Guinness Braised Corned Beef

Guinness-Braised Corned Beef

Guinness-Braised Corned Beef

The St. Paddy’s Day parade took place downtown, the restaurants and bars were overflowing with folks wanting to celebrate and have a good time, and wearing something green made everyone Irish.

I don’t know what it’s like in other parts of the country, but it is traditional here in the Northeast to have corned beef dinner for St. Patrick’s Day.  We had ours this weekend when I had the time to prepare it and we also had the time to enjoy a leisurely dinner.  I’m so glad I did that, so now I can tell you all how wonderfully good it was!!  Along with the corned beef dinner I also made Irish Soda Bread and Irish Whisky Cake.  You’ll be reading about them in upcoming posts, so stay tuned.

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This meal begins with a piece of corned beef packaged in brine with a packet of seasonings included.  With Guinness being the traditional beer of Ireland, it is fitting that Guinness is used as part of the liquid in which the beef slow cooks.

The slow cooker is the perfect way to cook this cut of meat since it requires long slow cooking to achieve it’s perfect tenderness.  I started it in the morning and let it cook on HIGH for about 8 hours.  The meat and all the vegetables were falling apart they were so well done and tender, and the flavor was “out of this world”.  This was the best corned beef I have ever cooked.

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GUINNESS-BRAISED CORNED BEEF

Yield:  Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup waterIMG_9400
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can beef broth
  • 2 cups Guinness stout (if using one bottle, make up the difference with water)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 3-4 carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 4 red-skin potatoes, halved
  • 1 (3-pound) cured corned beef brisket, with seasoning packet
  • 1/2 head cabbage, cut into wedges

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Directions:

1.  In a large slow cooker, begin by stirring together all the liquids, then adding the brown sugar and tomato paste, Stir to combine well.  Add the seasonings, including the packet with the corned beef.

2.  Put in all the vegetables except the cabbage.   You may choose to add other vegetables you have on hand.  Some people like turnip in this mixture  or parsnips.

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3.  Lay the corned beef brisket on top of it all.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 8 hours or until beef is tender.  Add wedges of cabbage when there is 1 hour of cooking time remaining.

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Remove beef, slice diagonally across the grain into 1/4-inch slices.  Serve surrounded by the vegetable mixture.  Discard the broth mixture.

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SOURCE:   AllRecipes.com

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Beer Frosting

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Beer Frosting

Cupcakes-on-tap….that’s right, beer cupcakes.

Cupcakes are not traditionally considered  “dude” food.  You know–too dainty, too pretty, too sprinkle-y.  Whatever!

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But these Whoa,  these are BEER  cupcakes.  Beer is in the cake, and more beer in the frosting.  I didn’t even pipe on the frosting in dainty swirls, I just plopped it on.  Very manly.  And what was the occasion for these cupcakes?  I’m so glad you asked.

One of my husband’s good friends at the office was leaving, and on his last day, everyone pitched in for a pot-luck luncheon.  So I made these cupcakes, and being that it was so close to St. Patrick’s Day I just had to scatter a little green sugar on the tops, and then finish off each cupcake with a  chocolate covered pretzel.    Beer and pretzels!

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The beer I used is Guinness, and I’ll admit I had a few sips before using it in the recipe.  Let me tell you, I know what my beverage of choice will be to go with these cupcakes (if there are any left over).

These cupcakes are deep, rich, and not the least bit dry.  They are not overly beer-y.  The frosting?   C’mon, beer frosting!!!?  It is divine.

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CUPCAKES ON TAP (BEER CUPCAKES)

Yield:   Makes 24

Ingredients:IMG_6801

  • 12 Tablespoons (  1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup porter or stout beer, poured and settled before you measure
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream
  • 1  1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1  1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the frosting:

(Feel free to use all butter instead of a mix of butter and shortening.  You could also substitute part cream cheese for the shortening.)

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 7-8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons porter or stout, poured and settled before you measure
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate covered pretzels, optional

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*f.  Line 24 muffin cups with liners.

2.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa until smooth.  Stir in the beer and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.

This is already looking unbelievably good.

This is already looking unbelievably good.

3.  With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream until smooth.

Beat eggs ad butter together.

Beat eggs and sour cream together.

Add in the cooled chocolate mixture and beat until combined.

Beating in the chocolate mixture.

Beating in the chocolate mixture.

4.  Add the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and beat on medium speed until combined.  Scrape down the bottom and side of bowl as needed.

5.  Spoon the batter into the cups, filling about 2/3rds full.

IMG_6780Bake for 15 minutes at 350* until cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed with a finger or until a toothpick comes out clean.  My cupcakes needed 20 minutes baking time before they tested done.

These rise to about the top of the paper liners.

These rise to about the top of the paper liners.

6.  Cool in the pans for 5 minutes then remove and place on wire cooling racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting:   Using an electric mixer beat the butter and shortening on medium until combined and fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar, beer, vanilla and salt, mixing on low until incorporated, then beat on medium-high for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

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I used a cookie dough scoop to portion out the frosting, dropping a scoop onto each cupcake.  Sprinkle with a little colored sugar if desired and top with a chocolate covered pretzel.  These cupcakes are incredibly light, with a deep, “dark” flavor; the frosting is also light and creamy.

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SOURCE:   adapted from The Butch Bakery Cookbook