Cranberry beef stew is a festive, seasonal variation of the classic dish. A subtle tartness from the berries pairs well with the bold flavors of beef and Guinness.
This time of year begs for comfort food.
And what’s more comforting than a hearty, stick to your ribs stew?
Nothing unless it’s been dressed up for the holiday season.
That’s this recipe!
Cranberries add a seasonal flare to this traditional stew that really just enhances the other flavors so its festive and cozy.
Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
- Stew beef – You can often find packages of already cut beef in the grocery store.
- Seasonings – Ground thyme, dried oregano, salt and pepper (to taste), and bay leaves.
- Garlic – Minced or pressed.
- Onion – Any kind, diced.
- Beef broth – I use regular, but you could use low sodium versions.
- Veggies – Chopped carrots, thinly sliced celery, frozen pearl onions, and button mushrooms.
- Guinness stout beer – You could use a different stout beer, but in our opinion Guinness has the best flavor.
- Water and flour – You’ll mix this together to make a roux to help thicken it.
- Whole berry cranberry sauce – The sauce gives the soup the cranberry flavor.
- Mashed potatoes – These are a great side and serving suggestion for the soup.
How to make
Making this is pretty easy and gives you tasty results!
Whisk together the thyme, salt and pepper, and oregano until evenly combined in a mixing bowl.
Next, toss the beef in the bowl of spices.
Once the beef is ready, heat a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat and then give it a spritz of non-stick cooking spray.
When the pan is nice and hot, add the beef.
Cook it for 6 minutes, stirring often, so that it sears on all sides but does not cook through.
Add the broth, onion, bay leaves, and stout to the Dutch oven and then bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a low simmer and then cover the pot with the lid.
Let the mixture to cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
After two hours, remove the lid and stir in the pearl onions and prepared mushrooms.
Return the lid to the pot and then continue cooking another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the bay leaves from the pot.
Finally, whisk the flour mixture and cranberry sauce into the stew until evenly combined.
Then let the mixture simmer for an additional 5 minutes to thicken.
Serve the stew over mashed potatoes or cooked egg noodles and enjoy!
To store the soup, ladle it into an airtight container when cooled. You can then store in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days.
You can also freeze the soup by placing in a freezer safe container and placing in the freezer for up to 6 months.
You can reheat the soup either on the stove top over medium low heat or individual servings in the microwave.
Tips and tricks
- Don’t overcook the meat. It doesn’t need to be cooked through, just sear it for a few minutes. The broth will cook it slowly, which will make it nice and tender.
- Only add the mushrooms towards the end, this will help ensure you don’t pulverize them.
- If you don’t want the flavor of beer, you can skip it, but it tastes amazing in the soup so I highly recommend using it.
Other Beef Stew Recipes
This cranberry beef stew is a cozy meal to add to your rotation this time of year. Put it on your menu this week!
Looking for other beef stew recipes? Try these:
If you’ve tried this CRANBERRY BEEF STEW, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers!
Cranberry Beef Stew
- 2 lbs stew beef cut into 1" pieces
- 2 tsp ground thyme
- salt & pepper to taste
- pinch dried oregano
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 oz Guinness stout beer
- 1 10 oz pkg frozen pearl onions
- 8 oz button mushrooms washed & quartered
- 1/4 cup water + 2 tbsp flour whisked together until smooth
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 3/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
- mashed potatoes for serving
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the thyme, salt & pepper, and oregano until evenly combined. Add the beef to the bowl, and toss until evenly combined.
- Heat a Dutch oven, or heavy bottomed sauce pan, over medium heart. Give it a spritz of non stick cooking spray.
- Once the pan's hot, add the beef. Cook it for 6 minutes, stirring often so that it sears on all sides- not so that it cooks through.
- To the Dutch oven add the broth, onion, bay leaves, stout. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a low simmer, then cover the pot with the lid. Allow the mixture to cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid & stir the pearl onions and prepared mushrooms into the stew. Return the lid to the pot, and continue cooking another 15-20 minutes- stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaves from the pot. Discard.
- Whisk the flour mixture & cranberry sauce into the stew until evenly combined. Allow the mixture to simmer/cook for 5 minutes- it will thicken during this time.
- Serve the stew over mashed potatoes or cooked egg noodles & enjoy!