St Patrick’s Day…  I have a few vague memories of the last time I actually went out on St Patrick’s Day.  Well over 20 years ago, I was in San Francisco, had just opened up a Westin Hotel, and we had a banquet captain named Sean Hennigan who had just transferred there from Chicago.  I showed him how San Francisco celebrates the day – and night…  Somehow, we survived…

Fast forward to this weekend…

My cousin, Tom and his lovely wife Barb were in town from Omaha for a conference.  They had limited time because of 2 functions they had to attend.  After almost 6 years, my schedule had just changed a few weeks ago and I was now working Saturday. I did a quick “I need to leave early on Saturday” plea with work (no problem!!) and made plans to meet at 3:30 at an Irish Pub a few blocks from their hotel.

What we didn’t plan for was it being March 15th – 2 days before St Patrick’s Day.  Every college kid and their Italian roommate had put on their green and were packing the city’s three Irish bars.  So much for a quiet cocktail and conversation.  We ended up at the Bellevue (Park Hyatt) and spent a lot of money for quieter surroundings.  It was worth it!

St Paddy’s Day was a fun one in my youth, but – let’s face it – I ain’t no youth, anymore.  Today, I’m more apt to want to enjoy a nice dinner than a noisy, crowded bar with beer being spilled on me.  Growing older is a good think…

So… we invited Victor’s mom over and I made Beef Braised in Guinness.

Beef Braised in Guinness

We came up with this recipe years ago.  It’s a great dish for parties, because it can be doubled, tripled, or quintupled with ease. It was definitely a huge hit when we had Pop’s cousin’s from Omaha over for St. Paddy’s dinner years ago. They still talk about it!   I also brought it in to UCSF one year and it became a staple on the Moffitt Cafe menu for St Paddy’s Day.  It’s a refreshing change from Corned Beef and Cabbage!

Beef Braised in Guinness

  • 2 pounds beef steak, cut in pieces
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced into sticks
  • all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 bottle Guinness
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup beef broth

Cut the meat into serving sizes. Pound them to tenderize and for a uniform thickness. Peel the onions and slice. Peel the carrots and slice them into sticks. Place the flour in a dish and mix in 1 tsp of salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic powder. Heat the butter in a sautè pan, add the onions and cook until soft. Transfer them to a large, shallow, greased ovenproof dish.

Dredge the pieces of meat in the seasoned flour and brown. Remove as they are cooked and place on top of the onions in a single layer. Arrange the carrots around them. Add a little more butter to the pan and stir in the seasoned flour to make a roux.

Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly and scraping up all the browned bits then add the Guinness. Allow to boil for a minute or two, then add the basil, honey and the broth. Return to a boil and pour over the meat. Cover the dish and bake at 325° for 90 minutes.

I made up a pot of mashed potatoes and dinner was served.

Light-years away from those noisy bars, but somehow, even more satisfying…