St. Patrick’s Day Feast

by Lisa on March 17, 2009

As a tribute to my Irish heritage, I decided to post some St. Patrick’s day recipes – well, they may not be Irish per se, but at least they have Guinness in them! My husband and I have been on a big Irish food kick for the past couple weeks in preparation for a big trip to Ireland we’re planning for May, so I’ve been on the prowl for Ireland-inspired Guinness recipes for several weeks now.

First, I made a traditionally Belgian dish, Beef Carbonnade, Irish by using Guinness instead of a belgian ale – this recipe was modified from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittmann (which was actually a book Beth gave me for my engagement! ) Anyway, I highly recommend the book – it really does teach you how to cook everything.

Irish Beef Carbonnade

1-2 tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil

2lbs beef stew meat

1 clove garlic, peeled & crushed

2 large or 3 medium onions, cut into eighths

1 1/2 cups of Guinness

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 Bay Leaf

Instructions:

Heat a large casserole dish (or deep skillet) over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the oil and the crushed garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Remove the garlic from the pan.

Add the beef to the skillet, browning on all sides. Season with salt and pepper lightly while it sautes.

When the meat is browned, remove it from the pan. Add the onions. Cook, stirring for about 10 minutes. Then add the Guinness and add back the beef. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook undisturbed for about 60 minutes, or until you’re happy with the consistency of the stew.

Serve over warm buttered egg noodles, or boiled potatoes.

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My second dish is a chocolate cake (yum!), also made with Guinness. I found this recipe a while back and thought it looked fabulous, and I’ve been saving it for St. Patrick’s day – I made it for a family celebration last weekend, and it went over very well! It’s not too sweet, very moist, and the Guinness adds a complexity to the chocolate flavor I really appreciated. I think the cream cheese frosting complimented the flavor well – although I did have to add much more confectioner’s sugar than it called for – my measurements are what I included below. In the end, though, the consistency was lovely. I decorated the cake with a shamrock, in the spirit of a finely poured pint in Ireland.

Ingredients
Cake
1 cup Guinness
1 stick unsalted butter, sliced
? cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
? cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ? teaspoons baking soda

Icing
8 ounce cream cheese
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Pour Guinness into a large saucepan, add butter and heat until melted. Whisk in cocoa powder and sugar. In a small bowl, beat sour cream with eggs and vanilla and then pour into brown, buttery, beery mixture and finally whisk in flour and baking soda.

Pour cake batter into greased and line pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (Check at 45 minutes for doneness, poking a skewer in center.). Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.

When cake is cold, gently peel off parchment paper and transfer to a platter or cake stand.

Place cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl, and whip with an electric beater, until smooth (You may also do this with a food processor.).

Add cream and beat again until you have a spreadable consistency. Frost the cake, beginning in the middle and fanning outward (like foam might, on a real pint!).

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