A tour through the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin offers more than just a tour of historic brewing and local culture. You can actually learn something to impress the ladies.
I’m told chicks dig a man who can cook. I figure they’ll also be pretty pleased with a guy who puts beer to use in pan instead of down a gluttonous gullet. So, I appreciate the folks at Guinness offering up a cooking lesson with the brewery’s Executive Chef Justin O'Connor.
In keeping with the spirit of Arthur Guinness and his now world-famous adult beverage, O’Connor presented a simple, hearty recipe for Guinness Stew – a distinctly Dublin take on the traditional Irish stew.
O’Connor arranges a simple collection of ingredients: a pint bottle of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, stew meat, steak or roast, brown sauce or gravy (with any store brand serving as adequate), salt, pepper, onions, potatoes, celery, parsnips, carrots and rutabaga. The amount of each ingredient all depends on how many you’re serving and how much Guinness Stew you want to show off to folks.
Obviously, all of the ingredients are cut into chunks – not chopped. The meat is seared, then browned in a pan of hot oil. Once the meat is cooked, set it aside.
Combine the vegetable ingredients in a large pan and pour half of the Guinness Foreign Extra Stout pint into that pan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and stir the mix until the ale cooks down.
Pour the brown sauce or gravy into a large pot and pre-heat to a simmer. Then, add the meat and the entire vegetable collection into the mix. A pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer – stirring occasionally.
It takes about two hours of simmering for the stew to cook down and thicken properly. We didn’t have time during our cooking lesson to sit through that. So, O’Connor turned to that classic cooking show trick of preparing a batch before the crowd showed up – because cooking class attendees expect to eat as much to learn.
O’Connor’s sample batch also demonstrated the proper serving suggestion. This was Ireland. You need potatoes. A scoop of mashed served as the perfect garnish/side in a stew bowl. I grant you that’s not exactly a stunning revelation as a plating display, but it works in Dublin (and anywhere else where lovers of good food aren’t tripping over themselves to impress their gourmet friends).
The taste is as rich and hearty as any solid beef stew, but the Guinness Foreign Extra Stout gives the recipe a little tartness and spice to honor Arthur Guinness and his ale for the ages.