March 9, 2012
Gourmet Club, Irish, Recipes, Side Dish, Steakhouse, Vegetable
baking, beef, beer, club, cooking, dinner, food, Gourmet, irish, party, recipe, recipes, vegetable
As mentioned in previous posts, the Gourmet Club had an Irish themed dinner. While I’m sure I will hear about it from my Irish friends, relatives and in-laws (ya think O’Grady is just a wee bit Irish??), the Emerald Isle is not known traditional gourmet food. While the host couple picked the theme, they became perplexed in finding the right meal to serve to the club. Fancy? Not needed. Exotic flavors? Not going to happen. Thankfully Haggis is Scottish, because that was not in consideration. What the Irish do have, is damn good comfort food. And the way it was made for the club, I ate up every bit of it.
The star of the main course was the Steak and Guinness pie. A beautiful golden crusted meat pie with a filling so savory that I licked the bowl clean and was not embarrassed to do so. This was served with two sides, the traditional Irish Colcannon and a creamy kale.
Steak and Guinness Pie
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 11/2 cups minced onion
- 5 cloves of minced garlic
- 11/2 tsp dried thyme
- 3 lbs beef chuck roast cut into bite sized pieces
- 4 tbsp flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 20 ounces beef broth
- 22 ounces Guinness
- 1 1/2 lbs miniature mushrooms
- 3 leeks split and chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 package puff pastry
Place celery, onion and garlic in a pot over medium-low heat to sweat for 10-15 minutes.
Add thyme and beef to the pot. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add broth, Guinness, mushrooms and leeks. Simmer on stovetop about 2 1/2 hours, until thickened. Adjust seasoning now.
Preheat oven to 400°. Spoon into oven proof bowls.
Roll puff pastry on a floured surface. Cut rounds of the pastry slightly larger than the top of the bowl. Beat egg slightly and brush top edges of bowl with egg wash. Place pastry rounds on top of bowl, pressing to the edge.
Place bowls on cookie sheet and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes prior to serving.
- 4 lbs russet potatoes
- 4 cups thin sliced cabbage
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 cups kale
- 2 cups cream
- 3 tbsp butter
- 6 scallions – greens only
- Salt and pepper
Wash and bring potatoes to a boil. When water boils, dump out half the water and reduce heat to low. Let potatoes steam/simmer for 30 minutes.
Simmer cabbage in hot, not quite boiling water for 5-7 min until outer leaves are bright green. Drain and set aside.
Melt 4 tbsp butter in large skillet. Remove stems from kale and chop. Add kale to skillet and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add to cabbage.
Put cream in saucepan on stove. Add 3 tbsp butter to cream and simmer 2-3 minutes. Chop scallions and add to cream mix, simmer covered.
Add kale and cabbage to cream mix. Remove from heat and set aside.
Drain and peel potatoes and return to the pot. Add greens / cream mixture and mash, until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- 2 pounds kale, center stalks removed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Blanch the kale in lightly salted water until tender, rinse in ice water, drain and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the kale, cream and nutmeg. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, or until the cream has reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Looking at all again warms the belly on a cold winter night.
March 6, 2012
Gourmet Club, Irish, Recipes, Soup
beef, club, cooking, dinner, food, Gourmet, irish, party, recipe, recipes, soup, stew
The Gourmet Club met the first weekend in March for a meal fit for the Irish gentry. My wife and I had responsibility for the appetizers, and as highlighted previously in the blog, we made Irish Egg Rolls. One of my sister-in-laws (I have four of them) made Irish Stew for the soup course and also wrote the following blog post. Pam has not cooked as much as some of the other guest bloggers on the site, so brings a different perspective. Welcome guest blogger Pam!
Me? a Gourmet? Not bloody likely!
Last summer when my brother-in-law asked me to be a part of his newly formed Gourmet Club, I must admit I was quite skeptical to say the least. Me? A Gourmet? Let’s just say my most common food groups consist of Pizza, Pop Tarts, and Pepsi. Often, I have to take several attempts at a grilled cheese sandwich before finally turning something out that is eatable and not charcoal. Upon further consideration, I thought of it as a new adventure – and I love adventures! My boyfriend (Danny – author of the New Years Discovery post) loves to cook, which is why I do not starve. I figured my boyfriend can do the cooking, and I can do the menus, table settings, and decorations. I am also good at taste testing. So, I signed on.
