This Slow Cooker Irish Stew is perfect whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or just craving hearty comfort food! Tender beef, hearty vegetables, and plenty of herbs and spices are simmered in a rich broth — it’s sure to become a family favorite! Plus, thanks to the slow cooker, it’s super easy to make!
This Slow Cooker Irish Stew is one of my favorite recipes in the fall, winter, and early spring (heck, I’ve even made it in the summer)!
The combination of tender beef, beer, veggies, and spices creates a savory and comforting flavor. The slow cooking process ensures tender beef and that all-day cooked flavor…little do people know, the slow cooker does 95% of the work! Another reason I love this recipe!
Serve it up over mashed potatoes with a fresh green salad on the side. Or, whip up a batch of this Easy Irish Soda Bread and use the bread to dunk into the hearty broth! Either way, you’ll experience comfort food at its finest!
Need another amazing stew recipe?? Try this Texas-Style Cowboy Stew!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Irish Beef Stew in the Crockpot:
Beef: Although lamb and mutton are traditional in Irish stew, beef is my preference. Beef labeled “stew meat” that is pre-cut is always a great time-saver! Otherwise, you can buy a chuck roast and cube it yourself. Avoid super lean cuts of beef as they tend to dry out with the long cook time.
Beer: Guinness beer is the obvious choice for this slow cooker Irish stew, but any dark stout beer will work just fine! Avoid lighter, “lager” type beers.
Potatoes: Baby red potatoes or baby Yukon Golds are perfect for this recipe. They tend to hold up better when slow-cooking than russet potatoes.
HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER IRISH STEW: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the printable recipe card below!
Step 1: In a hot pan, brown beef cubes on all sides. You should see a dark, rich brown color on all sides of the meat. This equals FLAVOR!
Step 2: Add seared beef to your crock pot, along with onion, garlic, 3 cups of beef broth, Guinness (or other beer), sugar, paprika, thyme, carrots, and potatoes. Give everything a big stir!
Step 3: Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours until meat is tender. Optional: Whisk 2 tablespoons of corn starch with the remaining 1/2 cup of COLD (or room temperature) beef broth. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and stir. Allow the stew a few more minutes to thicken. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve!
When your stew is done, taste it. Then, season with salt, fresh pepper, and fresh parsley, if needed. Waiting to season at the end of cooking will allow the seasonings to stand out! Always TASTE your food at the end before adding seasonings!
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Store this slow cooker Irish stew in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Leftovers are fantastic for lunch!
- Reheating: Reheat in a pan over medium heat until warmed through. Add a splash of beef broth if it’s too thick.
- Freezing: Allow the stew to cool completely. Then, transfer to a freezer-safe container or zip-top freezer bag. Freeze for 4-6 months. When you are ready to enjoy the stew again, defrost in the fridge, then follow reheating instructions above.
Additions & Substitutions
- Veggies: Feel free to add other veggies! Root vegetables work best when slow-cooked–parsnips, turnips, and sweet potatoes provide great flavor and texture!
- Beer: Although not in traditional Irish stew, red wine also works great in place of beer!
- Vegetarian Option: Swap out the beef for mushrooms or lentils!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Absolutely! In fact, lamb or mutton is used in a traditional Irish stew. My family happens to not like lamb, so we use beef.
Yes, you CAN…but I definitely recommend taking the extra 10 minutes to brown the beef! It adds SO MUCH flavor! Trust me!
But if you are asking if it’s SAFE to put raw beef in the crock pot…yes, it is!
TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
TRY THESE NEXT…
Slow Cooker Irish Stew
- 3 1/2 lbs. beef stew meat or chuck roast cut into 2" pieces
- 1 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper +more to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced the best garlic chopper
- 3 cups beef broth or beef stock
- 1 14.9 oz. can Guinness beer or any dark, stout beer
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried thyme or 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 1 1/2 lbs. baby potatoes, cut into 1" pieces (red potatoes or Yukon Golds work great) optional, See Note 1
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley optional, for garnish
- 2 tbsp corn starch + 1/2 cup cold beef broth/stock optional, for thickening
- Prep: Sprinkle the beef cubes all over with salt and pepper.
- Sear: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add beef cubes and sear on all sides (about 2-3 minutes on each side). You should see a nice, deep brown color on the beef.
- Transfer: Transfer meat to the slow cooker–make sure you scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and add those, too!. Then, add remaining ingredients: onion, garlic, 3 cups of beef broth, Guinness (or other beer), sugar, paprika, thyme, carrots and potatoes (if using). Give everything a big stir! [Note: reserve the remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth to thicken the stew later].
- Slow Cook: Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or 4-5 hours on high or until meat is tender.
- Thicken (Optional): Whisk 2 tbsp corn starch with the remaining 1/2 cup of COLD (or room temperature) beef broth. Pour mixture into the slow cooker and stir. Allow the stew a few more minutes to thicken.
- Finish: Remove thyme sprigs (if using). Taste, and season with salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with Irish Soda Bread or over mashed potatoes!