Monday, December 5, 2011

Recipe: Pat McDermott's Guinness Beef Stew

Today we welcome Pat McDermott to the fantastic line up of delicious recipes. Pat will send the winner of the drawing a copy of her newly released YA paranormal fantasy, Glancing through the Glimmer. Please leave your email address in your comment so we can contact you if you win. Thank you!...Now Pat, please tell us how you discovered this tasty dish.

 One chilly autumn day, I found myself in a Dublin pub before a roaring peat fire with a glass of wine and a gorgeous bowl of Guinness Beef Stew. Alas, the cook wouldn't share the recipe!

When I returned to New Hampshire, I concocted a tasty stew on a par with the one I'd enjoyed in Ireland, and I'm happy to share the recipe. Sorry I can't offer a roaring peat fire!


4 lbs. lean beef stew meat, trimmed
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
A dollop of bacon fat (optional but good)
5 Tbs. flour
One large vidalia onion, chopped fine
1½ lbs. sliced mushrooms, all white or mix of wild
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of fat-free beef broth
3 cans of Guinness Stout or Draught
3 tsps. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsps. dried thyme
A few bay leaves
1½ Tbs. brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a deep sauté pan, add bacon fat and brown the meat, sprinkling with flour as it cooks. Remove meat to large stew pot. Add onions and cook for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms and saute until they release their moisture and start to brown, adding minced garlic and sprinkling on any remaining flour. Add to meat mixture.  Deglaze sauté pan with beef broth and add mixture to meat.  Add Guinness slowly.  Add remaining ingredients. Stir well and simmer, covered, for about two hours, or until meat is tender. Remove cover and simmer a bit longer to thicken sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes, favorite vegetables, and/or Irish soda bread. Serves six hungry people, and leftovers are great.

Blurb for Glancing Through the Glimmer:

In the modern Kingdom of Ireland, few mortals believe in the fairy folk. Without that belief, the fairies are dying. Finvarra, the King of the Fairies, would rather dance than worry—but he must have a mortal dancing partner.

When Janet Gleason’s grandfather becomes the new U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, the sixteen-year-old orphan must leave Boston and her friends behind. Janet is lonely in Dublin and unused to her grandparents’ stuffy social life. An invitation to a royal ball terrifies her. She can’t even waltz and dreads embarrassment. Finvarra’s fairy witch overhears her fervent wish to learn to dance.

Seventeen-year-old Prince Liam Boru loathes the idea of escorting another spoiled American girl to a ball. In fact, he detests most of his royal duties. He dresses down to move through Dublin unnoticed and finds himself on his royal backside when Janet crashes into him. Intrigued, he asks to see her again, and she willingly agrees. Unaware of each other’s identities, they arrange to meet. When they do, the fairies steal Janet away.

Liam’s attempts to find her trigger a series of frustrating misadventures. Can he and Janet outwit a treacherous fairy king who’s been hoodwinking mortals for centuries?


