Today's post is about that classic stout, Guinness. Guinness is a form of porter, a beer which originated in London in the early eighteenth century, and has been brewed at the St James's Gate Brewery in Dublin since 1759.
The dark colour, and bitter flavour comes from unfermented roasted barley. The creamy head comes from nitrogen. I've got a great recipe for you: Beef Stew in Guinness with Parsley Dumplings. What could be better for a cold December day?
This is my own recipe. It's easy to make, but remember, as ever, keep the stew cooking at a low temperature for at least three hours. This will help the toughish cut of beef to break down.
Let's start: Slice up some onions, and saute them in butter. Chop up some stewing steak, dust it with flour, salt and black pepper, and fry it in the butter. When the meat is brown, add some beef stock, and a pint of Guinness. Bring to the boil to burn off the alchohol, and then reduce to a simmer. Add a dash of good old Lea & Perrins.
Next throw in some carrots, which you've previously peeled and cut into batons. Add a tablespoon or so of tomato puree. This will help to thicken it up even further. Simmer in a medium oven for at least three hours. At least.
You should end up with a reasonably thick sauce, and nicely cooked beef- which should be beginning to break down.
Now it's time for the dumplings. Very easy to make. In a bowl mix some dried suet (the EU has banned the real thing; what on earth's going on there?), with twice the amount of self raising flour. Add some salt and pepper, and some chopped parsley; and form smallish balls with your hands. Float the uncooked dumplings on top of the stew, and shove the thing back into the oven.
Cook until the dumplings have risen and the flour in them has cooked. It shouldn't take too long. Ideal for December. I like it.