lunes, 17 de marzo de 2014

Guinness beef stew

Hello everybody, and happy Saint Patrick's day, the Irish feast! To celebrate this beautiful day we bring you a traditional irish dish, the Guinness Beef Stew, made with the traditional Dublin Stout Beer. It's a dish perfect for rainy and cold winter sundays, and perfect for every other day of the year too!

Guinness beef stew and Champ

two pints of Guinness stout
The Guinness stew seems to have naturally evolved from the traditional Irish Stew, that was made from readily-available ingredients like for example lamb or even mutton, parsley and onion. Vegetable roots helped to raise flavour, while the stock was made out of trimmings. It was a very traditional recipe back then, but after XVI century were added also the potatoes coming from the Americas and after Anno Domini 1759, someone unknown had the best idea of its life adding the Guinness Stout to the Irish stew, creating the epitome of Irishness: the Guinness Beef Stew.

As we alway tell you for traditional recipes, every single house has a different recipe, and everyone of them is the original one. As an adopted spanish-italian irish house, we have our own version too, of course! In this case, we're gonna add some ingredients typical from our countries. Here you are the recipe, we hope you'll enjoy it as we did!

italian concentrated tomato sauce

  • 1 Kg of stewing diced beef
  • 3 onions
  • 3 or 4 carrots
  • 1 big leek
  • 200 ml. beef stock
  • 500 ml Guinness Ale (peferably Guinness extra stout in bottle)
  • 3 spoons of concentrated tomato paste
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 spoon of meat extract (Bovril)
  • 1 laurel leaf
  • thyme
  • rosemary (optional)
  • olive oil

the southern touch

-put a cooking pot on the fire with twor or three spoonful of olive oil and add the onion, previously diced (brunoise cut) amd add the salt on them, to let the mix simmer better.
-When the onion starts to simmer and begin to seem transparent, we add the diced beef (you can ask the butcher to cut it for you to have it ready for the stew).
Let the meat simmer until it change its colour and start to look like golden brown, without leaving it too much, otherwise it would result overcooked, just 10 minutes or so.
-Next step is to have the carrots peeled and julienned. Cut the leek brunoise and add all to the pot for other 10 minutes approximately, together with the concentrated tomato paste. In my case, I always use the triple concentrated tomato paste by Mutti, an italian quality brand from Parma highly recommended.

the final result
-Add the spices, I tend to use a pinch of thyme and a leaf of laurel, but you can add rosemary too if you want. Spices are just a matter of taste...but you know, sometimes "less is more".
-After 10 or 15 minutes since our veggies started poaching, we add the Guinness ale. At this point, increase the heat, and after other 10-15 minutes add the meat stock and a spoonful of salt, in order to avoid that our stew becomes too acid because of the tomato and the veggies.
-Put a lid on the pot and let it cook at medium high heat for at least an hour. Remember stirring once in a while the stew with a wooden spoon. In this phase the sauce will start to densify, and the sauce will densify better if you decided to use bottle Guinness ale instead of tin can, since the bottle of Guinness export extra stout is heavier. The beef stew will be particularly soft and tasty. This happens when we cook meat with beer, since beer allows the stef not to dry out. If you don't like to taste alcohol in your dishes, don't panic! The Guinnes stew will not have taste of alcohol at all! We'll have an easy different and tasty sauce home made. Come on, let's try it! It just so super tasty!

Some Irishmen adds potatoes to his Guinness stew since potatoes are without a doubt the star ingredient of Irish gastronomy. The vast majority of all Irish dishes have potatoes in it. If you want the potatoes, you can add them halfway through our cooking, that is in the last 30 minutes, more or less. In this way, potatoes will simmer and gets the flavour of the sauce completely. Another option is to fry the potatoes, dice them before they completely fry and add them to the stew. As for the side dish, that's a matter of taste too! In Ireland they use to cook the Guinness stew along with a kind of tasty mashed potatoes known as "Champ", and that is how we love it too!
Our leprechaun Paddy loves Guinness beef stew

Once you've cooked the Guinness Stew, your house will taste like heavens, your neighbors will ring at your door eagering for some stew! This dish is even tastier if prepared a day before it is served. It might be a long process, but really it is a self-made dish! Put it all into the pot and let it bubble!

Slainte everybody and...enjoy it!

Happy Saint Patrick's day!


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