"Mighty" Beef Stew


Mighty beef stew


We love beef stew and for the past year, have wanted to create our own version. So finally here is our stew! It turned out “mighty” good. Beara Irish Brewing Company is a local brewer, who uses imported Irish barley for their beers. Owners Michael and Louise Potorti have roots in the Beara Peninsula in County Cork (Louise is from there). So they are huge fans of the farm to table movement both here and in Ireland. Using local brews and local beef (from Tendercrop Farm) was the perfect combination for our vision as well here at Irish Food Revolution.

If you cannot find a strong local brew for yours, then Guinness works just as well, of course. However, Beara Irish Brew’s “Mighty” does have a stronger flavor than Guinness, which we loved in this stew. It added a zestier ale taste to the stew. If you live in the Seacoast New Hampshire area, then we highly recommend snagging Mighty. They are brewing a new batch as we speak!

Before heading to the recipe, a word about Dutch ovens, which are the best things on the planet. For years, we swooned over the Le Creuset versions, which were out of our price range. However, we found Lodge Cast Iron that makes great Dutch ovens for a very reasonable price.


Mighty stout from Beara Irish Brewing



Ingredients
Serves 6-8 (great for leftovers!)

  • 3 ½ pounds of grass fed beef, buy pre-cut or cut into 1 and1/2 inch pieces (grass fed is expensive, yes. But the more we read, the more convincing the argument. It is simply better for our bodies.)
  • 4 Tbs of vegetable oil
  • l large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 ¾ cups of organic beef stock
  • ¼ cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups of Beara Irish Brew Mighty (or similar dark brew)
  • Fresh thyme (4-5 sprigs, leaves only)
  • 1 ½ pounds of Yukon Gold Potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pound of peeled carrots, sliced into 1 inch long pieces

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (adjust the oven rack to lower middle of oven)

2. In a large bowl, mix the beef with 2 Tbs of oil and flour until fully coated. Heat the remainder of the oil in a large Dutch oven (6 quarts).

3. Brown the beef in the Dutch oven for about 8 minutes. Add in chopped onions, garlic, thyme, and cook another 5-8 minutes or so. Add in tomato paste and cook another 2 minutes. Stir often during these steps.

4. Stir in beef stock and ¾ cup of ale, scraping off the bottom brown bits in the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and then put in the oven for 80-90 minutes.

5. Take it out of the oven, add in carrots, and stir. Return to the oven. Cook for 15 more minutes.

6. Take it out of the oven, add in potatoes, remaining ale, and stir. Return to the oven. Cook for 45-50 more minutes.

7. Serve with bread and eat!



Enjoy with a slice of rye bread

Guinness ketchup

Guinness ketchup put into action


Tired of the blasé condiments you pick up at the grocery store? Has it even dawned on you that there are other options you could choose to top off that burger or dip fries into? Irish Food Revolution has added the rich smoothness of Guinness Stout into a sweet and spicy ketchup that is a perfect complement to anything you’d eat with regular ketchup. The results are full-flavored, sweet and spicy and you probably have most of what you need already on hand.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ cup malt vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (reduce or omit if you don’t like spicy heat)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 16 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup Guinness Stout

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium, then add onions and cook until softened and translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour until thickened. Let cool for a few minutes and add to blender, or simply use an immersion blender. The ketchup should last a few weeks in the fridge.

Ingredients
Everything you need to make Guinness Ketchup

All of the ingredients cooking
All of the ingredients beginning to simmer

Ready to blend
Ready to blend

Guinness Ketchup

Coconut and blackcurrant chocolates

Coconut blackcurrant chocolates

Recently we were browsing through an international market named Kazimierz in Kittery, Maine and stumbled upon an old favorite — blackcurrant hard candies. We took a container home and fumbled around with some recipes until we hit upon a simple mix that combined chocolate, coconut and the crunchy, unique flavor of blackcurrant candies. They didn’t last long.