            The first time Liam slipped and fell, he cursed the rain-damp grass. He blamed his second tumble on his haste to catch up with Janet. What on earth had possessed the girl to run off like that? She couldn’t possibly want to find music that badly.
            Music only she could hear.
            The third time he lost his balance, he’d swear someone had pushed him, but no one was there. He landed on his hands and knees and cursed again. He might not be a muscleman, but he was far from a clumsy dolt. A lifetime of sports and outdoor treks had surely left him fit enough to climb a scrubby little hillside.
            Something strange was afoot.
            I’m being ridiculous. The breeze must have kept him from hearing the music she heard. She’d likely gone after the owner of whatever was playing the tune to learn its name.
            Yet the Nose of Howth seemed deserted. How odd for a sunny Sunday morning. Even if Janet had gone off seeking the source of the music, no amount of rationalizing could explain why she’d left so abruptly. The chilling sense that she was in danger had Liam’s heart thumping high in his throat.
            Should he call his cousin? If Kevin was still on the pier, it would take him a while to get here. And practical Kevin would surely think Liam astray in the head.
            Maybe he was, but something told him he had to find Janet, and fast. Keeping close to the ground as if he were dodging radar, he clambered monkey-like up the hill. This time he reached the top of the rise. Lumps in the landscape surrounded him, clumps of rock and rolling masses of heather and gorse that encircled the level spot where he stood. He knew the place well. Except for the curious lack of weekend hill walkers, nothing seemed amiss.
            He listened hard. A seagull cried in the distance. Otherwise, all was silent. No, wait! Music drifted toward him, a plucky harp tune he might have enjoyed under different circumstances. Was that what Janet had heard?
            Where was it? He turned in a circle, squinting in the sunlight, scanning, straining to hear. When he returned to the spot where he’d started, a jolt of fear set his pulse racing.
            A round stone hut had appeared on the highest part of the clearing. Its low thatched roof rose to a ridiculously high point. It resembled a roundhouse, the sort of dwelling that belonged in a prehistoric ring fort.
            Or a fairy fort.
            Liam swallowed hard. He’d seen replicas of such huts in Ireland’s folk parks. He’d also viewed ruins of the original ring forts, all that remained of the structures built by the mysterious peoples who’d lived and died in Ireland thousands of years ago.
            Where had this one come from? Why was it on the Nose of Howth? Liam had never seen it before, nor had he heard of any gimmicky tourism plans for the cliff walk. Of course, he didn’t know everything. Convincing himself that he’d failed to see the hut at first because the sun had blinded him, he ventured toward the structure.
            He spotted a doorway and relaxed. Janet was there, speaking to a woman wearing a period costume, medieval or older. That’s what it was, he thought: tourism come to tarnish Howth. How could Uncle Peadar have allowed such nonsense?
            Liam called Janet’s name again, but neither she nor the woman showed any sign that they’d heard him. The wind must have carried his voice away. He stalked toward the roundhouse. As he approached, the costumed woman placed a necklace over Janet’s head.
            The roundhouse flickered, faded, and reappeared. Alarmed, Liam stopped. This was no tourist gimmick. As his thoughts scrambled for an explanation, the woman grabbed Janet’s arm and pulled her into the hut.
            “Janet, no!” His ferocious roar proved useless. Unbelievably, the roundhouse began to dissolve. No longer doubting his horrified senses, he dove at the hut and charged through the disappearing door.
            The world around him melted away.

Where can we find you on the Internet, Pat? 

My Web Site:

My Writing/Travel Blog (Put the Kettle On):

Facebook page for Glancing Through the Glimmer:!/

Buy Link at Muse It Up Publishing

My cooking blog (Kitchen Excursions):

 Pat featured the FREE Good Eats, Great Reads Recipe Collection on the Kitchen Excursion's blog. Thanks, Pat! Please request this collection from Pat or me or any of the authors in the GEGR event


Pat McDermott said...

J.Q., the fairies and I are honored to join your lineup of creative culinarians, both here on your blog and in your Good Eats, Great Reads Recipe Collection. The fairies prefer oatcakes and buttermilk, but they do like my beef stew, and they've been squeaking like crazy over the fare in 'Good Eats'. I can't wait to try some of those recipes myself!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Pat. I'm glad the fairies are squeaking over the happy to have you here to add to our delicious line up.

Unknown said...

Yummy, yummy, yummy! This a MUST have for me. I love beef stew but this? This sounds amazing. I suppose the only thing better would be having Pat make it for me LOL. I am going to try this but I have a feeling I'm going to mess it up. My poor hubby has grown an iron stomach over the years at my attempts in the kitchen but I think I might be able to do this one. We always have that 911 number handy just in case.

Dawn Marie Hamilron said...

Terrific idea, JQ! Great food and wonderful stories for the holidays. I'm looking forward to a cozy holiday evening of sitting in front of a fire after a good meal of GUINNESS BEEF STEW à la PAT and reading 'Glancing Through the Glimmer.' Thanks for sharing your recipe, Pat.

Michelle M said...

Your recipe sounds amazing Pat - definitely one to try on a cold Winter's evening.

Pat McDermott said...

LOL, Karen! I doubt you'll mess this one up, nor will you need the EMTs. The beer alone will sustain you. I made this stew recently for my Monday night writers' group, and we all had seconds. The guys had thirds! Next time I make it, I'll give you a shout. How far are you from New Hampshire? :-)

Pat McDermott said...

Everyone, Dawn is not only a frequent contributor to Kitchen Excursions, she writes wonderful Scottish romances. Thanks for stopping by, Dawn. A cozy evening in front of the fire sounds good to me! I might add a bottle of something...

Pat McDermott said...

Hello, Michelle. This stew would surely take the chill off a cold winter evening. I hope you try it! Thanks for visiting.

Susan Royal said...

A stew like this will make a cold, rainy day like today warmer. I'll have to try it soon with some of my homemade rolls--Enjoyed the excerpt as well. Sounds like a great read. Hmm-sitting curled up in a comfy chair under the blankets eating stew and reading.

