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Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Recipes

With the annual celebration of St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to offer up a few of my seasonal favorites. It may seem a shame to pour this great brew into a recipe, but the richness of Guinness gives all these dishes that extra "Irish kick." In each case, the alcohol will cook out, departing its special essence.

This first recipe is a wonderful starter on a chilly night. It's great for St. Patrick's Day celebrations OR just a cozy dinner for two in front of the fireplace.

Irish Cheddar and Stout Fondue
1 pound Irish Cheddar (such as Dubliner), grated
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion,
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon coarse-grain mustard

1 1/4 cups Irish stout (such as Guinness or Murphy’s)

Toss the cheese with the flour in a bowl and set aside.
In a fondue pot, (or a heavy pot), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and very soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the salt, mustard, and stout. Increase the heat to medium-high, stirring constantly, until the liquid boils.
Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the cheese mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until melted after each addition. Serve immediately.

Serve with: Irish brown soda bread cubes; chicken-apple sausages, cut into bite-size pieces; steamed red or Yukon gold potatoes; steamed brussels sprouts.

Pairing suggestions: stout or ale; hard cider; sauvignon blanc.
Recipe courtesy of Fondue, by Rice & Callinan

Here is a simple, but delicious appetizer that packs a wee bit o' Guinness flavor! Wonderful as a starter paired with a fine Belgium Witbier or a nice pale Ale.


1 (8 oz.) pkg. of cream cheese

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tsp. onion juice

1 tsp. paprika

2 tbsp. Guinness

2 (4 oz.) jars smoked oysters, chopped

Finely minced chives
INSTRUCTIONS: Bring cheese to room temperature; mix with mayonnaise, onion juice, paprika and Guinness; whip until fluffy. Fold in finely chopped smoked oysters and chives. Note: Onions can be juiced in a food processor or can be chopped very fine.
Serve with crisp dip crackers or whole wheat breadsticks.

Shepherd's Pie with Guinness

The roasted barley in Guinness imparts a deep intensity and richness to this gravy. It's important to allow adequate simmering time. There is controversy over using ground beef or lamb in Shepherd's Pie. Traditionally, a pie made with beef is termed a "Cottage Pie" and one with lamb is the "Shepherd's" (makes sense!). But, I prefer beef and have tweaked this recipe and have made it many times with good results. This recipe makes enough for 10 people with some leftovers!

5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks

4 Tablespoons sour cream

2 large egg yolks

1 cup milk (or cream)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 pounds ground beef (0r lamb)

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 med onions, chopped

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

1 cup beef stock

1 cup Guinness (draught can or extra stout is good)

4 teaspoons Worcestershire

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup frozen peas

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

12 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

2 tablespooons of chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS: Boil potatoes in water until tender. Drain potatoes and add sour cream, egg yolks and milk. I also add a few pats of butter for richness. Using hand masher, mash until smooth.

In large frying pan, brown ground beef in the oil, sat and pepper well. Add onions and carrots and cook until tender, stirring and breaking up the meat. In a second skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add flour, stirring and cooking for approximately 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in broth, beer, worcestershire and tomato paste and stir until thickens. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes - stir frequently. If it gets too thick, add a bit of water or additional broth.

Add the gravy to the meat and stir in defrosted peas. Pour mixture into a 13 by 9 baking dish, (that has been sprayed with cooking spray), spread potatoes over the top to completely cover. Add the shredded cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for approxitely 20 minutes,. Sprinkle top with chopped parsley and serve.


Guinness Pot Roast

Here's a perfect recipe for a late March Saturday or Sunday. It is worth the cooking time! The key to this very moist roast is in the searing and the extended braising process. The Guinness helps with the tenderizing. Less expensive cuts of beef, such as a boneless chuck roast or an arm roast, will work out very well. Secret ingredient here -- pretzels - yep, pretzels & beer - how could it not be great?

1 boneless chuck or arm roast (3-3 1/2 lb.)

salt & pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups shiiitake mushrooms (stemmed and sliced)

1 1/2 cup onions, diced

2/3 cup carrot, diced

2/3 cup celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 bay leaves

3 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup pretzels, finely ground

2 12 oz bottles of Guinness Extra Stout

2 cups beef broth

2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

3 carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks

4-5 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven tp 325 degrees. Trim meat of excess fat and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil over med-high heat in an ovenproof Dutch oven. Sear roast on all sides until brown, 4-5 minutes per side. Tip: once the oil is hot, add meat but don't move it around. It needs constant contact with the heat to brown and develop a nice, dark crust. Remove from pan to plate.

Sweat the mushrooms, vegetables, and seasonings in the potfor 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, cooking for two minutes. Add in ground pretzels. Deglaze the pan with the addition of the Guinness, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan; stir in broth, Dijon and Worcestershire. Return the meat to the pot and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover and transfer to the oven.

Braise the roast for two hours. (Enjoy the lovely aroma!) Remove the roast from the oven, turn over with a carving fork and add carrot and potatoes. Cover and return to oven for an additional 45 minutes.

To serve, transfer roast and carrots to serving platter, cut meat into chunks. Simmer sauce on top of the stove, simmer off any fat. Pour over meat, potatoes and carrots. Serve with nice crusty bread, a good Cabernet Franc, a full-bodied ale, (or another bottle of the Guinness!).


Guinness Chocolate Cake

2 cups stout (such as Guinness)
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream

2 cups whipping cream
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Instructions: For cake:Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.

Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For icing:Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.
Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.


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