Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Guinness Stew

All of your Saint Patrick’s Day goodness in one bowl!

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Tender corned beef, perfectly cooked potatoes, carrots, and cabbage, all simmered in a rich braise of Guinness beer and beef stock…sign me up! My family has always loved my St. Patty’s day corned beef and cabbage dinner. It has never been my favorite but I make it every year for them. Since soups and stews are my jam, I decided to turn my recipe into a stew and in my humble opinion, it rocked. The family agreed…it was a big hit.

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That’s “Big Red”…my giant Le Creuset. I Love cooking in this Dutch oven because I know that something delicious will come out of it every time. This stew was no exception. I pretty much just followed the same ingredient profile I use for my slow cooked corned beef recipe except I trimmed and cut the corned beef into pieces first. The Guinness is key to flavoring the stew, as well as good quality beef stock. My favorite is sold frozen or refrigerated at stores like Whole Foods or Gelson’s. You will want to add your carrots/potatoes/cabbage at the end of cooking, otherwise they will be mushy.

 

The flavor of this is pretty different from your typical beef stew because of the corned beef. It has that signature flavor that it gets from the pickling spices that it sits in. It cooks up so tender in this stew. You will not need to salt this until the end. Normally you would salt your meat when you brown it, but corned beef is already so salty, you skip it in the beginning and taste it at the end to see how much you need. It also depends on how salty your stock is. I added about a teaspoon which is not much at all considering the amount of stew. Just add it little by little until you think it is just right.

Corned Beef LR

This would be a great St. Patty’s day dinner…especially if you are serving a crowd. Turning the roast into stew stretches it a little further. This made dinner for the 4 of us (with seconds and thirds had by the hubs and my oldest boy) and I had 2 more servings left over. I have to say it is even better the next day so it would be great to make ahead! Serve it with some crusty bread or some Irish soda bread on the side. And some Guinness, of course!

Corned Beef Cabbage, and Guinness Stew

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

    • 1 3 – 3 1/2 pound Corned Beef Brisket in pickling spices
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 3 tbsp butter
    • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, chopped
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 bottle or can (1 pint 16 oz) Guinness Extra Stout
    • 1 quart of good quality beef broth)
    • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 sprigs of thyme OR 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    • 4 medium carrots, cut into one inch chunks
    • 2 lbs of gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
    • 1/2 of a large head of cabbage (or a whole one if it is small) cut into 2 inch pieces
    • Salt and pepper
  • Plenty of fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Rinse the pickling spices off of your corned beef and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off any big pieces of fat from the roast and cut into large chunks about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Season the meat with plenty of ground pepper but hold off using any salt at this point.

In a large dutch oven (like a Le Creuset) heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat until pan is good and hot. Add half (or a third if you have more than 3 lbs of meat) of the corned beef and brown on all sides. This should take about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside, add another tablespoon of oil and butter and brown the rest of the meat. It is important to do this in batches or the pan will get over crowded and the meat will let off all of its juices and steam instead of brown. Once all the meat is browned and out of the pan, add the remaining oil and butter and sauté the onions and celery for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add the flour and stir well until all of the veggies are coated and it starts to brown a little. Add the beer and stock and mix well incorporating all of the flour and scraping up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Mix in the mustard, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce and add the meat back to the pan along with the thyme (throw in the whole stem and remove later if using fresh) and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, cover, and put the pot in the oven for 90 minutes.

While the stew is in the oven, prep your carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. After 90 minutes check your meat to make sure it is tender. Leave it for another 30 minutes if it is still tough. Mine was very tender after 90 minutes. Transfer your pot to the stove and add the rest of your veggies. Bring back to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 more minutes or until all of the veggies are tender. Season with plenty of pepper and salt if needed. You won’t need much salt because the meat is so salty that it flavors the stew quite well. I added about a teaspoon at the end. Add the fresh parsley saving a little to garnish each bowl and serve with some good crusty bread or Irish soda bread!


Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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In the cooler months, I make soup at least once a week. My big green Le Creuset pretty much lives on top of my stove all winter long. Soup is not only comforting to eat, but I really enjoy making it. I know there can be a lot of chopping and prep involved with a good soup, but I actually like that part. If I can paint a picture for you…Cold night, sweats on, occupied/content children, BIG glass of wine, while making soup = perfect evening for me! I feel like all the work that goes into prepping each ingredient is like adding little “layers of love” to your pot. Kinda cheesy, I know, but that is how I feel about soup.

This soup really turned out to be so delicious. The little bit of cream and yogurt give it a richness that is satisfying without being over the top. It is definitely a “lightly” creamy soup, not a thick and creamy one. The wild rice is the star of this soup and it gives it such great flavor. To save time, I bought an organic rotisserie chicken at Whole Foods and it was perfect for this. I like when a little of everything can fit on your spoon, so I cut my potatoes and carrots into smallish cubes and I chopped the chicken into pretty small pieces to match the size of the veggies.

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When you add the yogurt at the end, don’t forget to temper it a bit with some of the warm soup so that it doesn’t separate from the heat. I talk about this trick in my post for Corn Chowder. It is such a great way to add a little rich, creamy flavor without adding too much fat. You can leave out the cream, or add more to suit your preference. Also, remember that salt is pretty key in making a soup taste great. I think the biggest issue with recipes that end up being on the bland side is simply a lack of salt. Salt brings out the flavor of every ingredient in the pot, and getting the right amount is pretty crucial. You can always add, so go slowly. And keep in mind that chicken stock will vary on salt content so you really have to taste as you go. I used regular (not low sodium) stock for this soup and added about 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

For a printable version of this recipe, click here

Makes 6 – 8 hearty servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered or sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup wild rice (5 ounces)
  • 2 medium gold potatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups cooked chicken *See note below
  • 1/2 cup low fat or full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions:

In a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat (I used my 5 1/2 quart Le Creuset), melt the butter and add the splash of olive oil. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until they give off all of their liquid (you may need to turn up the heat a bit). Add the garlic and thyme and cook a minute or two more. Add the flour and stir well to incorporate it with the veggies. Cook the flour for a couple minutes letting it brown a little but being careful not to burn it.

Add the stock and the water and stir well scraping up any bits of flour from the bottom of the pot. Add the rice and potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with the lid cracked open just a bit and simmer for about 35 minutes, checking/stirring every 10 min or so to make sure it stays at a low simmer and not a boil.

Add the cooked chicken and cook for about 10-15 more minutes or until the rice done and the potatoes are tender. Temper the Greek yogurt by adding it to a small bowl and ladling about 1/2 cup of the hot soup stock from the pot in with the yogurt. Whisk until smooth, then add to the soup. Next stir in the heavy cream and parsley and turn off the heat.  Check for seasoning and add more salt/pepper if needed. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of buttery chardonnay!

*Ingredient Note* I used the meat from a whole small rotisserie chicken (about 2 lbs) and chopped it into  bite size pieces. It gave me right about 3 cups of chicken. You can chop or shred your chicken…which ever you prefer.