Food Guide

Discover the Best Meat for Irish Beef Stew: Expert Tips and Recommendations

Hey guys, are you ready to make the most delicious Irish beef stew in the world? I just found the very best cut of meat for Irish beef stew!

1. Neck

If you ask any Irish person how to make Irish beef stew, you’ll get a different answer every time.

Some people like to use neck of the beef.

Some people use leg.

Some people use shoulder.

Some people use ox tail.

Some people use rump.

Some people use blade.

Some people use stewing steak.

Some people use minute steak.

Some people use beef chunks.

Some people use meatballs.

Some people use a combination of beef and lamb.

Some people use bacon in their Irish beef stew.

Some people don’t use any meat at all, but they do use Guinness.

Some people use vegetables only.

Some people use a combination of vegetables and meat.

Some people use potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery, and some people use turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, and celeriac.

Some people use mushrooms and/or peas.

Some people use pearl barley, and some people use red or white wine, or both.

Some people use allspice, and some people use mixed herbs.

Some people use black pepper, and some people use white pepper.

Some people use garlic, and some people use onion powder.

Some people use mustard, and some people use chili powder or paprika.

There’s no right way or wrong way to make Irish beef stew, it’s all about personal preference.

2. Chuck

In traditional Irish cooking, the beef stew is made with neck of mutton.

In contemporary times, it’s more often made with beef chuck or neck fillet.

If using neck fillet, the pieces are cut against the grain.

Otherwise, the neck of mutton or beef chuck are cut into 2.5cm/1in pieces.

The meat is browned in a small amount of oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat.

You want the pieces to brown and caramelise.

This will add flavour to the stew.

(You could also sear the meat in a hot, dry pan before transferring it to the saucepan.


The beef is removed and set aside while the onions are cooked.

If using garlic, it’s added at this point and cooked for a few minutes more.

The beef is then returned to the pan and enough water is added to just cover the meat.

3. Shin

3. Shin

This well-marbled cut of beef is full of flavor and perfect for slow cooking.

Consider using it for a Irish beef stew.

What is Shin?
The shin is a beef cut that comes from the foreleg of the cow.

It is a well-marbled cut of beef that is full of flavor and perfect for slow cooking.

This cut of beef is also very affordable, making it a great choice for budget-friendly meals.

How to Cook Shin
The shin is a versatile cut of beef that can be used in a variety of dishes.

It is best cooked slowly, either by braising, stewing, or slow cooking.

When cooked slowly, the muscle fibers break down, resulting in a tender and flavorful piece of beef.

4. Oxtail

The most traditional cut for Irish stew is neck, but it’s very hard to get hold of neck these days, so many people use braising steak instead.

Almost any cut can be used to make stew, however, as long as it’s tough and flavoursome.

You can even use cuts that are normally used for mincing, such as neck, shoulder or chuck.

Minced meat can produce a very tasty stew, but make sure you cook it for longer to allow the flavours to develop.

If you’re using minced meat, it’s also important to make sure that the stew is thoroughly cooked through before serving, to avoid the risk of food poisoning.

The most important thing to remember when making stew is to cook it very gently to start with for at least an hour, to allow the meat to soften and the flavours to develop.

5. Lamb

The most traditional cuts of beef for Irish stew are neck, shoulder, and shin.

These cuts are full of rich, beefy flavor and have the perfect amount of fat to make a rich and hearty gravy.

The neck and shoulder are both well-marbled, which means they have a good amount of fat running through them, and the shin is very gelatinous, which gives the stew a wonderful, creamy texture.

If you can’t find any of these cuts, don’t worry! You can still make a delicious Irish stew with beef stew meat, beef chuck, or beef brisket.

Just keep in mind that these cuts will have a bit less fat and gelatin, so you may need to adjust the cooking time and add a bit more broth to get the same rich, creamy texture.


And the winners are: 1. Neck 2. Chuck 3. Shin.

If you’re looking for the most tender and flavorful Irish stew, these are the cuts of beef you want to use.

Make sure to use a nice, full-bodied red wine in the cooking process and plenty of fresh herbs and spices to really bring out the flavor of the beef and the other ingredients.


Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
Back to top button