Monday, February 29, 2016

A Special Stew for a Special Secret Recipe Club Reveal

This is leap year which means that there is a 5th Monday this month.  Secret Recipe Club is a group of over 100 bloggers broken into 4 subsets.  Each subset posts a recipe from their month's assignment on each Monday of the month.  I belong to group D and I post every 4th Monday from another blog within group D.  On months containing 5 Mondays we have the option of signing up for a special reveal day.  These reveal days have a theme and you may be assigned a blogger from another subset.

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's Cooking Adventures

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."

Amy's Confectionery Adventures

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!!

Irish Stew
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

Let's see what the others are revealing today


  1. That looks good. I've got it bookmarked to try soon.

  2. I can't get enough of stew/comfort foods lately. Looks like a winner!

  3. Thank you so much for your kind words, Wendy - I'm so happy that we're real life friends too :) I'm so glad you enjoyed the stew - I love that you made it in the slow cooker (so sorry about the family emergency :( You guys are in our prayers)

    1. Thanks Amy. Losing 2 Moms in 2 months takes the wind out your sails.

  4. Thank you so much for your kind words, Wendy - I'm so happy that we're real life friends too :) I'm so glad you enjoyed the stew - I love that you made it in the slow cooker (so sorry about the family emergency :( You guys are in our prayers)

  5. I love any kind of beef stew. This one, with the beer, sounds wonderful. I cook in the crockpot a lot. And I like to put things on at night and let it cook all night. Sometimes the smells makes it difficult to sleep :) Hope the emergency is behind you and all is okay!! Sending prayers and hugs your way!!

    1. Thanks Paula, I had posted on your blog about our loss of Frank's Mom yesterday morning. We all needed some comfort food.

  6. It is still cold where I am an a hearty stew is still a wonderful thing at dinner for us. Always good to have a cook ahead dish on those crazy days or weeks. Hope everything is back to normal with your unexpected hospital visit. Happy Reveal Day!

  7. How wonderful that you got assigned Amy's blog. The stew looks delicious. I am so sorry for your loss.

  8. That looks amazing and especially now, since the wind is all blustery and cold right now. Yumm.

  9. This stew looks delicious! My stomach literally started growling when I saw this!

  10. Very Irish - and as I just got a slow cooker, great recipe! I can only get guinnes in pint cans - guess I'll have to drink the rest...

    1. Oh the sacrifices we make Katie....if folks only knew.....

  11. Stews are always perfect for St. Patrick's Day in my opinion. Great choice.


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