Kitchen Call: St. Patrick's Day recipes from the ‘next parish over’
There’s an Irish-American saying heard exclusively around coastal Massachusetts, the gist of which is, "When you stand on the shore and squint into the distance, the next parish over is Galway.”
Beyond that is Dublin, the home of Guinness, the stout celebrated not just in March but year round. The brewery is the country’s top tourist attraction, and in spite of that is considered less a tourist trap the Blarney Stone, mostly because every tour of the 60-acre site concludes with a tasting.
This U.S. got its first shipment of Guinness in 1817 and recently the improved version, delivered in glass bottles with a taste more akin to pints drawn from the barrel at a Temple Bar pub. Over the next few days, many pints of the dark beverage will be hoisted in pubs, just a fraction of the 10 million glasses consumed annually worldwide.
Spare an extra bottle or two for cooking up pub favorites. Beef stew, one of the staples of Irish cooking, is best when a bit of stout joins the other cooking liquids. The stout works both as a savory component and as a tenderizer for the sinewy, flavorful cuts of beef, like round or flank, needed to infuse a good stew.
Really creative chefs bake individual portions under a blanket of puff pastry, utilizing the liquid’s carbonation to inflate a canopy of crust, to be punctured with the point of a knife to emit a cloud of scent that heightens the flavor.
Stout, as an ingredient in cake batter, foams up strikingly when blended with the other elements. The flavor of chocolate deepens, and the aroma of the cloves and cinnamon intensify. This unique spice cake needs no frosting at all to complete it. A sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar might be nice. Better still is a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.