Nothing says comfort food quite like a hearty Irish stew. This one is nice and classic: beef, carrots, onions, potatoes and a can of Irish stout (Guinness is the obvious choice, but maybe try a local one). It’s also an excellent vehicle for our Winter Stewing Blend, which gives this stew a nice, deep base flavour of herbs, garlic and pepper.
To go with it, Cheddar Nigella Beer Bread takes advantage of the perfect pairing for nigella seeds: cheddar cheese. There’s something about the toasted onion flavour of nigella that works perfectly with the sharpness of old cheddar. Use Irish Cheddar if you can find it.
Ingredients for Stew:
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour 1 kg stewing beef 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp butter 1 onion, diced medium 5 stalks celery, chopped bite size 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped bite size 6 largish baby potatoes, chopped bite size 2 Tbsp Silk Road Winter Stewing Blend 2 bay leaves 1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds 6 cups beef stock 1 can of Irish stout (440 ml or 500 ml can will work fine) kosher salt and pepper to taste 1½ cups frozen peas
Instructions for Stew:
In a medium bowl, combine flour and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Coat the stewing beef in the flour mixture until there is no flour left in the bottom of the bowl.
In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Working in small batches, add the beef to the pot, browning it on all sides. When all the beef is browned set it aside on a plate.
Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pot and cook them for 5 minutes.
Add the stout to the pan to deglaze it. As the beer boils, use a wooden spoon to dislodge all the tasty bits at the bottom of the pot.
Add the beef back into the pot along with the stock, the diced potatoes, the bay leaves, mustard seeds, Winter Stewing Blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring the stew to the boil, and then turn it down to medium-low heat, with the lid partially on. Cook for 1 hour & 45 minutes.
Once cooked, taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Add frozen peas and let them heat through for 2 minutes or so.
Ingredients for Beer Bread:
3 cups all-purpose flour 1 Tbsp baking powder 3 Tbsp granulated sugar (optional) 2 tsp kosher salt 1 Tbsp whole nigella seeds 1 cup grated old cheddar cheese 1/4 cup butter, melted 1 can of Irish stout (440 ml or 2 scant cups)
Instructions for Beer Bread:
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk.
Add the cheese and combine evenly with the dry ingredients.
Add the beer and melted butter slowly to the batter and stir to incorporate. Do not over-mix!
Put the dough into a buttered and floured bundt or loaf pan. Use your hands or a spatula to make sure it gets into all the corners.
Bake for 45-60 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean).
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and slicing. Serve warm with butter.
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