Instant Pot Irish stew has so much flavor from the Guinness, beef, and other simple but delicious ingredients. It’s loaded with veggies and made in one pot! Cooking at high pressure creates tender meat and root vegetables in a tantalizing broth that is fun to serve for St. Patrick’s Day or any other day when you’re craving a hearty stew!
Instant Pot Irish stew has become a new favorite comforting meal in our house. It is simple to make, uses pantry staples, and is made entirely in the Instant Pot It’s the ultimate comfort food, with the Guinness adding a flavorful Irish twist that adds a rich complexity and depth of flavor that makes this version different than your standard beef stew.
This Guinness stew has been lightened up by adding some extra veggies. In addition to the beef, there are loads of potatoes, carrots, chopped onion, mushrooms and peas. The veggies all soak up the rich gravy and become little flavor bombs in their own right.
If you haven’t tried Irish stew before, you’ll be blown away by it’s deep flavor. One bite and you’ll want to be curled up under a blanket with a good book. It’s got that level of comfort food factor to it.
One of the things I like best about making a hearty beef stew like this is that I pretty much always have the ingredients on hand. In this case, all I had to get was stew meat, Guinness, mushrooms, and parsley (which is optional of course).
Although it looks like the ingredient list is long, its basic stuff, most of which you can dump in quickly and doesn’t complicate the recipe. the recipe calls for an Instant Pot but you can make it stovetop instead if you prefer.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- oil (I get avocado oil at Costco) but you can use olive oil if you prefer
- stew Beef (round, chuck, pot roast – whatever) – you can swap this out for lamb meat too if you prefer
- black pepper
- Guinness beer – can substitute another dark beer, like a stout
- beef stock or beef broth
- Dijon mustard
- tomato paste (this tubed kind is super convenient)
- dried thyme
- Worcestershire sauce
- bay leaf
- potatoes – I used tri-color baby potatoes and recommend those, Yukon gold or red potatoes but russet potatoes work too if that’s all you have
- parsley to garnish
What cut of beef to use
Have you ever found yourself standing at the meat counter trying to figure out what cut to get when half of them look identical? Well I certainly have. I am no meat man, but I’ve learned that with stew, its pretty hard to go wrong.
Use a round or chuck roast or just buy pre-cubed stew meat. Round cuts are sometimes labeled as “bottom round” or “eye” cuts or even round steak. These are pretty lean compared to chuck roast (pot roast) which is fattier. Stew is a great way to use leaner, tougher cuts of meat since simmering will make them tender as can be. Don’t waste your good steak here.
With the Instant Pot’s magic, the simmer time is cut down significantly compared to making a stew on the stove. Pressure cooking can turn tough meats into fork tender bites in record time so don’t be afraid to use a tough cut.
Traditional Irish stew can be made with beef or lamb stew meat. If you choose to do lamb, choose a shoulder or leg cut for this recipe.
How to make Instant Pot Irish stew
I’ve already used the word simple half a dozen times but it really is easy to make!
- You start by using the sauté feature on the instant pot to brown the beef. You’ll need to do this in two batches to get a good sear on it. The sear is where all the flavor comes from.
- Then you cook the onions, mushrooms and garlic down a bit to add more flavor to the veggies.
- Add the meat back in and sprinkle flour, salt and pepper over it, stirring until the flour is absorbed.
- Deglaze the pan with Guinness and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot, and then add the beef stock, Dijon, tomato paste, thyme, Worcestershire, and bay leaves.
- Stir well to mix in and then add the potatoes, carrots, and peas and give it all a good stir (it will look like the picture on the left below.
- Set to pressure cook on high for 30 minutes and then naturally release pressure and you’ll end up with the picture on the right!
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Tips for making perfect Instant Pot Guinness beef stew
While you can certainly make Irish stew on the stovetop or in a slow cooker, the Instant Pot creates the same results (or better!) with less time. Plus, the Instant Pot has the sauté function which most crock pots don’t so you can avoid dirtying another pot.
Some Instant Pot recipes are overly complicated but this is not one of them. While this recipe is easy enough for a very novice cook and Instant Pot user, there are a few things that you’ll want to note to make sure yours comes out absolutely perfect.