Three quarters in I am happy to report that the Gourmet Club is something I not only enjoy but look forward to. Wonderful food, wonderful people, and I am actually learning something! Go figure. I never thought that cheese could be made from scratch, but I’ve learned differently thanks to The Ranting Chef. Go figure. This month the theme is Irish! With my Irish name, I thought I can do this. It has to be in my genetics somewhere, right? So, I went to the grocery store with list in hand in an attempt to make my first Irish Stew. The Gourmet Club is tonight! First let me say that I combined 3 recipes I found online. The shortest cook time for any of them was 6 hours! Really? I’m never home more than 6 hours at a time. Who in their right mind? Yes, you can do all of this in a crock pot or slow cooker, but I can’t bring myself to leave an appliance on when I’m not home. So, I was on a mission…. Make a fabulous Irish Stew in less than 2 hours. Here’s how:
Irish Beef Stew (Serves 8)
Note: I substituted the original recipe called for lamb. I substituted beef for the lamb. Personal choice.
- Bag of red potatoes (it’s not Irish unless it involves potatoes)
- 1 large white onion
- 1 bunch of carrots
- 1 bunch of celery
- 2 gloves of garlic
- 1 bunch of bay leaves
- Black Pepper
- Thyme (Heard of it, but didn’t know what it looked like)
- Guinness (this I know)
- 1 6oz can of tomato paste
- 2 lbs. Choice Beef Loin Cubed
- 1 large roasting bag
- 1 can of beef broth (just in case)
Preheat the over to 350.
Take 8 potatoes and quarter them. Chop ½ the white onion, the bunch of carrots and the celery stalks. Mince the garlic and crush up the bay leaves. Put all of this in the roasting bag. In the bag add salt, paprika, black pepper, and thyme. Pour one bottle of Guinness stout beer into the bag over everything, then fill the bottle again with water and pour the water into the bag too. Secure the bag loosely with a nylon tie. Lay the bag into a roasting pan and cut 4 small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Put the bag in a roasting dish and in the over for 1 ½ hours.
Sit back and drink a bottle of Guinness.
Check on it at the 1 hour mark. Open the bag and add more water if needed. When done, cut the roasting bag open and let it fall into the pan. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
Grab a sauce pan and take some of the juices from the roasting pan and put them in the sauce pan. Add the 6 oz. can of tomato paste, a bottle of Guinness and the can of beef broth (if needed, if you do not have enough juices from the pan). Heat and stir until thickened. Add cornstarch if needed.
Take contents of roasting pan and put it in the crock pot or slow cooker. Pour the contents of the sauce pan over everything in the crock pot. Set to Low until ready to serve or transport. The longer it sits the thicker the broth will be.
Leaving in one hour…Unplug and take it to the Gourmet Club. I’ll be looking for comments on this page to see how I did. Be gentle, I’m learning. I probably just committed some carnal sins of cooking the proper way. Right now, all I know is that it smells wonderful and looks yummy.
February 14, 2012
club, Gourmet, party
How to go Clubbing!
Love to cook, eat and socialize? Do you have friends who also like the same? A gourmet club may be the right thing for you.
I’ve always been part of a family that enjoys cooking and exploring new food. Everything had to be tried at least once and variety was prized. When I was a kid, my parents started a gourmet club with several other couples. Couples rotated hosting, established a theme for the dinner and every attending couple made various dishes to compliment the theme. As this was in the 70′s, each couple typed up several copies of their recipe and provided them. My parents had their binder of gourmet club recipes for years after the club stopped.
Last year, I started my own gourmet club. Here are the principles:
* Four couples
* The club meets once a quarter
* The host couple picks the theme and is responsible for the main dish, side dishes, drinks and any entertainment. Other couples rotate through appetizers, soup/salad and dessert.
* Expensive or fancy is not the goal; just good food and conversation.
* Recipes must be provided to all
Theme choice can be an interesting one. The obvious choices are cuisines of the world (Italian, Mexican, etc…), but should also be creative in their own right. Some ideas can be:
Fresh from the farm
Made with chocolate
Food on a stick
Made for under $20
The most important part of the club is to have fun!
Have you been in a gourmet club? Tell me about it.