This Guinness beef stew with biscuit topping is the perfect winter dinner recipe. It is hearty, beefy, full of vegetables, and deeply flavorful from the garlic, onions, Guinness, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and bacon. Then top that off with some cheddar herb biscuit topping you bake right on top of the stew and you have a fantastic meal.
As with any beef stew, this recipe needs some cooking time. It is mostly passive though. Once you put the stew together you can just throw it in the oven and let it cook away, filling your house with a wonderful smell. When you are about 40 minutes from dinner, you add the topping and bake the biscuits on top of the stew.
I used garlic, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes and parsnips in this. You could leave any of those out if you prefer, and you can also add some mushrooms to this too if you’d like. The Guinness is really important here. I suggest you don’t substitute with lighter beer. It won’t taste the same. There is something magical that happens when Guinness is cooked down in the oven. I use Guinness in my favorite sandwich of all time, Beer Braised Short Rib Sandwiches too. I tried that recipe once with lighter beer because that was all I had, and it was totally missing something in the flavor of the gravy.
This biscuit recipe uses self rising flour, which is not something I keep on hand. That is easily solved though by making your own. Just combine 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt with every 1 cup of AP flour and there you go! This recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups self rising flour, so I just mixed 2 cups AP flour, 3 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt and kept the extra 1/2 cup of self rising mix for another use.
Hope you love this winter time recipe!
Guinness Beef Stew with Cheddar Herb Biscuit Topping
For the stew:
- 1/4 lb bacon chopped
- 2 lbs boneless chuck roast trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
- salt and pepper
- 4 stalks celery cleaned and sliced
- 3 large carrots diced
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 1 russet potato peeled and diced
- 1 turnip peeled and diced
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1 12 oz bottle Guinness
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed into a few tbsp water, for thickening if needed
For the biscuits:
- 1 1/2 cup self rising flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/3 cup shortening or butter
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese preferably Irish
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 tbsp mixed fresh herbs like parsley, chives, green onions, thyme finely chopped
For the stew:
- Cook the bacon in a large, oven-safe, heavy-based pot or dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels, but leave the bacon fat in the pot. Season the beef with salt and pepper and fry in the bacon fat until browned on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pot, add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots until soft . Stir in the tomato paste. Pour in the Guinness and Worcestershire sauce. Allow to come to a simmer and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the beef back to the pot and pour in the beef broth. Add the bay leaf and and cover. Place in a 300 oven for 1 1/2 hours (or you can simmer on low on the stove if you prefer). Add the potatoes and the turnip. Simmer for another ½-1 hour, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Remove the bay leaf. If the stew is still thin, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water. Mix the slurry into the stew and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer again, stirring occasionally. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
For the biscuit topping:
- Stir together the self-rising flour and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Cut in the shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the cheddar cheese, then add the milk and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Make small circles of the dough and place them on top of the stew, leaving them room to expand– they grow a lot as they cook. Place the stew in the oven uncovered and bake until the dumplings are browned and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved bacon.