Guinness Stout-Braised Beef with Irish Soda Bread Buns

Guinness Stout-Braised BeefHappy St. Patrick’s Day!

Here in the Twin Cities we have a bright blue sky, and the sun is shining brilliantly, so you know it’s a lovely day.  In related news, we’re also under a winter weather advisory and, while the predicted blizzard looks like it’s going to bypass us, we are still expecting something like 4-6 inches of snow.  Probably during my morning commute.

So why am I feeling so cheerful?  Who has time to be grumpy on St. Patrick’s Day?  In days long gone we might have been out celebrating with a pint or two of green beer.  That doesn’t happen much anymore, so instead we turn our energy to celebrating with Irish-themed creations in the kitchen.  Usually I try to make my Irish Bread Pudding with Whiskey-Caramel Sauce, but this year we’re doing something different.

In the past we’ve enjoyed corned beef in all its variations, but today we’re having a more authentically Irish dinner:  a beef roast braised in Guinness Stout beer and beef stock.  The idea came from Esquire Magazine, in an interesting article on the Americanization of various cultural holidays across the world.  I have to admit, we have a certain influence on the way these things are celebrated!Irish Soda Bread Buns

In addition to the braised beef, I was reading my Sunday New York Times, as I love to do, and I happened to see a great little article on making Irish Soda Bread Buns.  I’ve never tried them before, but they certainly seemed very straightforward, so I knew I had to give them a try.  In a word, they were fantastic!  My girls love when I bake loaves of artisan bread, and this was definitely a hit with them.  They were no trouble at all to make, and we happened to have the ingredients on hand, so I’m very glad I was able to add them to this meal.

The best part of making this meal?  Every time someone walked in the door on this busy day, I got to hear them exclaim, “Oh my gosh, that smells so good!”  Makes me glad we opted for a tender, pull apart beef roast that required a 4-hour braise in the oven.  Yum!

Guinness Stout-Braised Beef

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek, white part only, washed and cut into 4 piece
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 10 oz Guinness Stout beer
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • About 1.5 liters veal or beef stock
  • Kosher salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Remove any skin or fat surrounding the beef roast, dry it with paper towels, and season it generously with salt. Heat half of the olive oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven (or other heavy-bottomed, oven-proof pot) over medium-high heat and add half of the butter. Once the butter is hot and bubbling, sear the meat in until it reaches deep golden brown on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side, then transfer it to a tray along with any liquid. Heat the rest of the olive oil and butter in the pot and add the chopped vegetables, cooking them until browned. Pour in the stout and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the stock and the herbs and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the beef — which should sit covered about 2/3 of the way up by liquid — and cover with a lid. Place into the oven for 4 1/2 to 5 hours, until the meat is very tender.
  3. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, transfer the beef to a serving platter and tent it with foil to keep it warm. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve and return it to the pan, boiling it over medium heat until it reaches a saucey consistency, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the beef with your desired sides.

Irish Soda Bread Buns

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed, more for greasing pan
  • 155 grams all-purpose flour (1 1/4 cups), more as needed
  • 95 grams whole wheat pastry flour ( 3/4 cup)
  • 55 grams sugar ( 1/4 cup)
  • 7 grams baking powder (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 5 grams salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 5 grams baking soda ( 3/4 teaspoon)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk, more for brushing
  • 1 large egg
  • 90 grams dried currants (about 2/3 cup)
  • 8 grams caraway seeds (about1 1/2 teaspoons)

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet.  In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work in butter until mixture forms coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Stir wet mixture into dry one until they just form a moist dough. Stir in currants and caraway seeds.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a 7-inch round about 1-inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges. Using lightly floured hands, roll each wedge into a ball and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Using kitchen shears, snip a small “x” into the top of each bun. (You can also use a knife.) Brush tops with a little buttermilk, and dust lightly with flour.
  4. Transfer baking sheet to oven. Bake until buns are golden brown and firm, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
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3 Responses to Guinness Stout-Braised Beef with Irish Soda Bread Buns

  1. Dawn Mosser says:

    Wow! That looks yummy. I may have to try this?

  2. cathincolor says:

    I can still smell it as I walk into the house today. Wonderful dinner! Thanks Hon~

  3. Nate says:

    Thanks, Dawn, it was quite delicious and very simple to do. After braising in the oven it was fork-tender, with no need to bring out the knives. I think the men (and lady) of the Mosser house would definitely like this one!

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