Gourmet Club Report: Irish Dinner and Sides

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

Difficulty: Medium


  • 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.


Difficulty: Easy


  • 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.

Creamy Kale


  • 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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Baking, Beef, Beer, Gourmet Club, Irish, Main Dish, Recipes, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

25 Comments on “Gourmet Club Report: Irish Dinner and Sides”

  1. March 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    The pot pies look delicious!!!


  2. March 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    This sounds absolutely delicious! I ‘m part Irish and wholeheartedly love Irish comfort food. We have a pub here in Hellertown, PA called the Highlands Pub. It’s slightly upscale Irish/Scottish comfort food. To die for. It’s perfect for a rowdy game of football watching, beer, and pies like this one. I’m definitely going to give this a try.


  3. Jiene
    March 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    Ive actually been to Dublin and Paris in the last two weeks (hard life, huh?:) ) and ironically we found the food MUCH more delicious and gourmet in Dublin! We struggled to find good food in Paris which was one of the things I was looking forward to most, sadly.
    It seems Dublins culinary reputation may be turning around!
    We had a Guiness Stew at the Guiness factory that was amazing. Have you ever tried making one that you’d like to share a recipe for?


    • March 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Most certainly. Check out the Gourmet Club Soup course post. A Guiness stew was a wonderful dish.


  4. Maggie
    March 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    How many and what size pies does the Guinness recipe make? Trying it tonight! It takes a long time to cut up 3lbs of chuck roast!! Can’t wait!


    • March 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      It made 8 pies in what I’d guess to be 4-5 inch bowls. Let me know how it goes!


  5. Maggie
    March 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Simmering now. I am embarrassed to say I have not cooked with leeks before, so that was a new chopping experience for me. Right now the broth is very stouty and a bit bitter… hoping it eases up a bit as the flavors blend! Excited to use the individual baking dishes made by my potter husband!


  6. Maggie
    March 9, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    I made three pies for the family tonight and it was 6 thumbs up! Really good and I am nursing a bit of a burnt tongue because I couldn’t wait to have that first bite. Froze the balance of the meat filling so we can have a quicker repeat another time. Thanks for sharing!


  7. March 11, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    sounds great comfort food, perfect timing with paddies day on its way too. thanks for liking my romesco recipe btw!


  8. March 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Not a fan of steak but that Colcannon has my mouth watering.


  9. Jean-François
    March 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Great looking meal. I’d never heard of colcannon, but that sounds great – and you can’t go wrong with creamed greens, steak and Guinness.


  10. March 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    I love colcannon. I’ll have to make some soon! Great pictures!


  11. March 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    I am going to visit my 25 year old Irish son. I always like to make him something new or one of his favorites. I am so happy I checked out your blog…I never thought to make him an Irish dish. He will be so excited when I tell him I am making Steak and Guinness Pie!


  12. March 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Great looking meal!!


  13. March 17, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    What a feast for St Patrick’s day 🙂 I’m eating out tonight but I might just have to celebrate twice in honour of your recipes! Thank you so much for sharing these.


  14. pattyabr
    March 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Well look at all these Irish Food recipes. Were you watching Bobby Flay recently on Food Network who took a tour through Ireland and all the Irish recipes and how they have changed over the decades? Another use for Guinness. I think I saw on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives a diner who used Guinness in a Irish Stew too.


  15. March 22, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    I loved this post! It made me want to fly 3000 miles to eat at my mum’s table.


  16. April 13, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    wonderful! I love colcannon and I have never put Kale in it, I have Chard in the garden and fresh cream from a good skim, looks like dinner 🙂 I really want to LIKE this but I can’t find the button, sorry I am a newbie, paz, Abby


  17. April 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Looks Good! My son-in-law if from Dublin, I’ll ask if he knows Colcannon… I’m making that and the meat pie for sure. Thanks…


  18. April 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Love your blog… thanks for sharing all your foodie adventures! Cleveland does, indeed, rock! This meal looks divine! Nothing like good Irish comfort food.



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