Hello! I hope that this article brings you joy and a bit of Irish luck. Stay safe and healthy. Hopefully, we can recover from the severe atmospheric rivers, and soon this spring will bring healing and relief to all.
The rain has made the California hills amazingly green for St. Patricks Day. We have a beautiful super bloom of California poppies. Perhaps we will see you in the hills amongst the clovers. We have a girls spring break ‘get-a-way’ (with Bella Sophia, and her dear friends Desiree, Isabelle and Lauren). It’s been awe inspiring seeing the landscapes together. In my lifetime, I have never seen such early and abundant blooms and greener hills or valleys within California.
By the way, if you have a favorite spring activity or recipe feel free to share. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Irish hugs and huckleberry wishes, Maxine (A.K.A. “Molly”)
We’re all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.
Let’s celebrate this springtime holiday with Guinness Irish stew. Irish stew is is the perfect comfort food, especially hearty Irish style stew. For many people, Irish stew is a national dish of Ireland. The methods and flavors are unique to each Irish household. The technique has changed over the years and depends on what cuts of meat are in favor within the home. The blend of tender meat, carrots, potatoes, thick beer broth and peas add to a hearty and filling meal. The one pot cooking is simple and the long cooking time adds complex dimension to the flavor. Dark beer adds a unique profile and makes it delicious.
I inherited my name and freckles from my namesake, Grandma Maxine. She was a beautiful lady. I miss her amazingly big heart, contagious Irish laugh and delicious family meals.
In honor of Grandma Maxine, we are celebrating our Irish roots with this simple and hearty stew.
Here’s a Huckleberry Hill tip: During the month of March I order clover shaped San Francisco Sourdough bread from the BREAD OF THE MONTH CLUB. Next month (April) is bunny shaped sourdough. Adorable! Sliced sourdough is perfect to ‘sop up the juices’ from this amazingly delicious stew.
-Simply Yummy Irish Guinness Stew Recipe-
Gather the Following Ingredients:
- 3 teaspoons good quality olive oil
- 2 pounds organic grass fed beef chuck, cut into 2 inch chunks (lamb shoulder also works well and will give a more traditional Irish taste to the stew).
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 leeks
- 2 tablespoons pre minced garlic cloves, (I keep a jar in my fridge)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 22 oz. Guinness Beer
**(If you don’t want to use the Guinness beer (alcohol), then substitute the Guinness with 2½ cups water mixed with 2 beef bouillon cubes and a tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.)**
- 3 cups good quality organic beef broth
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into half inch pieces
- 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into two inch pieces (turnips can also be used)
- 3 sprigs thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
- 2 cups frozen green peas (added during the final 30 minutes of cooking)
- Peel and cut up carrots and potatoes (or turnips), set aside garlic. Trim root end off leeks, strip off tough greens. Cut leeks lengthwise and rinse any grit off under water. Slice into half inch pieces. Cut the beef (or lamb) into two inch chunks. Pat dry and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
- Heat two tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or heavy based pot over high heat. Add beef (or lamb) and brown well all over. Set aside.
- Lower heat to medium and add remaining drizzle of olive oil.
- Add onion and leek, cook for about 3 minutes until softened and golden, then add minced garlic. Stir flour into the vegetable mixture and cook for about 3 more minutes.
- Add Guinness beer, stirring and scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan then add beef broth. (Or for the add the beer substitute of water and beef broth.)
- Return browned beef (or lamb) to the pot, including any juices, along with carrots, potatoes and fresh thyme tied with kitchen twine.
- If protein and vegetables are not fully covered add enough water or broth to make sure all ingredients are under fluid. Cover, bring to a boil, stir then lower heat. (This can also be done on a low setting to a crock pot!) Cook 2 hours then remove lid, add frozen peas (for a bit of green color and added taste) and simmer for a further 30 minutes until beef or lamb falls apart and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove thyme bundle and serve with clover shaped bread. ENJOY! Wear green and celebrate! Remember, we are all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!