Guinness Braised Pot Roast… Sláinte!

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

Hiccup!

Oh! Excuse me!

Hiccup! Burp! *blush*

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

Sorry Gang….I’ve spent the past weekend tinkering around the kitchen with Guinness. I HAD to because today is St. Patrick’s Day and I just couldn’t let y’all down. I needed to share something so deliciously wonderful —that was of course, made with Guinness.

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

But what was I to make with the thick, wonderfully rich and chocolatey stout?

Tacos? Ribs?

So many options yet so few hours in a weekend.

And finally, despite the crazy 90 degree heat wave we were having in San Diego, I cranked on the oven to make pot roast.

I figured the sauna-like environment I had created would let me sweat off at least 10 pounds.

Win-Nguyen situation.

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

I settled with a fairly straight-forward method for the pot roast. Quick sear of the beef, browning of aromatics, added some liquid and then braised it all in a dutch oven for a few hours.

But the kicker?

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

The GUINNESS of course! Plus, the coriander seeds with tomatoes added another level to the flavors that were then punched up with brightness by the fresh parsley and lemon zest to finish it all off.

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

Serve it with mashed potatoes, parsnip puree, polenta –heck, or even as a sammich’! SOOO GOOD!

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

And with that dear friends, have a HAPPY ST.PATRICK’S DAY! Sláinte!

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Guinness Braised Pot Roast
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

 

1 beef chuck roast (approximately 3-4lbs.) trimmed and cleaned
black pepper
kosher salt
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced white onion
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
3 cups Guinness or other Stout of your choice
2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
8-10 sprigs fresh parsley
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
3-4 dried bay leaves
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
zest of one lemon

Heavily season the beef with kosher salt and black pepper. Roll the chuck roast in flour and dust off any excess. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot that is oven proof over. Once the oil reaches medium heat, sear each side of the beef until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes each side. Once browned, remove the beef to a large plate.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pot. Add the celery, carrots, and onions and cook over medium heat until softened but not browned, about 7-8 minutes. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, can of tomatoes with its juices and bring to a simmer. Pour in the Guinness (or other Stout) and allow the liquids to come to a boil.

While the liquids come to temperature, take kitchen twine and tie the thyme and parsley together into a small bundle. Create a sachet with a small piece of cheese cloth and place the black peppercorns, coriander seeds and bay leaves in the center. Bring the corners of the cheese cloth together and use additional kitchen twine to tie the sachet together.

Once the liquids in the pot have come to a boil, place the beef roast back in along with the bundle of herbs and sachet of spices. Allow the liquids to come back to a boil, cover the pot with an oven proof lid and place into a preheated 300 degree F oven. Cook the beef for 3-3½ hours until the meat is fork tender.

Carefully remove the roast to a large plate and cover with foil. Remove and discard the bundle of herbs and sachet of spices. Skim off and discard as much oil/fat from the surface of the vegetables. Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables until it becomes a fairly smooth sauce. Taste and adjust with additional salt or pepper as needed. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a standard blender or food processor.

Slice the beef – it should be very tender and could be pulled apart with forks. Plate the beef and spoon the sauce over it. Top the beef with chopped parsley and lemon zest. Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta, etc. Enjoy!

 

Sunday Family Dinner Celebrates the Emerald Isle!

March 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

We found ourselves transported to the rolling, lush green hills of Ireland for this month’s Sunday Family Dinner– it was the only right thing to do since St. Patty’s was the next day. But let me tell ya, we were stumped when coming up with the menu.

Off the cuff we had thought of Guinness braised short ribs but it seemed a bit too heavy to stew something on such a warm day. Plus, we often making variations of short ribs so it wasn’t something too new for us to try out. Then there was lamb stew, corn beef and cabbage, and other dishes of the sort. Still…nothing seemed to jump out at us.

 

March 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

 

So we made a concession….if the dishes we prepared weren’t traditionally Irish then they’d be a remake on an Irish dish—or at the very least, they’d be the color GREEN.

As always, there were lots of {adult} beverages to choose from … Guinness, Jameson, Green colored Chardonnay. And the kiddos had Mint Chocolate Shakes with shamrock sprinkles and Green colored Sprite.

 

March 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

The signature cocktail of the night was made by the seesterIrish Espresso-tinis.It had a ga-jillion different things in it like vodka, Kahlúa, espresso, Irish cream….and was served in a salted rimmed glass. Sláinte!

DSC_0091March 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

We munched on super green Baked Spicy Kale Chips……….

 

March 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

And these delectable skewers of Beef with Port Sauce and Cashel Blue Cheese

Now I agree, it didn’t sound too Irish to me at first but the seester sold us on it. She opted to skewer the tender beef cubes and the bro-in-law grilled it to perfection. The skewers were then drizzled with the rich port/raisin sauce before receiving a generous shower of blue cheese crumbles. SO GOOD!

 

March 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

There may have been a bit of shenanigans throughout the dinner, too.

 

March 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

As the main course, we fried up a TON of crispy Guinness Beer Battered Cod and Chips and doused them with malt vinegar. The batter was so crunchy even after it had been out of the fryer for awhile and the fish was tender and flaky. And you know, you just can’t go wrong with double-fried “chips”.

March 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

To help cut all that deep fried goodness, I made a super green Cabbage & Green Apple Slaw. I made a quick vinaigrette from malt vinegar, dijon mustard, agave, garlic, scallions, fresh dill, chili flakes and EVOO.

For something that was thrown together in the 11th hour, it was a nice addition to the meal. Although next time, I’d like to make the vinaigrette a tad more acidic.

March 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

Considering we were struggling a bit at first, it turned out to be a delicious meal! And I was kind of bummed that we didn’t make extra fish because leftovers would be great as fish tacos!

March 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

And to finish things off—dessert which was my Thin Mints Chocolate Cheesecake

I mean c’mon….there’s absolutely nothing wrong with all that goodness.

Thin Mints Chocolate Cheesecake

I’d like to think we did the Emerald Isle proud– being Vietnamese & Filipinos that have never been to Ireland 🙂 Another DEE-LISH Fam-Din down in the books.

 

This Month’s Family Dinner Menu

Cocktails: Irish Espresso-tinis, Green Chardonnay
Appetizers: Beef with Port Sauce and Cashel Blue Cheese, Baked Spicy Kale
Entrees: Guinness Beer Battered Cod and Chips, Cabbage & Green Apple Slaw
Dessert: Thin Mints Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream…..Slainte!!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

 

It’s that time of the year again. When you see tons of postings in honor of St. Paddy’s Day.

Green colored beer and desserts, shamrocks galore, corn beef recipes, Guinness braised meats, and more! As for me, I went all out last year with our Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with a Baileys Ganache.

 

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

 

I kind of went overboard with them. They literally SCREAMED St. Paddy’s Day with a decadent Guinness Beer cupcake, filled with a chocolate truffle, with spirals of green Baileys buttercream, topped with shamrock sprinkles and wrapped up in a bright green striped cupcake liner. PHEW! Now that is St. Paddy’s!

 

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

 

Those cuppies were decadently delicious and I wanted to bring them back for this year’s St. Paddy’s Daybut a little more “understated”.

I went for the same moist, stout beer cupcakes and Irish cream flavored buttercream—-however, this time around I opted out of the truffle centers and put away my green food coloring. No need….their yumminess speaks for itself.

 

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

 

I chose a simple large round tip to pipe the frosting this time– a Wilton 1A. But as “understated” as I was trying to keep things, I could not resist breaking out the shamrock sprinkles. After all, I don’t get to use them very often — and who couldn’t use a little more luck?

As for the end results……they were delicious! The dark stout beer adds such a subtle nuttiness to the chocolate cupcakes while the Irish Cream buttercream perfectly rounds out the flavors. And if done correctly, the buttercream is so smooth and rich— a dream to pipe out 🙂

So whether you want to go BIG with the GREEN theme or be a little more subtle, Chocolate Stout Cupcakes are definitely the way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

And with that dear Friends, SLAINTE!!!

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Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
1 Cup Stout Beer
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
¾ Cup Quality Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1½  Teaspoons Baking Soda
¾ Teaspoon Salt
2 Large Eggs
⅔ Cup Sour Cream

Irish Cream Buttercream:
4 to 5 Cups Confections Sugar
2 Cups Unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 to 5 Tablespoons Irish Cream Liqueur

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake cups with paper liners.

Prepare the cupcakes: Put the butter with the stout beer in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs and the sour cream together. Add the beer/butter/cocoa mixture and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly just to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined, making sure to incorporate little pockets of flour on the bottom so that the batter is of equal consistency everywhere.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way if you want flatter cupcakes and 3/4 if you want domed. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely to room temperature.

Prepare the frosting: In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add about half of the powdered sugar a few spoonfuls at a time until incorporated. Slowly drizzle the Irish Cream and whip until combined. Add the rest of the powdered sugar until your desired consistency has been achieved.

Assemble: Fill a pastry bag and pipe buttercream on top of cooled cupcakes. Garnish with sprinkles or other adornments. Enjoy!

