the 8 hours for it to be done.

It’s great served over egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. And a drizzle of creamy horseradish finishes the dish, adding a cool and tangy bite of heat that not only complements the stew, but it also makes it eye-rolling delicious.

And don’t forget warm crusty bread. You’ll want to mop up every last bit of the slow-simmered gravy.

Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew

1/2 cup flour

Kosher salt


3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks


3 carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces

3 celery stalks, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

1/2 large onion, chopped

4 cups beef broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 (14.9 ounce) can Guinness Stout Beer

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons corn starch

2 tablespoons cold water

Creamy horseradish:

3/4 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons (or more) prepared horseradish

For serving:

Egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes

Chopped parsley

Add the flour to a large bowl and season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Add in the beef and toss to coat.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the beef and let it brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, being sure not to overcrowd the pan and adding more oil when needed.

Place browned beef, carrots, celery and onions into the slow cooker.

In a large bowl, add the beef broth, tomato paste, minced garlic, thyme, garlic powder, sugar, kosher salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the Guinness into the mixture and stir. Pour the mixture over the beef and veggies in the slow cooker, add in the bay leaves and cover. Cook on low for 8 hours or until the meat is tender.

During the last 15 minutes of cooking, combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the stew, cover and cook on high for 15 minutes, or until the stew is slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, make the creamy horseradish: Combine the sour cream and horseradish in a small bowl and mix until smooth. You can add more or less horseradish depending on your taste. Transfer the mixture into a zip-top bag with the corner snipped, and chill until ready to use.

Serve the stew over egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes, and top with a drizzle of creamy horseradish and sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at

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