March 15th 2013

Cooking with booze: St. Patrick’s Day ideas

Adding some beer and other alcohol to your recipes certainly adds a little bit of Irish influence to it! While you don’t need to indulge yourself in oodles of green fare, you can get festive this St. Paddy’s Day by adding a bit of booze (okay, or a lot) to some classic–and not so classic–dishes.

Here are some of our top picks:

Caramel Whiskey Sauce

Our recommendation? Top this over your favourite ice cream — chocolate, vanilla, or coffee are best!

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
6 Tablespoons Irish whiskey
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put the brown sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil and cook, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, and boil until golden, about 4 to 6 minutes. Swirl the pan, and continue to boil for another few minutes, until the syrup is a deep golden color.

Remove the pan from the stovetop and slowly pour in the whiskey, cream, and salt. The caramel will start to harden. Put the pan back on the stovetop and bring to a simmer. Cook until the mixture is smooth, then cool to warm.

Maple Guinness Barbecue Sauce

A super-easy sauce that’s perfect for your BBQ needs… we also recommend adding this to the crockpot with a whole chicken for delicious pulled chicken sandwiches.

2 cups Guinness ale
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup spicy mustard
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Put the Guinness in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until it has reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Add the ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, tabasco, and salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Bundt Pound Cake

A moist bundt cake laced with sweet, creamy Bailey’s… does it get any better than this?

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules (recommend: Starbucks VIA)
1/2 cup irish cream, such as Bailey’s
4 cups all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
For the glaze:
2 tablespoons water, boiling
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (recommend: Starbucks VIA)
1 1/2 tablespoons,such as Bailey’s
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan, tapping out excess.
Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Beat with the stand mixer or a hand mixer until fluffy, about two minutes. Add the sugar. Beat for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well mixed.
Put the boiling water in a measuring cup. Add the instant coffee. Stir until dissolved. Mix in the Bailey’s. Add the flour to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the coffee mixture, beginning and ending with the flour, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the extracts, beating until just combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 90 to 115 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely before making the glaze.
To make the glaze, put the boiling water in a medium bowl. Add the instant coffee. Stir until dissolved. Mix in the Bailey’s, then stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Top with the almonds.

Guinness Beef Stew

Classic, delicious, and hearty, too.

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2pounds lean beef stew meat,cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups Guinness beer
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
3 mediumonions,cut into 1-inch wedges
4 clovesgarlic,smashed
10 sprigsfresh thyme,tied together
4 potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 carrots,cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Put the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the beef, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Sprinkle with flour.

Add the beer and tomato paste to the saucepan. Whisk well, scraping up all of the bits of the beef. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, beef and its juices. Mix to combine. Stir in the potatoes and carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer, until the vegetables and beef are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to let simmer until the mixture has thickened.

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.