Pat McDermott said...

Susan, your comfy chair sounds wonderful. I can't think of a better way to spend a chilly evening. Sorry you're having such nasty weather. We're enjoying a sunny day here in New Hampshire. Hope the weather improves for you soon. Thanks so much for dropping by!

J.Q. Rose said...

I'm not waiting for a cool evening in FL for this stew. I think I'll turn down the AC!! Pure comfort food...mmmmm....

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

JQ, thanks for posting Pat and her recipe. Pat, your stew is making my mouth water.

Ps. JQ, I'm sending your free copy of Dead Witness (ebook) now. I so hope you enjoy it.


Pat McDermott said...

Glad you popped by, Joylene. Cyber-recipes are fun to read and so lo-cal! But my copy of this one has lots of gravy stains...

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz said...

Pat, this sounds like such a fun read. I don't eat beef, but I wonder how this stew would taste with chicken. I happen to love Guinness and the thought of stewing anything in it sounds yummy.

Pat McDermott said...

Hi Penny. Great to see you! I don't know about substituting chicken, but if you love Guinness, here's a link to tons of Guinness recipes:

Anonymous said...

Hello JQ and Pat - your story sounds awesome. I like reading YA (I also write them in another name).
Your recipe ... yummy for my tummy. I like Penny's idea of using chicken too.

Thank you for sharing and Congratulations on your release Pat.

Pat McDermott said...

Hi Kay Dee. You'll have to let me know if you try the stew with chicken. It sounds interesting. Thanks so much for your good wishes!

gail roughton branan said...

Oh, that sounds wonderful! I'm a beef eater, no way around it, couldn't be a vegetarian. Even other meats don't work on a regular basis, I go a few days, I HAVE to have beef!

Angela said...

WOW, I'm impressed you create your own recipes, Pat. The stew sounds delicious!! Thanks for sharing.

Angela (at)AngelaJohnsonAuthor (dot) com

Pat McDermott said...

Gail, if you love beef, you'll be in heaven with this stew. Go for it!

Pat McDermott said...

Angela, I like to experiment with recipes and have come up with quite a few. I tried this one several times before I dared to serve it to company. Now it's a winter standard in my house. All that's missing is the peat fire! Thanks for stopping by.

J.Q. Rose said...

Okay, I have a question for you, Pat. I was always told when you use alcohol in a dish, it cooks out. Last week a famous chef or doctor said that is not true. What have you heard or experienced? Do you agree with the chef/doctor??

Joylene--Thanks. I got the e-book!!

Pat McDermott said...

JQ, I've seen several differing opinions on this issue. Julia Child always said the alcohol cooks off, and I tend to agree. My brother, who has a problem with alcohol, asks me not to put any in the food when he comes for dinner, and I am happy to oblige. If there's an issue, I'd skip it. Otherwise, it tenderizes and adds flavor, and some dishes, IMHO, can't do without it. It's a matter of personal preference.

Pat McDermott said...

Leaving this comment from Nancy Narma, who contacted me and said she had trouble posting - "Tried to leave a comment but could not soooo,,this is what I had written. A tummy warming stew!! The ultimate comfort food no matter what the weather might be. While the stew is simmering on the stove, you curl up in your favorite cozy chair and get lost in "Glancing Through the Glimmer" ...sounds like a Christmas card like setting to me!! Nancy Narma"

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I love these types of stew - we make similar ones in Scotland, usually with beer or ale instead of Guinness since that's particularly Irish! Great sounding book, Pat!

Anonymous said...

The recipe sounds yummy and the book sounds wonderful.
Thanks for sharing both!

B.J. Scott

Pat McDermott said...

Hi Rosemary! I'd love to try one of the Scottish stews. I have a Scottish cookbook. Really like the roast chicken stuffed with oatmeal and served with bread sauce. If I keep reading this blog, I'm going to need a macro for "Yum!" (and maybe a diet) Thanks for stopping by!

Pat McDermott said...

My pleasure, B.J. Great to see you here!

J.Q. Rose said...

Pat, I think you gave several good reasons to use alcohol in dishes, but I agree one must be sensitive to guest's wishes. Thanks so much for guesting on my blog. We've had some great comments and commenters....

Pat McDermott said...

I've thoroughly enjoyed my visit, JQ. I hope everyone tries this stew, either in their own kitchens or in Ireland. Happy Holidays!

Pat McDermott said...

Congratulations to Angela Johnson! A PDF copy of Glancing Through the Glimmer is on its way to you, Angela. Enjoy!

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