- Make sure to cut the potatoes and carrots larger (1 1/2″ and 2″, respectively) so they’ll be perfectly cooked. They will be fork tender and easy to break small pieces off with your spoon when eating. Cutting them smaller could result in mushy veggies.
- While not necessary, taking the extra step of searing the meat in two batches adds extra flavor. I know, it gets an extra plate or bowl dirty, but all of the beef won’t fit in the pan at the same time so the top pieces will end up steaming instead of searing if cooked all at once.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, and peas after mixing in the liquid and spice ingredients, not before. This ensures that the liquids and seasoning gets evenly dispersed since it’s harder to stir the pot once those carrots and potatoes are in there (learn from my mistakes!).
- Yes, Guinness can be replaced with another dark beef if needed. Some ever swap it with red wine but that turns it into a completely different stew. I really don’t recommend beer substitutions in this recipe. It’s great as written. If needed, the mushrooms and/or peas can be left out if you don’t have them without other adjustments needing to be made. You can of course replace the Guinness with red wine or broth and it will be delicious, just not a traditional Irish stew.
What to serve with Irish stew
Well, a crusty bread or biscuit is an absolute MUST in my opinion! This Irish stew recipe really can and does act as a one pot meal even without bread though since its very filling. No sides or starters needed and you’ll probably end up too full for dessert too.
BUT, if you do want to serve something alongside your stew, here are a few options to make it a complete meal:
- A good crusty bread – this Irish soda bread from Recipe Tin Eats would keep with the theme!
- Serving with this versatile kale salad with the most tantalizing lemon dressing around would certainly be welcome.
- Pretty much anything from this list of 20+ healthy dessert recipes – they’re all drool worthy!
Frequently Asked Questions
To make it gluten free, replace the Guinness with a gluten free stout beer and use a gluten free Worchestershire sauce. In addition to this, leave out the flour and thicken at the end by stirring in a cornstarch slurry and bringing to a boil to thicken the broth into more of a gravy. A slurry is 1 Tbsp. cornstarch (or arrowroot) mixed with 2 Tbsp. cold water.
Of course! Sear the mushrooms and onions in a large dutch oven instead of an Instant Pot and then remove and set aside. Sear the meat and toss with flour, salt and pepper as directed in the instructions. Deglaze the pan with the Guinness and add all remaining ingredients except the potatoes, carrots and peas. Let the meat cook covered at a low simmer for about an hour. Add vegetables and simmer for another 30-40 minutes until vegetables are fork tender. Season with salt and pepper, garnish and serve.
- 1 Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker (tested with 8 quart but will work in 6 quart Instant Pot too)
- 2 Tbsp. oil (avocado, olive or whatever you prefer, divided)
- 2 lbs. stew beef (round, chuck or other beef cut into 1 – 1 ½” cubes)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup Guinness
- 2 cups beef stock or broth
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 ½ Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ lbs. potatoes, cut into 1 ½” pieces (I use Yukon Gold)
- 1 lb. carrots, cut into 2” pieces 4- 5 medium carrots
- 1 cup peas frozen or fresh
- Salt and pepper to taste
- chopped parsley to garnish
- Turn Instant Pot to Sauté setting and add 1 Tbsp. oil to pot.
- Once oil is hot, add half of the stew beef and brown. Remove browned beef and set aside. Add remaining beef and brown (adding all at once will keep the meat from getting a good sear).
- Add remaining Tbsp. oil. Once oil is hot, add onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes to soften. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes longer.
- Add meat back into pan and sprinkle flour, salt and pepper over meat and veggies and stir to evenly coat.
- Add Guinness to pot and stir to deglaze the pan, scraping any baked on bits off the bottom of the pot. Add beef stock, Dijon, tomato paste, thyme, Worcestershire, and bay leaves and stir to evenly distribute and mix well. Add potatoes, carrots, and peas and stir.
- Put pressure cooker lid on and close to LOCK position. make sure vent is set to SEALING position.
- Set Instant Pot to pressure cook for 30 minutes on HIGH.
- Once cook time is complete, use a wooden spoon and kitchen towel to QUICK RELEASE pressure. Stir and season stew with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle each serving with parsley to serve if desired. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days, reheating using the microwave or stovetop.
Originally published 4/1/2020. Post has been updated since to add more detail.