Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Guinness Beef Stew and Irish Soda Bread

Happy St Patrick’s Day! Did you all drink Guinness and eat green tinged foods?

I had high hopes for St Pat’s. But alas they all fell through. Instead I spent it cooking and watching old episodes of Greys Anatomy. Although it did have a silver lining – my resultant culinary attempt is simply beyond amazing.
I was going to make more cake, but my freezer is stocked right now and the Brown Eyed Baker totally made this sound amazing. That and I haven’t cooked any actual meals in a long time so was probably due for something other than butter or sugar.

I live by myself so this recipe made about 3 weeks’ worth. Lucky it turned out well or that would have been a colossal waste of money ;)
To go with my amazing stew I whipped up a loaf of Irish Soda Bread. Easiest bread ever. It’s very dense – I wouldn’t have a sandwich with it. But it’s excellent for slopping up stew. Or warm with jam and cream....or peanut butter and chocolate chips....

Guinness Beef Stew

700g (ish) beef, cut into bite size pieces

3 tbspn vegetable oil

2 onions, chopped chunky


1 tbspn tomato paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup plain flour

3 cups chicken stock

1 can Guinness Draught

4½ tspns dark brown sugar

1 tsp thyme

4 potatoes, cut into bite size pieces

4 carrots, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

2 tbspn fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large saucepan (or casserole dish if you wish), add the onions and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned.

Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 1 minute.
Whisk in the chicken stock, ¾ cup of the Guinness, brown sugar and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in the beef and return to a simmer.

Cook on low, uncovered, for 90 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. (If you’re using a casserole dish, bung it in the oven at this point)

Stir in the potatoes and carrots and continue cooking until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour, stirring halfway through cooking. Stir in the remaining ½ cup of Guinness and the parsley.  Pour the remaining Guinness into a glass and serve with stew.

Irish Soda Bread

2 & 2/3 cup plain flour

1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to hot. Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. Make a well in the center, and pour in buttermilk. Stir gently. The dough will be sticky, but not overly wet. If needed, add in as much as 1/4 cup more buttermilk (although I didn't).
Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Form into a circle and place on the prepared pan.

Use a sharp knife to cut a cross into the top of the dough (I have no idea why this is for - possibly to just look traditional?).
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

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