Irish Game and Guinness Stew

St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and there are many wild game recipes that are fitting for an Irish feast, such as “Corned Goose or Venison” or “Hunter’s Pie Baked Potatoes” and this newly perfected venison and Guinness stew!  Sláinte Mhaith! (aka cheers! meaning “good health” and pronounced slan-cha vah)

Irish Game (Venison) and Guinness Stew


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, or more as needed
  • 2 pounds boneless venison roast or steaks, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1-2 Tbsp Java Rub Shanghai Six Spice
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (11.5-ounce) can/bottle Guinness Stout beer
  • 4 cups beef stock, or more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks (5 to 6 carrots)
  • 4 medium ribs celery, cut into large chunks
  • 1 lb  baby red and/or baby new potatoes (any waxy potato will do)


Prepare the meat

Heat oven to 300 degrees F.

Using paper towels, pat the cubed venison dry. Mix flour, dash of salt and pepper, and Java Rub (a mixture of coffee, ginger, cinnamon, anise, cloves and red pepper) in a bowl or plastic bag.  Toss the meat in the flour mixture so that all sides are lightly dusted. Note: best to shake the flour mixture and meat together in a bowl with a lid or seal-able bag.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Then working in batches and adding additional oil as needed, add the venison in one layer to the hot oil. Cook, turning occasionally, until the venison is well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer venison to a plate and reserve for later.

Reduce the heat to medium then add the garlic and tomato paste to the same pot (Dutch oven) that the venison was seared in. Cook, stirring often until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the beer, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme, stirring up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a low simmer then add the venison back into the pot. Cover with the lid and transfer to the oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Prepare the vegetables

While the venison cooks, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper then cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are lightly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

After one hour, remove the lid of the Dutch oven and stir in the onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer  in the oven with the lid partially open, until the venison is tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour longer. If the top of the stew becomes dry, add some extra beef stock.  Recipe perfected by Keith Tidball. 

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