This time of year calls for wonderful fall recipes that fill your bellies and souls, like stews and soups. This one was a take on Guinness beef shepherd’s pie. Since we didn’t have Guinness in the fridge, I substituted it for another (local) dark ale.
Then, brown your meat. When it’s nice and browned, remove it from the pot. Next, chop up your veggies. I used lots and lots of mushrooms. (I love mushrooms!)
Next, time to pop in the beer. I used Flying Monkey Netherworld Dark Cascadian Ale. You can use anything really, but the darker the beer, the more flavour it will have.
Dark Ale and Beef Shepherd’s Pie (Courtesy of pictureperfectmeals)
You will need:
- 2-1/2 pounds boneless stewing beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more, as needed
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 4 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed and halved
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- one (12-ounce) bottle Guinness or other dark beer
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons rosemary, crushed
- 1 recipe mashed potatoes
- 1 cup shredded aged cheddar, plus more for the top
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
- Position the oven rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pat the beef dry. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. Add the beef and toss well to lightly coat all the pieces. In a Dutch oven or large, ovenproof heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high. You want it hot, but not smoking. Sear the meat, stirring occasionally until well-browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the browned meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add ½ of the beef stock, onions, garlic, mushrooms and celery. Season with a little more salt and pepper and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes; add the tomato paste, remaining stock, beer, Worcestershire and rosemary. Add the beef, along with any juices in the bowl. Bring to a rapid simmer, cover and transfer to the oven.
- Braise until the beef is very tender and the sauce has reduced, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the mashed potatoes, if using. If you have leftover mashed potatoes, lucky you! Go read a book or watch a movie.
- Remove the pot from the oven. Add in the peas. Place the pot of stew on the stove over medium heat. Add the cornstarch slurry, bring to a boil and cook until nicely thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and let cool slightly if using the potato topping.
- Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Spread the stew into a casserole dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal and to prevent the filling from bubbling up (some will but that’s okay). Sprinkle cheese on top. Place the dish on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until the potatoes just begin to brown and the cheese melts, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
We were very fortunate to have a great harvest this year. The garden boxes did wonders at keeping the moisture under control in the yard.
We got a total of 4 squash: 2 buttercup, 1 acorn and 1 hubbard (That’s right! Hubbard survived!!)
Here are some more beautiful heritage tomatoes. We also snipped all of the mint leaves, so that we can dry them and make tea throughout the winter. It works wonders for colds and just sipping on a chilly evening.
All in all, we had a great gardening year! I can’t wait to expand next year and grow more goodies!
I love raspberries! I was so fortunately that Operation Fruit Rescue invited volunteers to pick at a raspberry Upick one evening. My mother-in-law and I picked buckets full of berries, all ready to fill our freezers for the long winter ahead.
Raspberry Upside Down Cake
You will need:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups thawed or fresh raspberries
- 1 1/4 cups whole grain flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
- Place 1/4 cup butter in your baking pan. Warm in a 350 degrees oven about 5 minutes or until butter is melted. (Be sure to watch carefully to avoid browning the butter). Remove pan from oven. Add brown sugar, stirring until sugar is completely moistened. Spread sugar mixture evenly in pan. Add raspberries and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar until well combined. Add egg and vanilla, beating until combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to beaten butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Spread batter evenly over the peaches in the pan.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan; invert onto a large serving plate (if possible. If not, serve individual pieces upside down). Serve warm with whip cream or ice cream.