Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our St. Patrick's Day Feast

Our St. Paddy’s Day Feast

I'm half Irish (and half Italian...Jesus, Mary and Joseph and Saints preserve us!) so I LOOOOVE St. Patrick' Day. Last weekend, my hubbie and I had a wee party at our house. Good times were had by all ("Eat up and give the house a good name!" as my Grammy used to say) and along with making some traditional, and some not so traditional, Irish fare we had plenty of Guinness, Powers Irish Whiskey and we made a fresh keg of home brew, an Irish Red, of course. 

I like to honor my Irish ancestors on this day so I put out a few pics of my family...
 This is my Grammy on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.
This is a pic of my Aunt Willie getting married. Left is my Grammy, then my mom, and on the right my Aunt Agnes who was a nun at the time.

My mom couldn't be at our party, as she lives out of state, so I made her this lucky green Irish hat, which I am sure she is wearing today. 

 This is my husband and a few of our lovely guests partaking of an "Irish Carbomb"...let's get this party started:-) SLAINTE!

Now, on to the recipes...

Guinness Brownies
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or reg white flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
8 oz. dark bittersweet chocolate bar(s), chopped
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup natural cane sugar
1 1/4 cups Guinness Extra Stout beer, room temperature
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/8 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 375° and line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment (or grease it). Whisk the flour, cocoa powder and salt together. Set aside.

Using a double boiler (or in the microwave on low), melt the chocolate bar pieces, milk chocolate and butter together until fully melted. (Make sure you don’t burn the chocolate or it will be clumpy.)

In a very big bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until slightly frothy. Very slowly, pour in the chocolate mixture while whisking the eggs. If you go too fast, you’ll have scrambled eggs, so take your time.

When your chocolate mixture and your eggs are combined, whisk in the Guinness. Fold in the flour mixture very slowly, making sure not to over-mix. You want to see some crumbly bits still in there.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, top with the cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the baking dish and let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar.

Makes about 2 dozen large brownies.

I made a HUGE pot of this and there was not a drop left! SOOOO good:-) Also, I left out the bacon because I wanted it to be a vegetarian version.
  • 3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/4 cups hot milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded
  • 1 (1-pound) piece ham or bacon, cooked the day before
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
Steam the potatoes in their skins for 30 minutes (I actually just peeled, boiled and mashed them instead.) Peel them using a knife and fork. Chop with a knife before mashing. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps. Add 1 stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk, stirring all the time. Season with a few grinds of black pepper.
Boil the cabbage in unsalted water until it turns a darker color. Add 2 tablespoons butter to tenderize it. Cover with lid for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly before returning it to the pan. Chop into small pieces.
Put the ham in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Drain. Remove any fat and chop into small pieces.
Add cabbage, scallions, and ham to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently.
Serve in individual soup plates. Make an indentation on the top by swirling a wooden spoon. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into each indentation. Sprinkle with parsley.

Corned Beef and Cabbage 
Mike (my husband) made this INCLUDING making his own corned beef! Awesome!
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pound Corned-Beef Brisket*, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound diced carrots, approximately 4 small
  • 1/2 pound diced onions, approximately 2 small
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped, approximately 3 medium
  • 1/4 pound diced celery, approximately 2 stalks
  • 1 small head cabbage, chopped, approximately 2 pounds


*Cook's note: Brisket should be prepared through the brining stage, but not cooked.
Place the corned beef, pepper, allspice, bay leaves and salt into a large 8-quart pot along with 3-quarts of water. Cover and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to low and cook, at a low simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 1/2 hours add the carrots, onions, potatoes and celery. Return to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the cabbage and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes and cabbage are tender. Remove the bay leaves and serve immediately.

Corned Beef:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons saltpeter
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 12 whole juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 pounds ice
  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, saltpeter, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir until the ice has melted. If necessary, place the brine into the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees F. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon zip top bag and add the brine. Seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 days. Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine.

After 10 days, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cover with water by 1-inch. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: approximately 3 hours
Inactive Prep Time: 10 days

Homemade Guinness Mustard
There are many different kinds of mustard seeds – yellow, brown and even black. All mustard seeds are different. Some are spicier than others, so you might have to buy from a few different sources until you find your favorite.
3 oz. yellow mustard seeds
5 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Guinness, or your favorite malty stout
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. honey

Place all of the ingredients in a non-metallic bowl. Metal bowls might react with the vinegar in not so tasty ways. Mix everything together and let it sit covered or uncovered for about an hour.
Place everything in a blender and pulse until your mustard reaches the desired graininess level. You can either use your mustard right away and it will have a little bit more “kick” or you can refrigerate it overnight for a mellower taste. Mustard will keep in the fridge for a very long while, but I would use it up within a few weeks if possible.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups mustard.

Happy St. Patrick' Day to you all! 


Anonymous said...

WOW pretty amazing! Good job you guys....

Anonymous said...

wonderful food pics and ofcourse Guinness ;-0 is so good
i wore my lime green gap sweater and my friend bought me a green carnation coursage than off to the java chalet for corned beef & cabbage & irish soda bread yummmy

sat nam Linda

franallen said...

Fascinating stuff. Squeamish? Bah. I read it while I was eating breakfast.


crib said...

It looks like you had a great feast! We also enjoyed ours but we did not prepared many dishes unlike yours.