Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunday Supper - Guinness Stew over Colcannon

With Saint Patrick's Day coming up (and me being 50% Irish), I've begun experimenting with various recipes so that this year's celebration does not resemble last year's dreadful corned-beef-and-cabbage-makes-me-want-to-vomit scenario.  I wanted to make a good Irish stew in my slow cooker but frankly all of the recipes looked like they may lack a little flavor so I switched to recipes for Guinness stew and after reading several and not finding one that really suited me, I decided to use my new found research of these recipes and create one with bits from all and add a little me to it.  I tried it out last week and it was very good.  It's a "go" for the holiday.  I served it over regular mashed potatoes instead of rice or noodles (that's why I didn't include any potatoes in the stew), but it will be served over Colcannon on the big day.

The Colcannon recipe was created last year.  I took the recipe from my "Little Irish Cookbook" and screwed it up when I did my shopping.  Well, it wasn't really a screw up.  I bought bacon for it thinking that the bacon was supposed to be in there and when I opened the book to start cooking realized I was wrong.  Instead of saving the bacon for another occasion I used the philosophy that "everything's better with bacon" and it turned out to be so true! :)

To be sure there will be more Irish recipes following as we approach the holiday.  They aren't family recipes in the sense that they were passed on to me, but recipes that I am making because of my love for my Irish heritage and wanting to start a tradition with my children that I can only hope they will share with their families as the grow up.

Guinness Stew
(the measurements are approximate but should be close.  Season to your taste!)

4-5 lbs beef stew meat
1 c. flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp beef broth (I used 4 tbsp water and added a scoop of beef paste since I don't keep stock in my house)
1 bottle Guinness (yes I used the whole thing)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp thyme, dried
1 tsp rosemary, dried
1 large onion (it was a monster.  Probably the size of 2 mediums...maybe 2 cups), chopped
1 (2 lb) bag of baby carrots
1 lb of mushrooms, quartered (or more if desired)
1 c. sour cream

Trim meat of any large pieces of fat (if desired) and place the stew meat in a large bowl.  Mix together the flour, salt and pepper.  Add to the beef and toss to coat.  Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add canola oil.  When hot add the beef (in batches, if necessary, adding more oil if needed) and brown.  Place browned meat in the slow cooker (don't cook the meat all the way through.  You just want to brown it.

Add the onion and carrots to the slow cooker.  In a bowl mix together the tomato paste, beef broth, garlic, thyme, rosemary and beer.  Pour over the meat and vegetables.  Set your slow cooker to low to cook (my slow cooker's lowest setting is 10 hours).

About 1 hour before cooking is done add the mushrooms to the stew (they came out perfectly). Tested it and adjusted seasonings to taste (I personally added a little additional garlic powder since the fresh didn't pack enough punch and some onion powder). Five minutes before serving I stirred in 1 cup sour cream.


8 med potatoes, peeled and chopped (The smaller the pieces the quicker they will cook)
1 bunch scallions, chopped (abt 8)
1/2 c. milk
1 small head of cabbage, shredded then chopped (discard stump)
1 lb bacon, cut into pieces

Place the potatoes into a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Shred and chop the cabbage.  Add to a pot covered with water and bring to a boil.

While the potatoes and cabbage are cooking cut the uncooked bacon into pieces; fry until done.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Remove cabbage and potatoes when done (a fork will easily pierce a potato that is easily cooked).  Drain.  Return the potatoes to their pot to keep warm and for some of the water to evaporate from the potatoes.

While the potatoes are losing some of their moisture add the scallions to the milk and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Mash the potatoes with the milk and scallions, adding salt, pepper and butter to your taste (you know best your you like your mashed potatoes!).  Add the cabbage and bacon and serve.

NOTE:  If the potatoes are too wet simply place the mixture into a pot on the stove to evaporate some of the moisture.  You can simply add the milk a little at a time to avoid this, but ensure that all the scallions get in and aren't left behind in the milk if it's not all used.


  1. It sounds oh so much better than the corned beef and cabbage!!! I'm really looking forward to all of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations here in Savannah. It's a BIG DEAL here. The water in the fountains is dyed green, they have a big parade and there is a lot of partying. :) It should be fun!

  2. You need to take a picture of the fountain!!! I so want to see that!

  3. About how many does this recipe feed?

  4. That's a hard one. It pretty much made an entire slow cooker full and my slow cooker is pretty much standard size. I would say you can feed at least 6 people, most likely more. Depends on how big eaters they are.

  5. OK...made it today and it serves 8 easily.

  6. I just put all the ingredients in the crock pot and we'll feast on it tomorrow. I will make the Colcannon, too. Thanks for the recipe. My sis shared it with me. She had used it last year and was repeating again this year.

    Mary K from Dallas Fort Worth

    1. I hope all turns out well! We just had ours today because I got it into the crockpot too late on St. Patrick's Day! Enjoy and Happy belated Saint Patrick's Day!