There are just a few ingredients in this recipe and it couldn’t be much easier to whip up a batch. We used chocolate molds, which are available at most craft stores, but you could use small ice cube trays or mini muffin cups in a pinch. The candies melt into the chocolate a bit, but there’s still enough crunch to keep things interesting. Just make sure not to turn the candy into dust.

Ingredients (makes 20-22 chocolates)

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup cacao (or cocoa)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 hard blackcurrant candies (you can substitute mints or whatever hard candies you prefer)
  • (Optional) powdered sugar

Place candies in a sandwich bag and smash into bits (bigger than pulverized — enough to offer some crunch) with a kitchen hammer. Sprinkle a little in each of the chocolate molds.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil. When it is just liquified, add the honey and whisk to combine, removing from heat. Add the vanilla and cacao and whisk until smooth. Spoon into molds and refrigerate until solid, 30-45 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. And that’s it.

Ingredients
Pretty basic ingredients

Coconut oil and honey just melted
Coconut oil and honey heated until just melted

Ready to pour
Chocolate ready to pour

Molds with crushed blackcurrant candies
Molds with crushed blackcurrant pieces

Ready to cool
Chocolates ready to refrigerate

Ready to eat

Dublin French Toast

Dublin French Toast


Tired of limp French toast? Can you power through a day without the sausage and bacon? You bet you can. And our version is hearty enough that you won’t even miss the meat. We used our own brown soda bread rather than the pale white excuse for bread that passes the muster most elsewhere. Throw on your favorite toppings and you’ll have a breakfast fit for a marathoner.

Ingredients
2-4 slices thick cut brown soda bread
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon brown sugar
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Pictured toppings
Real maple syrup
Strawberries (optional)
Banana slices (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Place a frying pan on medium heat.

Whisk two eggs until frothy. Stir milk, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt into egg mixture. Stir or whisk well to combine.

Soak bread slices in egg mixture, flipping with tongs until bread is pretty well saturated — a minute or so per slice. Set soaked bread on a plate.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of butter into the frying pan and heat until melted, tilting the pan or using a spatula to coat the bottom of the pan. Place soaked bread in pan and cook until underside is browned, flipping and repeating with the second side. Add more butter if desired or if you’re making more than two slices.

Serve warm with plenty of real maple syrup and/or any combination of powdered sugar, fruit, berries or jam.


Egg mix
The egg mix ready to combine

Ready to dip
Ready to soak

Soda bread soaking
Soaking the brown soda bread

Dublin French Toast frying
Frying the soaked bread

Dublin French Toast

Split Pea with Bacon Soup

Pea soup with bacon


I think I have the definition of stick-to-your-ribs soup. Made from ham stock, everyone’s favorite green seed (yes, seed) and smoky bacon, this split pea and bacon soup is sure to please. I’ve avoided the Irish tradition of pureeing the soup, skipping the step while letting the peas break down of their on volition.

I just happened to run across a pound or so of ham bones from a local farm and figured a ham stock was the easiest way to use them. I simmered them with onions, garlic, sliced carrots, celery, a bay leaf, a handful of peppercorns and a half teaspoon of salt in enough water to cover for at least a couple hours. When it tasted full and “hammy” I strained the stock and refrigerated, scraping off the fat after it cooled before freezing until I was ready to use it.

Ingredients
4 cups ham stock (see above)
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 teaspoons black pepper (freshly ground preferably)
1 pound dried split peas
1 cup chopped carrots
5 slices bacon

Bring ham stock to a simmer and add onion, garlic and pepper, allowing to simmer for 1 hour. Pour in the peas and carrots and simmer 1½-2 hours, adding a pint of water if needed, until the peas have broken down and are soft.

Cook bacon and strain on paper towels. I microwave the bacon surrounded by plentiful paper towels two minutes and then in 30 second to 1 minute intervals until the bacon is crisp (maybe another 3 minutes depending on microwave strength). Cut or break bacon into bits and add to soup. And enjoy.



Pea soup stock
Ham stock with onions, garlic and pepper added

Pea soup cooking
Split peas and carrots added

Pea soup cooked
Split pea soup cooked

A spoonful of split pea with bacon soup