St Patrick’s Day maybe over but you can still enjoy the luck of the Irish with this easy to make Irish stew, and top it all off with chocolate cupcakes flavored with Guinness stout. Spring maybe a day away but here in Upstate NY it’s snowing hard with an expected accumulation of almost a foot. But with a few simple ingredients you can whip up a tummy warming pot of stew with an Irish flair. Originally I was looking to do a post for an Irish dinner in honor of St Patrick’s Day but looking out the window I decided that this stew is good any time, even the day before Spring!
The original recipe was found on simplyrecipes.com and when I make a recipe for the first time I try to follow it exact but the foodie in me can’t resist adding my own special touch – this time was the addition of rutabagas. I also added some thickener at the end to make the broth even more rich. This stew is hearty, no doubt about it with a delicious, flavorful broth. And if you’d like you can even make it in the crock pot. I guarantee your house will smell amazing when you open the front door after a long day at work. The original recipe cooks on the stove for almost 2 hours allowing the wine and tomato paste to break down the fibers in the meat making it melt in your mouth.
To round out this meal I found a recipe for Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes. The perfect way to use the rest of that can of beer from the stew. I found this recipe on tasteofhomecom The original was made in a spring form pan but I decided to make it into cupcakes. I think this makes it easier to mimic a cup of the stout, especially with a swirl of the cream cheese frosting. And cupcakes are good for portion control.
To make Irish Stew you will need:
½ cup of veg oil
1 ½ pounds of stew meat
1 cup of flour seasoned with salt and pepper
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
6 cups of beef stock or canned broth
1 cup of Guinness beer
1 cup of red wine
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 Tablespoon of dried thyme
1 Tablespoon of Worchestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons of butter, unsalted. Try Kerry Irish Gold butter for a little Irish flair.
3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ cubes
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups carrots cut into ½ inch pieces
1 ½ cups of cubed, peeled rutabagas
Salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
When I was taught to make stew by my mom she always dusted her stew meat with a little seasoned flour. This gives the final product a little bit of a thickening agent. If this doesn’t give the stew enough of a thickening you can always use a slurry at the end of some seasoned flour and some of the hot broth. Stir it into the hot stew and it will thicken almost immediately.
To make Irish Stew:
Dredge the stew meat into a little seasoned flour and brown in a large Dutch oven in batches. (If the pan is too crowded the meat will not brown but will steam, so if you have to cook the meat in batches remove the browned meat and then add back to the pan once all the meat is browned.) Once the meat is browned add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the beef stock, the beer, the wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worchester sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
While the meat is simmering in the broth, melt the butter in a large skillet and add the vegetables. Saute them until golden, about 20 minutes. Once the stew has simmered for one hour, add the vegetables and simmer for another 40 minutes, uncovered until all the vegetables are tender. If the stew is too thin you can thicken it by using some of the seasoned flour you used to dredge the meat in. Just take about a cup of broth from the stew pot and add about 3 tablespoons or so of flour. Stir the slurry to combine (should be the consistency of cream) and pour this into the simmering stew. Not only will this thicken it but it will give a nice sheen and rich flavor. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
I serve the stew right from the pot with a huge slab of bread smothered in butter for each serving. Serve in a big bowl and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Like any stew this one gets better and better as it sits but is best on the third day.
Now since your tummy is filled with delicious Irish Stew you still have just enough room for dessert-- a Chocolate Guinness Stout Cupcake.
These cupcakes (originally baked in 9 inch spring form pan) are dense and extremely moist, with the tang of sour cream and the bite of stout. They're topped with a swirl of cream cheese frosting that mimics the frothy head of the beer. So cute! and not to mention DELICIOUS!!
These cupcakes aren't made your traditional way. They start on the stove top and you never need a mixer, just a large saucepan.
To make Chocolate Guinness Stout Cupcakes you'll need:
1 cup of Guinness Stout
1/2 cup of butter cubed
2 cups of sugar
3/4 cups of baking cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cups of sour cream
3 teaspoons of vanilla
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large sauce pan add the Guinness (be careful working with alcohol over an open flame, add the beer to the pan off the flame. Turn on the stove after the beer is in the pan and on the burner). Add the cubed butter and cook on low heat until butter is melted.
Remove pan from heat and add the sugar, whisking until dissolved. Add the cocoa powder and continue to whisk until it's all incorporated. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add to the sauce pan and stir until well combined.
Combine the flour and baking soda then add to the sauce pan and stir until the batter comes together.
Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Makes about 18 cupcakes.
To make the Cream Cheese Frosting you'll need:
1 (8 ounce package) of softened cream cheese
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
enough milk or cream to reach the proper consistency. This frosting is going to be a lot softer than most cream cheese frostings but this will allow you to create the illusion of the "head" of the beer.
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the cream cheese until light. Slowly add the powdered sugar on a lower speed so that it doesn't fly out of the bowl and all over the kitchen (and yourself!) Add the milk slowly by the tablespoon until you've reached the consistency you like.
Have a favorite holiday meal you'd like to share? Feel free to in the comments section below!