This week has been tiring yet exhilarating, all the way around the horn. Silver Dollar City’s Culinary School is ready to open, Wednesday, March 14th. The groceries are on the shelves, and the chef is excited about the new preview of recipes. Come join me, at the city, for classes at 11am and 2pm each day the city is open.
There’s still plenty of time to plan your St. Patrick’s meal for 2018. I will be in Kansas City for an event so my husband, Ervin, has to celebrate without me this year. It’s not the green beer sort of thing at our home, its sitting down to a delicious Irish meal that gets us all in a dither. Usually I choose between 3 different menus: Guinness Stew, bangers & mash or cabbage/potatoes and corned beef.
It’s still cool enough to enjoy a pot of hearty stew, before the weather gets substantially warmer. The strong robust brew of Guinness beer brings this stew into center stage. A relish tray or green salad are good side dishes along with crusty bread or biscuits. For dessert? Hm…Personally I think about anything works with this menu. I’m not going to make ‘any’ set recommendations.
Getting a sense of ‘routine’ back in your life is a good thing. However I’m going to miss the winter break time where I enjoyed late mornings and good coffee. My husband will enjoy me bringing home a paycheck once again!!!
There are lots of changes going on around the Branson community that will hopefully entice more and more guests to visit our area in 2018. Many businesses have changed locations or received facelifts over the winter months. And shopping is always great with the Landing and Tanger Outlets.
While I was purchasing groceries over the past few days I once again noticed significant price changes. At one location I paid 2.79 for a gallon of milk, now it has raised to 3.29. Eggs are also a bit on the higher end at present. As we look towards March and Easter remember to purchase foods that are on sale in your local stores. To save on the overall budget plan meals in advance. Make extra so there are a few bags of ‘quick’ meals in the freezer. Shop at stores like Aldi’s when opportunity knocks. I picked up on a great cheese sale this past week. If the cheese is going inside a dish I never hesitate to freeze cheeses. Cabbage will be at an all-time low along with potatoes.
The best way to save money is to cook fresh and buy big items, like meat, when they’re on sale. Buying in season foods is also a large savings. A few coupons wouldn’t hurt, if you have the extra time to organize and implement. (That’s my biggest problem!)
I hope you enjoy my version of Guinness Stew. It is a soul warming dish packed with robust flavors. Keep in mind that stews can be made in a pressure cooker, on top of the stove, in the oven or in a crock pot. Whatever menu you plan have fun with the ‘Green’ celebration. God Bless my friends.
Simply yours, The Covered Dish www.thecovereddish.com
1 (16 ounce) bottle Guinness Beer
2-3 pounds beef tips, cut into one inch squares
3-4 medium carrots, chunked
3-4 medium onions, chunked
3 celery ribs, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 package dry mushroom onion soup
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
3 cups water
In a large plastic bag, place the flour, pepper and salt. Place the 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet and heat to medium. Place the cubed beef into the plastic bag and cover thoroughly, shaking or stirring to coat. Cook the beef in the skillet browning on all sides, remove and drain. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in a large stockpot with the 3 cups of water. Now add the beer, celery, onion, carrots and soup mix. Lastly; add in the browned beef cubes. Cook for 2 to 2 ½ hours at 350 degrees. This will make enough for 6 persons when you use 2 pounds of beef.
Sometimes when I entertain I will omit the potatoes and serve the stew over a big serving of mashed potatoes. Also should the stew not thicken to your liking you can add 1-2 tablespoons of flour with a half cup of water, smooth out all the lumps and add to the stew. There is also a product called, ‘Wondra’ that can just be shaken directly into a sauce or gravy. This allows you to thicken without bringing in more liquid. If you want more sauce feel free to add more beer to the stew and just thicken it up at the very end.
Debbie Dance Uhrig