The weather is beginning to cool. And it feels like it is time to eat some warm hearty foods such as stews and casseroles and roasts. I say this as if it were true. Back that up a minute. I meant to say that the longest day draws nearer yet it doesn’t truly feel as if winter has arrived. I haven’t seen snow. But it is cooler in the evenings and any excuse to cook wholesome food. Plus I want to make stew using Guinness, the Irish mother of the beers. Or was it that the Irish mothers used to drink it. Well its both. Ireland
is playing played New Zealand at rugby today yesterday. I had decided to make Guinness and beef stew BEFORE I knew about the game. Seriously. I am not a rugby fan. There I said it. I do not say this aloud often. I am the black sheep of the family. I like to cheer on a team to win but I have never seen an entire game. I think it was the Irish spirit that was calling me for support. And support it I did via the belly.
I went to the supermarket. That seems to be where you buy wine or beer these days. That is why the bottle store/liquor stores are losing business. Supermarket alcohol shelves used to be draped on Sundays to give people a rest, to respect the day of rest. Now there is no rest! I wanted to buy one can of Guinness. I will say it louder. I wanted to buy ONE can of Guinness. No such luck. I had to buy a half dozen. I had a choice of cans or bottles. I calculated the ‘best deal’ and went for the bottles. I also though that waste not want not and had already cleared a space in my mind for where to store them in the fridge for later.
I don’t drink beer usually. But I like dark beer in summer on the odd occasion. Monteiths Black Beer is my favourite, if I had to chose one. It comes from a brewery on the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand and they make a variety that suit whatever type to like to drink. They have ‘blonde’ beers too.
I am into hour two of stew cooking in the oven and the potatoes are on the stovetop bubbling and boiling away, minutes away from being pounded and milked and buttered and mashed. What else could I have chosen. Mashed potatoes or ….? I can’t think of anything else. I decided to cook the stew for THREE hours. I want the meat to melt. I am willing to wait. And there are the Guinness leftovers to consume if I get bored. Two have gone already without much effort. It wasn’t boredom that got me it was the ‘waste not want not’ attitude that has been drummed into me. I am just obliging the habit. Perhaps the recipe should have said 6 bottles. One for the pot and the rest for while you wait. Three hours is actually a long time. Between two and two and a quarter hours it was too much and I had to munch on cashew nuts so I wouldn’t faint.
It is time to mash. I will be back.
Guinness and Beef Stew Recipe
800g chuck steak, tenderise and cut into 3-4cm pieces
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, big chunks
salt and pepper
3 cloves of garlic, whole (more if desired)
1 T oil
2 T flour
1 bottle of Guinness beer, 330ml or thereabouts
2 T tomato paste, dissolved in 4 T water
Preheat the oven to 150C (300F).
Tenderise the meat. (Great exercise and excellent stress reliever. Let your hair down, sleeves rolled up.) Cut off the fat. Cut into 3-4cm size pieces. Place into a bowl with the oil and toss till all covered. Add the flour and salt and pepper. Toss again.
Brown the meat in a pan.
Add the onions, tomato paste and garlic. Stir for 5 minutes.
Place the meat and onions into a casserole dish/Dutch oven.
Pour a bottle of Guinness into the empty pan and allow the leftover meat juices to blend. Boil and then pour over the meat.
Add the carrots and thyme.
Place in the oven for 3 hours with the lid on. Serve with mashed potatoes.
For mashed potato recipe see Red Jacket Mash.
Oh and the next day the stew tastes even better!
recipe adapted from Home Cooking at About dot com
For those of you interested in the score. All Blacks 42-10 against the Irish.
Statistically speaking the Irish have only ever drawn with the All Blacks once, on 20 January 1973 in Dublin, score 10-10, all the other games were, umm, lost.
The New Zealand rugby players are called the All Blacks. Why don’t the Irish have a nickname as well? The Shamrocks? The Clovers?
I have discovered that there is a sport called Gaelic football. I wonder if I would prefer that to rugby?