Friday, February 25, 2011

Irish Blessings

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers,
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours
Shamrocks at your doorway
for luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

I love the month of March with the anticipation of spring and most importantly, the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, where everyone is Irish for the day! March is our quietest month here at the B&B so why not take advantage of our Irish hospitality and join us for a “cup of tea and a bun” or a tall glass of Killian’s Irish Red or Guinness. Stay two nights or longer anytime this month and receive a 20% discount. While you’re here plan a visit to local brewpubs including Wachusett Brew Pub, home of the famous Quinn’s Ale; Gardner Ale House, and Elm City Brew Pub. The Ale House and Elm City both serve delicious food as well. If you’re in the area on March 13 don’t miss Shamus Pender (Shamus the famous) Irish balladeer and storyteller playing at McNally’s Grille from 2-6 p.m.
Looking for a great substitute for the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner? Try our Beef and Guinness Pie. Just make sure you save enough Guinness to sample…
Beef and Guinness Pie
Irish stouts produce a thick head when poured, so chill the can or bottle well before measuring to reduce the foam.
Pie crust for 2 pies, rolled into a 10” x 14” rectangle
4 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (more if necessary)
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cup beef broth
2 cup Guinness or other Irish stout
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 large carrots chopped
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Pat beef dry. Stir together flour, salt, thyme and pepper in a shallow dish. Add beef, turning to coat, then shake off excess and transfer to a plate. Heat oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart ovenproof heavy pot over moderately high heat until just smoking, then brown meat in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch, transferring to a bowl.
Add onion, garlic, and water to pot and cook, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot and stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beef with any juices accumulated in bowl, broth, beer, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to oven. Braise until beef is very tender and sauce is thickened, about 1 hour.
Remove from oven and add chopped carrots. Pour into a 9” x 13” pan. Cover with pie crust (make sure you add slits in crust to let heat escape) and bake for 1 more hour.