While the title of this recipe might lead you to believe that only Guinness will do, I have found that just about any hearty stout does the trick and even add a few extra subtle flavor notes. This stew delivers, again and again. Slow Cooked Guiness Beef Stew By Holly Rodricks Feeds 6-8 (Depending on how hungry) Ingredients: 2 lbs. Stew Beef (or venison for all you hunters out there) 2 tbsp. Flour (Optional, but it really helps to sear in the flavor) 1 tbsp. Oil 1 tsp. Salt, plus more to taste 1/2 tsp. Pepper 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper 3-4 tbsp. Bacon Grease 1 can/cup Tomato Sauce or pureed Whole Canned Tomatoes 2 Onions, chopped into large chunks 4-6 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped 1 1/2 cups Guinness or other Stout Beer 7 medium Carrots, sliced into thick rounds 5 medium Potatoes, cut into large chunks 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce 1 tsp. dried Thyme or 3-4 sprigs Fresh Thyme 2 Bay Leaves pinch of All Spice or Ground Cloves Instructions: In a small bowl, mix Flour, Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne. Toss Stew Meat in large bowl with Oil. Sprinkle Flour mixture over meat and mix with hands until evenly coated. In a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, melt Bacon Grease and brown Meat on all side, approximately 1-2 minutes per side. Add Onions, Garlic, and Tomato Sauce/Puree. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Transfer Meat mixture into dutch oven or crock pot. Return skillet to stove and increase heat to high. Pour approximately 1/4 – 1/2 cup Beer into pan and swirl around until caramelized Meat juices lift off from bottom of pan. Pour Beer drippings into pot. Add remaining Beer, Carrots, Potatoes, Worcestershire Sauce, Thyme, Bay Leaves, and Allspice/Cloves and mix. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until meat falls apart when pierced with a fork. Serve hot with fresh bread.
I think I fall into that unusual category of people who are crazy about Brussels sprouts. You could put a giant bowl of them in front of me and every last one would be gone within minutes. I hear that this is not the norm, though. If you find yourself with some Brussels sprouts on your hands and aren’t quite sure what to do with them, here are a few tips to help you through the preparation process: Storage: If you’re in possession of a stalk or 2 of Brussels sprouts but know you won’t be cooking them for a little while, leave them on the stalk and refrigerate them. If space is an issue, trim them off the stalk and store them, uncovered, in a bowl in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them. The outer layer will shrivel, and you’ll need to peel it off and discard it before preparing the sprouts, but they will still be crisp and yummy! Sprouts keep in the fridge for several weeks, if handled properly. Preparation: Trim Brussels sprouts off stalk, and cut off stem flush at base of each sprout. Before going any further, soak Brussels sprouts in warm water for 10 minutes. This will release any dirt and little unwanted critters that might be lurking around the top layers. Once soaking is complete, drain and rinse as usual. Discard any withered layers and trim off damaged areas before cooking. If cooking Brussels sprouts whole, cut a small X in the top (not the stem side). This will help the sprouts to cook through more evenly. Alternatively, cut sprouts in half, or in quarters if larger, to allow for quicker cooking while still keeping the layers of the sprout intact. Recipe Inspiration: My favorite way to cook Brussels Sprouts is actually to shred them by slicing them thinly with a knife. I caramelize some minced Shallots in a skillet with Bacon Grease, add the shredded Sprouts, a splash of Apple Cider to round out the flavor, and Salt and Pepper to taste. Sauté until they’re just wilted and voila! Simple, flavorful, and delicious! *Image courtesy of: http://www.taylorfarms.com/products/classic-vegetables/brussels-sprouts/.
This recipe is a Fall favorite for me. At the end of every summer, I restock my supply of homemade chicken stock, and then, all I can think about is SOUP! And I can’t say enough about how flavorful and hearty this one is. With the fresh chill of Autumn in the air, it’s the perfect meal at the end of a long day. Zesty Sausage and Kale Soup By Holly Rodricks Makes 6 servings. Ingredients: 1 lb. Hot Italian Sausage 3-4 large Potatoes, skins on, sliced in half and then in 1/4″ half moons 2 medium Onions, chopped 1/4 cup chopped, cooked Bacon, grease reserved* 4 Garlic Cloves, minced 1/2 bunch Kale, stemmed and torn or chopped into large chunks (I prefer Red Russian or Tuscan Curly for this recipe.) 4 cups (32 oz.) Chicken Stock 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream 1-2 tbsp. Olive Oil Instructions: Break Sausage into small bits by hand and brown with Olive Oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer cooked Sausage to stock pot and set skillet aside. Add Chicken Stock and Potatoes to stock pot. Cover and bring to low boil over medium heat. Return to skillet. Add 2 tbsp. Bacon Grease and chopped Onions, and cook over medium-low heat until Onions are translucent and fairly soft. Add Garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Transfer Onions and Garlic to stock pot with other ingredients. Cover and return to simmer. Allow to cook for 20-30 minutes or until Potatoes are soft and break apart when stirred. Remove soup from heat. Stir in Kale and Cream. Cover until ready to serve. Serve hot with fresh bread and butter! *If you’re like me and you usually have a little tub of Bacon Grease in the fridge but don’t always have the actual Bacon, don’t worry about that part. The Grease will add enough Bacon flavor that the soup will taste just fine without the bits.