So I made a wedding cake this weekend. And survived.
I consider that a win.
I was planning to document the whole process and write a big long post for y’all with lots of pictures and tips and hints.
But as it turns out, my camera was lost in the sea of frosting and my will to blog this experience was lost somewhere between the breakdown I had at hour 4 and balancing the final tier at hour 7. In fact, the only pictures I have were taken with my iphone. That’s how ready I was for this to be over.
So today, you just get one picture of the finished product.
And beef stew.
Because after 9 hours of seeing, smelling, and tasting only strawberry cake and cream cheese frosting, all I wanted was a bowl of the savory-est soup I could find.
And this fits the bill.
I found this recipe in a cookbook called Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries, which I received from Kerrygold as part of their St. Patrick’s Day party in a box. The cookbook is full of beautiful photos and tempting recipes, but when I saw this stew I knew it would be a winner.
Any dish that begins with a saute of bacon, butter, and shallots has to be a good thing. Add to that beef, carrots, and 2 cans of Guinness and you’ve got yourself the makings of one awesome Irish stew.
I’m not a beer drinker myself, so I was worried the beer flavor might be too strong. Turns out, it was just right. After two hours in the oven, the flavor mellows and deepens, leaving the beef fall apart tender and juicy.
This meal requires little else but a hunk of good bread to sop up the juice.
It’s the perfect dish to celebrate St. Patty’s Day, or cure a serious wedding cake hangover, whichever happens to come first.
Guiness Beef Stew
Note: I cut the bacon in this recipe nearly in half and thought it was plenty. But if you want to go for it, throw all 14 slices in! The pics are pre-cooking. The finished stew was much darker and uglier, but delicious nonetheless.
- 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 8 thick cut bacon slices, chopped
- 5 large shallots, cut in fourths
- 2 lbs. stew beef, cubed
- 12 oz. crimini mushrooms, whole
- 5 carrots, chopped into large hunks
- 2 15 oz. cans Guinness
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 Tablespoon of the butter. Add bacon and shallots. Cook until golden brown then use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large baking dish or dutch oven. Do not drain fat.
- In the same skillet, add the beef, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer beef to the dutch oven, again keeping all of the fat in the skillet.
- Add the carrots to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 3 minutes, then add them to the dutch oven.
- If you have a lot of fat left in the pan, go ahead and add the mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes. Otherwise, add another Tablespoon or two of butter to the pan and allow to melt before adding the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper then remove mushrooms to the dutch oven.
- Pour Guiness into the skillet and use a whisk to scrape up all the browned bits along the bottom. Pour these juices over the beef mixture in the dutch oven. Add the bunch of parsley and bay leaves, cover, and bake in the oven for 2 hours. Remove, add salt and pepper if needed, then serve with roasted potatoes or fresh, crusty bread.
Recipe adapted from Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries