This month's theme is Leprechauns and Easter Bunnies since most of us are preparing to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Easter in March. I was absolutely thrilled to be assigned to my dear friend, Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures. Amy is married to Mike who is the son of our dearest friends. When I decided to start blogging it was Amy who walked me through it and helped me along the way. We did all this by instant messaging and then when she came into town she sat in my basement and helped me set up my recipe index. While following Amy's blog I fell in love with her SRC posts and knew I wanted to join. As soon as I had the required 100 recipes I filled out my request to join and then waited for there to be an opening for me. Yep, there is a waiting list for this club....that is how much fun it is!!
Amy has two adorable sons who are turning into quite the little chefs. She also has a beautiful baby girl who is waiting for her up in Heaven. Amy not only shares recipes, she also shares snippets of her day to day life. When Amy and Mike lost their daughter during pregnancy, she started sharing "Angel Wings Wednesdays" during which she shares her grief and tries to help us understand what it is like for someone to lose a child. That is the kind of girl she is, she noted that she could feel people being uncomfortable and not knowing what to say or do so she shares her ideas of how you can be compassionate and caring to those you know who have gone through this terrible loss. Her bottom line is "if you are speaking and acting with love, the grieving parent will know this and appreciate that you took the time and effort to reach out instead of staying away or saying nothing for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing."
There are tons and tons of recipes on Amy's blog and she also has another blog just for all her cakes called Amy's Confectionery Adventures. I was glad we had a theme otherwise it would take me a month of Sundays to choose a recipe. I read Amy's blog daily so instead of going through all of her recipe files I did a search for Easter and St. Patrick's Day. That narrowed it down to about a hundred recipes!!
Baked Ham with Raspberry Glaze caught my attention but I didn't want to make a ham this close to Easter. Then there were all kinds of recipes to use up leftovers like these Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches but I don't have Easter leftovers yet. There is a cookie recipe that was decorated both for Easter and St. Patrick's Day that are just gorgeous but the recipe I finally settled on was Drunken Irish Stew. Why? Read on, my friend, read on......
This wonderful stew contains not one, but two different types of alcohol to tenderize and infuse flavor, one of which is Guinness, hence the reason Amy dubbed it "Drunken Irish Stew". I adapted Amy's recipe to be made in a slow cooker. This was not my original intent but I had saved this recipe to make for dinner this past Saturday and then we had an emergency in our family that required us to be at the hospital all day. Thinking I would be back at the hospital all day Sunday and this post was due today, when I got home Saturday night I put it together and let it cook through the night so I would have photos for you today. One of the great things about stew is you can make it ahead of time and it is delicious rewarmed and eaten the next day.
A few other adaptations were that I only had 1 lb of stew meat instead of the 1 1/4 lb called for in the original recipe. I didn't have any dried rosemary so I substituted Italian seasoning. I omitted the peas because I didn't have any and I lessened the amount of broth to accommodate the slow cooker.
It turned out delicious and I am happy to have another stew recipe in my repertoire. Thanks Amy!!
adapted from Amy's Cooking Adventures
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. stew meat
7 cloves of garlic, minced
1 c. dry red wine
1 c. Guinness
3 c. beef stock
3 T. tomato paste
1 1/2 T. sugar
2 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 T. dried thyme
1 T. dried Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
2 lbs. red potatoes, halved
3 lg stalks celery, cut into chunks
1 small pkg, baby carrots
1 sweet onion, cut into chunks
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil over med high heat in a large skillet. Pat dry the meat and season with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides, remove to a plate and set aside. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a few moments before adding a splash of the wine. Cook and stir, scraping up an brown bits stuck to the pan. Add the remaining wine, beer, stock, tomato paste, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Cook and stir until slightly reduced.
Place carrots, potatoes, celery and onion in the bottom of a slow cooker. Sprinkle with thyme and Italian seasoning. Add the bay leaf and the beef along with any collected juices. Pour the broth over all and cook on low for 8-10 hrs. Print Recipe