Karen Wright: Tasty beef and Guinness stew served with creamy colcannon

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St Patrick’s Day is on March 17 every year, it is celebrated not only in Ireland but in Irish communities throughout the world.

Karen Wright writes: With parades, parties, music, dancing and special food, St Patrick, who is the patron saint of Ireland is well and truly remembered. Of course, Scotland, England and Wales all have a patron saint, their names are Andrew, George and David, but it seems that it is Patrick that can party the night away!

I got to thinking about Irish recipes and started to count the ones that I had heard of. This is my list – soda bread, Irish stew, bacon and cabbage, Irish coffee, colcannon, beef stew with Guinness, potato cakes, champ, Dublin coddle and Baileys.

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My Auntie Anne was Irish, and she used to make lovely bacon and cabbage, simple fare but so tasty and comforting. I decided to cook a recipe and share it with you this week, I plumped for beef cooked in Guinness with a delicious side of colcannon.

Beef and Guinness casserole with colcannonBeef and Guinness casserole with colcannon
Beef and Guinness casserole with colcannon

For the beef casserole I simply browned a pack of stew meat and sprinkled it with plain flour, popped it into the slow cooker with a can of Guinness, beef stock, carrots, parsnips, swede and a diced onion. I let that cook all day and then just seasoned it with salt and pepper. Very simple indeed.

The colcannon is my favourite bit. My version is totally scrumptious. Firstly, boil some potatoes, drain and let them air dry a few minutes. While they are cooking, melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and cook some lardons or bacon bits, chopped spring onions and some shredded cabbage in the pan. Mash the potatoes with cream and butter and then stir through the bacon, spring onions and cabbage. Season well with salt and pepper and serve with the beef casserole. Simply lovely! A hearty meal and just the thing to line your stomach if you are intending to join in the fun somewhere.

Last week I spent each morning helping to raise funds for Ukraine down at Benny’s sandwich shop on Caldervale Road. We had a brilliant time and as an extra bonus I learned loads about working in a café! Thank you to everyone who supported us and a special thanks to Audrey from Nostell, a keen reader of this column and to Steve and Debbie who came all the way from Hemsworth to buy the borscht and pampushky, which, if I do say myself were scrumptious.