Saturday, March 17, 2012

{ mcsorley's irish stew with cream cheese mashed potatoes }

St. Paddy's Day.

The O'Banion in me always feels the need to pay homage to my grandmother's people from the bonnie Emerald Isle; however, green beer and shamrock antenna-head bands aren't quite my thing.

Good food and drink is my thing.

On this beautiful spring day, Irish stew made from ale, and homemade cream cheese mashed potatoes was the menu of choice.

So friends, raise your glass, if you will ...

"May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!"

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Y'all. Sláinte!

McSorley's Irish Stew with Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons bacon grease (or oil)
1.5 to 2 pounds stew meat
1 bottle McSorley's Pale Ale
5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup light cream (or heavy)
12-oz bag frozen peas
2 bay leaves
2 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon Worcesteshire sauce
salt and pepper

Mashed Potatoes:
6-8 russet potatoes
1 stick butter
1/2 brick cream cheese
1 cup light (or heavy) cream, or milk
salt and pepper, to taste


Heat olive oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Lightly salt and pepper the beef pieces. Add beef to the pot (do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over.  Continue to cook until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Worcesteshire sauce.

Add beef broth and McSorley's Pale Ale to the beef and stir, making sure to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add bay leaves.

In a separate large pan, heat bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add carrots and sauté 3-4 minutes. Add onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Continue to sauté until vegetables begin to soften. 

Add tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to the vegetables and stir. 

Add vegetable mixture to beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then cover and simmer 2-3 hours, or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally.

Once meat is tender, remove bay leaf.
Melt butter in a separate pan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk until well-incorporated. Add cream and mix into butter and flour. Stir butter mixture into the stew with the frozen peas.

If desired, add cornstarch mixed with cold water to further thicken stew.

Serve hot over mashed potatoes.

Peel and quarter potatoes.

Boil until tender when poked with a fork or knife (about 10 minutes). Drain in a collander and return potatoes to pot.

Mash potatoes with a potato masher or pastry cutter. Do not whip potatoes with an electric mixer! It breaks down the starches and makes potatoes sticky!

Add cream cheese, butter, and cream. Mix well. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

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