When I was close to graduating from college, it occurred to me that I still had hundreds of copies left on my library copy card. I suppose many students had gotten scammed in the past because none of the kids at GSU would buy my “used” copy card. So what to do?
Well, I took some time that I should have been in anthropology and instead went to the library and found the cookbooks section. And what glorious books I found there – Greek, Thai, Indian, Italian… But one book in particular stood out – an Irish cookbook of all things. Not because of delicious Irish cuisine, but because the book had recipes for just about every basic sauce and dish from the European continent as well as good descriptions of the techniques any aspiring chef would need to master. I didn’t bother copying the copyright page but it would have been interesting if I had: most of the larger measures were in metric (2kg of beef), yet most of the smaller measures were still given in Imperial units (2 oz. of butter). Must have been an interesting time to be a chef in Ireland, what with all the conversion charts all over the kitchen and everything! Anyway, I got the gist of one recipe and present it to you now in good God-fearing Imperial measures!
2 pounds of meat (stew meat, shank, roast, etc)
2 large onions
8-10 small red potatoes
2 tablespoons flour
A little bit of fat (lard or beef tallow tastes best, but vegetable oil or shortening will also work as well)
12 oz. can or bottle of Guinness® stout (or your own favorite brand)
A cutting board
1 paper or large Ziploc bag
1 large pot
1 large spoon
1) Measure flour and place in bag. Set aside for now.
2) Open Guinness® and pour in pitcher. Refill can or bottle with water and add to pitcher then set aside.
3) Cube meat (if necessary).
4) Peel and slice onions and carrots.
5) Peel potatoes (if desired) and slice into quarters.
6) Put fat into pan and turn range on to “medium high”.
7) Toss a handful of meat into the bag and shake until beef chunks are lightly coated.
8) When all meat is coated and pot is hot, add meat to the pan and brown quickly.
9) Remove meat from pot and set aside temporarily. DO NOT DRAIN THE FAT!
10) Add carrots and onions to pan. Cook until onions are transparent.
11) Return the beef to the pot and add the potatoes. Stir well and add around half of the water-stout mixture.
12) Bring the stew just to a boil then cover and reduce heat, simmering for around an hour; be sure to check on the stew every so often and add more liquid as needed!
13) Serve garnished with chopped parsley.