Working on March 17th? No matter, we have a slow-cooker recipe for you. And if you have extra time to spend in the kitchen, Guinness beef stew, beer and cheese bread, apple beer cake and other beer-infused treats make a perfect full meal for St. Patrick’s Day. Five recipes, five different Irish beers.
1. Classic Beef Stew
This quintessential dish is perfect comfort food for a cold or rainy night, and a great meal to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Substitute Guinness stout for the red wine listed in the recipe, and to give a smoky flavor to the beef that mingles so nicely with the softened root vegetables. Don’t skimp on the searing and deglazing—it created a beautiful and hearty dark brown broth for the base. I did add some extra Worcestershire sauce as the recipe says at the end. Be warned—the recipe as listed never says when to put in the thyme, bay leaves or first portion of Worcestershire sauce. I added the thyme and bay leaves with the garlic, and the Worcestershire with the vegetables, but I don’t think there’s a way to mess up this wonderful stew. Slather some Kerrygold Irish butter onto crusty bread for dipping.
2. Irish Beer and Cheese Bread
Comfort food made better—who knew? This scrumptious bread goes perfectly with the Classic Irish beef stew. It uses both Smithwick’s ale and Dubliner cheese (spiked with stout!) and if you spread a little Kerrygold butter on it, you’ll almost be worthy of your “Kiss me, I’m Irish” shirt! This bread is really easy to make, and doesn’t use yeast so no fussing there. The sour cream gives it a great texture, and there’s a tanginess from the cheeses with a subtle beer flavor. My favorite part is the chewy cheese layer on top.
3. Slow-Cooker Cabbage, Potatoes and Bacon
Working a full day on March 17th? No problem. Just set this recipe going before you leave, and seven hours later you’ll have an Irish feast awaiting you. A cold glass of Harp on the side would set this dish off well. This recipe works especially well in the slow-cooker because the cabbage and potatoes have time to soak up the smoky bacon flavor and the refreshing tangy Harp lager. That’s right, my precious … mingle your flavors all day for me.
4. Bacon, Beer and Tomato Jam
This jam will turn a regular old grilled cheese sandwich into an Authentic Foodie Experience. It combines savory bacon (and garlic and red onion sauteed in the bacon grease) with the sweet of tomatoes with a touch of brown sugar. The O’Hara’s golden beer adds a lovely tartness that will touch your sammitch with the luck o’ the Irish. Maybe. Either way, it’s a lovely jam.
5. Irish Apple Beer Cake
If you have a sweet tooth, this cake will definitely hit the spot after your St. Paddy’s dinner. The recipe says you can use red ale, wheat beer, pilsner or lager. and I chose George Killian’s Irish Red ale, and this one made it pretty great. It’s basically a really moist apple spice cake, made more complicated (in a good way) by the addition of the red ale’s flavor. Then, you can spike your homemade whipped cream with more of the red ale, or Irish whiskey.