Monday, March 2, 2009

Beef in Guinness with Parsley Dumplings

March 17 is rapidly approaching, so, let’s get the party started! ...and here is the ultimate Irish comfort dish that will bring them around the table wearing green and talking a ‘wee bit of blarney’…Beef in Guinness! Irish as it gets!

Over the weekend we entertained Brion Fitzpatrick, director of sales for his family business ‘All Irish Foods’ a division of the Euro Foods Group- they import some great Irish and British gourmet food products to the US, and many of these products are sold in the Ulster Kitchen’s Pails of Irish Blessing. (You can go ahead and check out the products on his website out at http:// ), and given that it was close to St. Patricks I went ahead and served up what has become my signature dish for winter cooking classes, - braised beef cooked slowly in Guinness.

This dish has proven to be a big hit for me here in Georgia. A couple of year’s back I was honored to cook as a guest on a Georgia TV cooking show hosted by Hans Rueffert called “Hans Cooks the World”. (Hans was one of the contestants on the Food Network Star a few years ago. He has a new cookbook hot off the press called “Eat like there is no tomorrow” that I cannot wait to get my own signed copy. He is a phenomenal cook!)..and again, this was the dish I chose to prepare on live TV.

So, you can gather a group of friends and the Ulster Kitchen can come to your home to cook and entertain you, or now you have my recipe get out the sauté pan and start cooking. I always say its all about celebrating life together, and for me the best way to do this is cooking, so wear some green and have a go at this!

Beef with Guinness and Parsley Dumplings
(leeks and carrots julienne)

(Serves 4-6)

2 Lbs Beef Chuck or brisket (cut in to 1 x 2 inch cubes)
1 ½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 olive oil
2 onions (peeled and chopped)
3 Tbsp flour (blended in a little water)
1 pint (2 cups) Guinness stout
¼ pint (½ cup) beef stock
Bouquet Garni (tie together sprig of thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, sage)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 tsp sugar

Parsley Dumplings
1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
4 Tbsp butter (cold)
3 Tbsp fresh parsley (chopped) (plus some to garnish)
4 Tbsp ice water
Salt and pepper (to taste)
2 leeks (cut in thin strips)
3 carrots (cut in thin strips)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cube meat and sprinkle with plenty of Salt and pepper. Begin to brown meat in oil in small batches. Transfer each batch to a Dutch style oven when done.

Sautee onions in skillet until they are lightly colored. Transfer to Dutch oven with meat. Deglaze sauté pan with a little Guinness and pour over meat and onions. Add rest of Guinness, blended flour mixture, beef stock, garlic, sugar, bouquet garni.

Cover the skillet and place in oven for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
While casserole is baking prepare dumplings. Measure flour and salt. Mix the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper. Add water to form dough and shape in to 12 small balls.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Discard the bouquet garni and quickly drop the dumplings on top of the casserole while it is still bubbling until dumplings puff up.

Blanch leeks and carrots in boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer to bowl of ice water. Gently sauté for garnish.

Serve on top of Irish Champ potatoes and garnish with leeks and carrots and a sprig of parsley.

May the road rise to meet ya!