Comfort food. We all have those dishes that make us feel warm inside, and it’s not from the hot peppers! As a child, I loved my mother’s roast with mashed potatoes and homemade noodles. Give me a bad day, and I’ll pop a roast into the oven. I’ll crack half-a-dozen eggs into the bowl, mix in flour and roll out and cut the noodles. Even if the outside temperature matches the oven’s heat, my craving for comfort food on rough days overrides the desire for cold macaroni salad.
Over years, the comfort foods have shifted. At one time, only fried chicken would suffice if I’d suffered through a horrendous event. The year my father died? I’d take an Ambien almost as soon as I got home from work since it knocked me out for twelve hours. If I took it too late in the evening, I couldn’t wake up the next morning; so I had to take it no later than five o’clock. I never stopped to think about it, but somehow, a Big Mac would find its way into my hands. I would rouse myself from drugged slumber just enough to scarf the burger down.
Last year I discovered Beef in Stout when we visited Ireland. This easy dish shifted quickly to the top of my Comfort Food list. I hope you love this dish as much as I do.
“Beef in Stout”
Recipe from Favourite Irish Recipes: Traditional Fare from the Emerald Isle
other recipe books aat www.jsalmon.co.uk
Stew that dates from the 19th century
1 tablespoon oil 2 tablespoons flour
A walnut of butter Salt and black pepper
2 lb. stewing steak, wiped 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
and cubed ½ pint stout
2 onions peeled and sliced 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish
Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan and cook the meat until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the onions and fry until softened. Stir in the flour and seasoning, then return the meat to the saucepan with the carrots, stout and sugar. Stir well and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the meat is tender. Serve garnished with chopped parsley and accompanied by mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. Serves 4 to 6.
If desired, a half-and-half mix of Guinness and water can be used for the gravy and a few sliced mushrooms added to the stew. Alternatively, this dish can be cooked in the oven at 350 F or Mark 4 for the same length of time.
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman