St. Patrick’s Day with a Guinness theme! My daughter Aileen offered to be the St. Patrick’s Day chef, and she came up with a rich, smoky stew and dark chocolate cupcakes with creamy frosting.
Observance of this special Irish day has grown since the late 1600s, where it offered people a break from the eating and drinking restrictions of Lent. Feasting and drinking have become a tradition, and what better way to celebrate St. Patricks Day than with this delicious, hearty offering.
Fill your home with the mingling aromas of slow-cooking onions and beef with mushrooms and bacon, enriched with Guinness. So good to come home to on an early spring day! Cooking Guinness stew is a straight-forward process, but the results are rich and satisfying. Enjoy smoky, tender beef in rich gravy with a hint of sweetness from the onions, and depth provided by the Guinness and mushrooms. Tweak the recipe to suit your own tastes – you really cannot fail with this basic and rewarding dish.
For dessert, Aileen found a dark chocolate cake recipe with perfect frosting. The cake’s deep colour and full flavour is enhanced by Guinness and sour cream. Much more flavour in a cup of Guinness than the more common teaspoon of vanilla : ) I love how the dense, aromatic chocolate cake pairs with its creamy topping. The frosting’s smooth, slightly tangy mouth-feel is the perfect texture counterpart to the heavy chocolate cake. You can’t buy a fresh frosting like this!
St. Patrick’s Day is for everyone. Have fun and eat hearty!
Recipe 1: Guinness Steak & Onion Stew
Modified from AllRecipes.com
- 2 lb / 900 g Round Steak, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 tbsp / 15 ml all-purpose Flour
- 3 ounces grapeseed oil
- 8 slices bacon, finely chopped
- 5 onions, minced
- ¾ lb / 340 g fresh Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 bottle Guinness, 30 ml / 12 fl oz
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 package puffed pastry, 400 g / approx. 1 lb
- Preheat oven to 325 F / 165 C
- Place steak cubes into bowl and toss with flour.
- Place grapeseed oil and bacon into a large skillet over medium heat. Heat until bacon begins to sizzle. Stir floured steak cubes into bacon cook, stirring frequently, until steak and bacon are browned, 10 to 15 minutes. (Meat doesn’t need to be cooked through.)
- Transfer steak mixture to a large casserole dish.
- Cook and stir onion and mushrooms in the same skillet over medium heat until onions are lightly browned and mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to casserole dish with steak mixture.
- Stir Guinness, parsley, and brown sugar into steak mixture. Cover casserole dish with lid or aluminum foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven until gravy has thickened and steak is tender, approx. 2½ hours. Remove from oven to stir every hour. (You may need to stir more frequently if you cover your casserole dish with tin foil rather than a lid.)
- Remove casserole dish from oven and increase temperature to 400 F / 200 C.
- Spoon cooked steak filling into baking dish or into 4 individual ramekins.
- Cover steak filling with puff pastry crust. Overlap the pastry over the edges of your baking dish. (For St. Patrick’s Day I cut out shamrock shapes, coloured them green, and baked them separately. I placed the cooked shamrocks over the warm stew.)
- Bake pie until top crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
Recipe 2: Guinness Cupcakes with Cream Icing by Design Sponge
YOU next year Principle
Make time to celebrate with the people you love in your busy, busy life.
When poets write about food it is usually celebratory. Food as the thing-in-itself, but also the thoughtful preparation of meals, the serving of meals, meals communally shared: a sense of the sacred in the profane.
Joyce Carol Oates, American Author