Happy St. Patrick's Day!

There is no Irish in our family. British, yes, French, yes, but no Irish.

Nor was there any green beer or milk, in our St. Patrick's Day, though I did go out and buy a can of beer. Or Guinness, actually, which isn't exactly a "normal" beer, is it?

Instead I went with more traditional types of Irish fare for us to have a quiet St. Patrick's Day celebration, one that would not involve the nasty side effects that would come from spending your night down at the local pub, enjoy a pint or two. Or three, as some people do.

Before I had a chance to go searching for recipes, Anna, went and posted up a selection for people, over on her blog Cookie Madness. Thank you Anna, you saved me some work! From her list, I selected three things, Irish Stew, Irish Soda bread, and Guinness Cake.

Which means I should have bought TWO cans of Guinness, and not one. Oh well, we made do.

Dinner started out with this Irish Stew, which ended up being short changed on the Guinness it required, plus a bit short on the red wine, again, because I can't read a recipe or the volume on a bottle of wine. Not that the stew was lacking in flavor because of this. No, instead it had great body, taste and texture. So much so that even both my children ate their entire bowls, including the broth.

I will make this again, probably with the proper amounts of beer and wine, but will increase the carrots and I may want to thicken up the broth a bit as there was alot of liquid. As my husband said, it was unlike an English style stew in the thickness of the broth, which was not great for dipping bread into it.

Speaking of the bread, I continued with the Irish theme and make Irish Soda bread, again posted by Anna.

This bread was as simple as could be, and came together in minutes, which was good because I was trying to assemble it around the 5 year old who was unloading the dishwasher in front of me, and asking questions a mile a minute. (Yes, I get my 5 year old to unload what he can of the dishwasher, a job that he is happy to do at this point and let's him feel like he's contributing, which he is.) I admit I wasn't sure about the raisins in this, and considered omitting them entirely. Afterall, I was after a bread to go with a lovely, savory stew, and the raisins seemed out of place. In the end they worked out well, though this bread was not really suitable for dunking in the stew. It had good flavor though, warm with melted butter, so it was all good.

The last part of our Irish dinner was Guinness Chocolate Cake. Yes, I baked a cake with beer in it, as well as putting some Guinness in the icing. I was a bit skeptical about the beer in icing, mostly because I do not like beer, either the smell or the taste, but this worked out well. I needed to be a bit more generous on the icing between the layers though, but had been concerned there would not be enough icing for the entire cake, so had been frugal. In the end I had a bit left over.

This cake was not only enjoyed by my own family, but was shared with the neighbors, who claimed it "the best chocolate cake ever!" Guess it was success!

I hope everyone had a lovely St. Patrick's Day, however you celebrated it. Even if it meant green beer for dinner.

1 comment:

jasmine said...

Absolutely yummy...and Guinnessly reminiscent of my own St. Patrick's day feast--didn't get around to my (or rather Nigella's) Chocolate Guinness Cake, but did have a wodge of Guiness cheddar.