I always hated when people claimed that they "didn't like Guinness unless it's in Ireland." Like... seriously? That's got to be the snobbiest thing someone could say about a beer. It is snobby for a few reasons:
1. Elitism! Gah!
2. Beer is BEER, c'mon, what could they be doing differently over there?
3. You're humble-bragging about the fact YOU'VE BEEN TO IRELAND, while the un-cultured peasants that surround you are forced to drink the swill that is American Guinness. THE HORROR!
I never thought I'd actually BE one of those people... with a touch less snob, of course.
My first taste of Guinness was in a black and tan my exboyfriend made me at a party in college where I most certainly was not underage or anything. After half a sip I handed it right back to him--yuck. Even mixed with a milder beer it reminded me of coffee grounds or kitty litter. No thank you.
The second time, I was actually IN Ireland, and a friend shoved a glass into my palm despite my insistence that I loathed the stuff. She had been studying there for a semester, I was visiting during my study abroad in Amsterdam, and she swore up and down that "Guinness is better here" so I reluctantly took it. No, I didn't have a grand beer epiphany, I still was not thrilled. Kitty litter. Coffee grounds. Yuck.
|A castle we visited in Ireland|
After getting lost twice and realizing that there is no easy public transportation to the factory, we ended up there only an hour before close. At the top of the factory, you are given a free Guinness. If you get to the top with only ten minutes before closing, you are given many free Guinnesses. For two vacationers on a budget this was not something we could take lightly. We grabbed four each (doing some awesome balancing) and started to down them, me holding my nose.
|On top of the Guinness Factory, ENJOYING a Guinness!|
Upon returning to the states I ordered a draught the next time I went out. And again, the bitterness was back. Thick, toxic sludge. Ughhh. Since then, I will get the occasional Guinness, but I've found that the canned kind is best. Also, I've begun utilizing it in my baking all year round. To honor St. Patrick's Day this weekend, I'll be posting the creations I've made recently!
Guinness enhances a chocolate flavor in baked goods and adds a delicious moisture and richness. You cannot taste the beer at all, but you can taste the amazing flavors it leaves behind. It infuses its flavors well in meat as well, and makes a decadent sauce for just about anything. I highly reccommend experimenting with it yourself!
(Adapted from Closet Cooking and Food.com)
- 1 lb stew beef or chuck, cubed
- 5 slices thick cut bacon, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cubed
- 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 can Guinness
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 tbs rosemary, diced
- 1 tbs thyme, diced
- 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbs corn starch mixed with cold water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 egg
- 1 tbs water
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, cook the bacon. Set aside, and use the remaining grease to brown the stew meat. Set aside on a separate plate. Add all veggies and cook until slightly soft, about ten minutes or so. If they begin to burn, add a little olive oil.
-Add the Guinness and de-glaze the pan. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook for about five minutes, until thick. The cornstarch can be used to achieve the desired thickness. Remove bay leaf.
-Press one of the pie crusts into a pie baking dish and prick crust all over. Add stew, and cover with the other pie crust. Press crusts together and prick crust all over to vent. Whisk together egg and water and use a pastry brush to brush on top of the crust. Bake until the crust is golden, about 50 minutes.
*Note* I wanted a more pronounced Guinness flavor, so I cracked open another can and reduced the liquid to a thick sauce and added that to the filling.