Note: This makes a lot of buttercream so that you can pipe large mounds on the cupcakes. If you prefer less on your cuppies, halve the amounts.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day: Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Baileys Ganache

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Friends!

It’s true, I’m not of Irish descent..…but this Vietnamese Gal considers herself an equal-holiday opportunist and jumps at the chance for all festivities. And who couldn’t use a bit more luck in their lives? 🙂

So when a friend had suggested making Guinness cupcakes awhile ago—I thought I would take a spin with them for this particular holiday. Plus, some of my favorite foodie bloggers have been reviving this tasty treat—and who am I not to trust their judgment? 🙂

After much research, I settled on Smitten Kitchen’s “Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes” recipe as I liked the idea of the ganache filling. I substituted Baileys for the Irish Whiskey in the ganache since I had none on hand and didn’t want to pick up a small bottle for the few teaspoons. (Though, I’m sure I could have found some type of use for it!)

The results? P.D.G.—Pretty Darn Good! Seriously! I was a bit concerned that the Guinness would leave a bitter taste to the cuppie—as it usually leaves that flavor on my palette from just a sip. But the other ingredients must have mellowed that flavor out and instead, left a beautifully moist and flavorful end product. The ganache was fabulous too—and quite easy to make. Extremely rich and “truffle-like” in texture and flavor.My only critique was the frosting, although I may be bias as I typically prefer a cream cheese base. Although the Baileys was a great addition, I found the frosting too sweet–even by cutting the confectioner sugar amount in half. Next time, I’ll stick with the cream cheese base 🙂

Also, at the next go-around, I may add Baileys Mint Chocolate Cream liquor to the ganache and some mint extract to the cakes for a different spin. Mint Chocolate is one of my favorite combos 🙂

Overall–quite a knockout cupcake. Rest assured, I’ll definitely make this one again!!!

So to all my peeps out there –Wishing you a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day filled with luck and tasty cupcakes!

Measure out 1 Cup of Guinness–or your preferred Stout Beer

Bring to a simmer with 1 Cup of Unsalted Butter

Whisk in 3/4 Cup of Cocoa Powder

Line your cupcake pans with paper cups. I chose these cute green-striped greaseproof ones to add the festivities 🙂

Fill liners 3/4 filled with cupcake batter

Bake at 350 degrees. Mine took 19 minutes and were cooled on racks for 30 minutes.

Time to prep the ganache!

Chop up the 8 ounces of chocolate while waiting for the cream to simmer

Of course I added a bit of Baileys to the ganache 🙂

I used a cookie cutter to create a little “bed” for the ganache 🙂

I enlisted the help of a pairing knife to pop out the stubborn pieces 🙂

Using a Wilton #12 Round Tip, pipe ganache in the centers

Happy little Baileys Ganache filled cuppies

Pipe or Ice the cuppies with your Baileys Buttercream

I used a Wilton #4B Star tip for my swirls and added little shamrock sprinkles for extra luck 🙂

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Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Baileys Ganache
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 Cup Guinness Stout
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
¾ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I used Ghirardelli)
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1½  Teaspoons Baking Soda
¾ Teaspoon Salt
2 Large Eggs
⅔ Cup Sour Cream

Ganache Filling
8 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate (I used Godiva)
⅔ Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Butter, room temperature
1 to 2 Teaspoons Baileys Cream (optional)

Baileys Frosting
3 to 4 Cups Confections Sugar
½ Cup Unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 Tablespoons Baileys
1 Teaspoon of Green Food Coloring (optional)
**I doubled this recipe to make enough to pipe large swirls on the cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.

Make the cupcakes: Put the butter with the beer in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs and the sour cream together. Add the beer/butter/cocoa mixture and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly just to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined, making sure to incorporate little pockets of flour on the bottom so that the batter is of equal consistency everywhere.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way if you want flatter cupcakes and 3/4 if you want domed. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until a toothpick or a slim knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely to room temperature.

Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped. Using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. I went about half to 2/3 of the way down and used a small knife to help me extract the centers. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting: In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, letting it incorporate, until the butter becomes thicker and stiff (you will know when this happens). Slowly drizzle the Bailey’s (or milk or cream or a combination thereof) and whip until combined. Add green food coloring to desired hue. Ice and decorate the cupcakes.

Note: Smitten Kitchen gave a great tip about slowly adding the confectioner sugar to have a less grainy texture. It also required less sugar in the end. By sifting the sugar and using Smitten Kitchen’s suggestion, I ended up only using 4 cups of confectioner sugar for a double batch. That’s half than what was listed—and even then I felt it was a bit too sweet.

Sneak peak inside the cuppies. The Baileys Ganache was really yummy and tasted like Truffles!