March 17, 2017 Edition



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Irish? Say it with Beef and Guinness Stew


It’s March and you know what that means. “Kiss me, I’m Irish” T-shirts are on display and for sale once again at local stores. I have always admired people who have the bravado to wear a T-shirt with axioms that would boss around complete strangers.

I, on the other hand, used to wear band T-shirts. When I was growing up, I remember most T-shirts being band concert T-shirts. The Clash, U2, The Cure. And didn’t everyone own a Pink Floyd T-shirt at some point in their young adult life?

My favorite T-shirt though is one I got when I was in junior high. It was sky blue and had a heat-transfer print of Dolly Parton’s 1977 album cover for “Here You Come Again.” Bet you didn’t know that I am still a Dolly Parton fan. No other 70-year-old can rock a white sequined western jumpsuit like Dolly can.

Fast forward 40 years, and now it’s hard to find a T-shirt without a cheeky saying on it. Some of the adages are borderline rude, but most of them are hilariously funny. My kids and I will sometimes just stand and read the T-shirts at Wal-mart or Target for the pure entertainment they provide.

While I will laugh out loud at some of the shirts (like “Sarcastic Comment Loading” with the buffering symbol under it), most of them I couldn’t see myself wearing. Except maybe the “But first, Coffee” one.

As for the “Kiss me, I’m Irish” T-shirt? Most likely not going to be buying that one. Where did that phrase come from anyway? Digging around online, I found that it may be a reference to the Blarney Stone.

In Ireland, the Blarney Stone is part of the limestone rock built into the Blarney Castle, in the town of, wouldn’t you know it, Blarney. The legend goes that kissing the Blarney Stone blesses the kisser with the gift of gab, or eloquent speech.

If you couldn’t get yourself to Blarney, Ireland to kiss the stone, then the next best thing would be to kiss an Irish person. Even if they aren’t from Blarney. Legends and loopholes seem to go hand in hand.

This week’s recipe is a nod to the land of the Blarney Stone. Found on the website, this hearty stew features beef simmered in Irish beer until it is meltingly tender. It is delicious on its own or served over buttery mashed potatoes. It’s a perfect dish for St. Patrick’s Day or any time you wear your “Kiss me, I’m Irish” T-shirt.

Beef and Guinness Stew

Serves 4 to 6


  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 lbs. boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 5 cups chopped onion (about 3 onions)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (11.2-ounce) bottle Guinness Stout beer
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices carrots (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices celery (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled turnip (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt; dredge beef in flour. Add half of beef to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and beef.

Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return meat to pan.

Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, caraway seeds, and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Uncover and bring to a boil. Cook 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, celery, and turnip. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bring to a boil; cook 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with mashed potatoes.


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