Slow Cooked Guinness and Brown Sugar Beef

Who needs it to be St Patrick’s Day to eat corned beef?


If you aren’t keen on the normal way of boiling the heck out of your corned beef, or the traditional vinegar flavouring, then this is for you. In fact, if it wasn’t for the colour of the meat, you probably wouldn’t even know that this was corned beef.

Cooking the beef in the slow cooker results in amazingly tender slices. The onions pick up all the zing of the sweet chilli sauce plus some of the sweetness from the brown sugar. And the gravy…. well, what can I say? The mashed potato that I served to accompany the beef was perfect with the gravy drizzled over it.

This recipe does require a bit of time – overnight refrigeration of the marinaded beef and then a good 8-9 hours in the slow cooker – but it is worth the wait. If you don’t want to use corned beef silverside then substitute another joint of beef suitable for slow cooking. But, as I only paid $6 a kilo, I think corned beef makes this meal a bargain.

I adapted this recipe from one that I found in the food supplement of ‘The West Australian’ newspaper on Thursday (2nd May).

By the way, you need a big slow cooker to make this – mine is about 6 litres/quarts.

Ingredients – serves 8:

  • 2.3kg/5 lb piece of corned beef silverside
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup salt-reduced beef stock
  • 1 cup Guinness (or other dark beer/stout)
  • 400g/14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree/paste
  • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • mashed potatoes and peas, to serve


  • Rinse the beef and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place on a large plate.
  • Mix together the sugar, paprika, garlic granules, pepper, oregano, thyme and red chilli flakes. Rub this mixture all over the beef. Cover the beef with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are just softened. Place the onions in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Remove the beef from the fridge and place it in the frying pan (without it’s juices). However, do not discard any juices on the plate as you can add these to your sauce.
  • Turn up the heat under the frying pan to high and then brown the beef well on all sides. Place the browned beef in the slow cooker on top of the onions.
  • In a large jug, mix the beef stock, Guinness, diced tomatoes, tomato puree/paste, sweet chilli sauce, Worcestershire sauce plus any beef juices left over from the overnight marinading.  (Tip: if there is any excess sugar left on the plate, don’t put this in the sauce as it may make it a little too sweet.)
  • Put the sauce into the frying pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat. Carefully pour the sauce over the beef in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours.
  • Use a large pair of tongs to carefully remove the cooked beef from the slow cooker. Place on a plate and remove any excess fat from the top of the beef before slicing.
  • Serve the beef with mashed potatoes and peas plus some of the gravy from the slow cooker.
  • Enjoy!



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3 Responses to Slow Cooked Guinness and Brown Sugar Beef

  1. I love how “brown sugar beef” just rolls off the tongue. I wonder why it’s not more common? I love how affordable corned beef is and how versatile it is very leftovers too. I cook corned beef every now and then but I have only ever tried 1 recipe. My husband adores it, but I think it’s time to embark on a new corned beef recipe.

  2. Pingback: Recipe Round-up: St Patrick’s Day | Recipe Adaptors

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