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From Ireland to Long Island – Blind Bat Stout Stew & Pairings

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Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner (it’s tomorrow for those who may not know). With that in mind we here at BLC were thinking how best to celebrate the festivities. During our recent interview with The Beer Amigos (Episode 12 is the one with our interview as well as more from the recent Spring Craft Beer Fest) we talked a bit about writing recipes and developing pairings for beer and food. This crept into our minds while running a couple errands and we decided to celebrate by making a “Guinness Stew”. We changed around the ingredients and recipe to make it our own. Instead of the traditional Irish dry stout, we decided to go with local favorite and use Blind Bat Brewery’s Long Island Potato Stout. After all, what says St. Patrick’s Day more than beer and potatoes?

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Ingredients:
2 lbs. stew beef
7 medium carrots cut into 1/4″ thick coins
4 medium parsnips cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 onions chopped
3 cloves garlic sliced thin
3 sprigs thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup stout (we used Blind Bat Brewery’s Potato Stout)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat and add your beef to the pot. It will stick at first but don’t be alarmed, just give it a minute before stirring. It will start to release fat and juices and unstick itself. Brown on all sides.

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  • Next, add onions and garlic to your meat and liquid and cook until the onions are translucent and tender

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  • Add 2 tbsp. tomato paste and mix well
  • Once the tomato paste is incorporated, add 1 cup stout and turn the heat a bit above medium. bring to a low boil for a few minutes
  • Add 4 cups beef broth, carrots, parsnips, cayenne and thyme (remove leaves from the branch). Season with salt & pepper.

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  • Cook everything together at higher heat for about 7-10 mins. Then, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 2.5-3 hours (We actually wound up leaving ours for about 4 hours and the vegetables held up. It definitely could have been enjoyed sooner though.)

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  • Makes about 6-8 servings.

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Once the stew was ready to be served, we figured there was nothing better to enjoy with a beer based stew than another beer. Since the stew was rich, with slight hints of sweetness coming from the stout, parsnips and carrots, we wanted a beer style that would provide a bit of a contrast. We decided to go with All Day IPA by Founders Brewing Company and Surge Protector, which was brewed as a collaboration of eight Long Island Breweries to help aid Hurricane Sandy Relief and Barrier Brewing Company. According to the bottle 100% of the proceeds will go to these two causes (which is pretty great in our book). An IPA may not be very Irish but we were ready to dive in and see how these hoppy brews would compliment our savory meal.

All Day IPA (Founders Brewing Company): The beer itself is on the light side, which is what Founders intended when making this IPA a “session ale” (which essentially means a beer you can drink during a period of time without being overwhelmed by the alcohol). However, just because it is a bit light does not mean it is lacking in flavor. Subtle hops which feature floral, fruity and spicy notes enable this brew to strike a nice balance between bitter and sweet over a solid malt profile. When paired with the stew, both the bitter and fruity flavors of the IPA were enhanced. The sweetness in the beer actually toned down a bit of that quality in the stew and brought out more herbal and meaty flavors. The hops in the beer and the herbs of the stew married well during this tasting. This was an enjoyable pairing as we felt the beer enhanced the dish and vice versa, which is really all you can ask from beer and food together.

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Surge Protector (Barrier Brewing Company, Blind Bat Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, Great South Bay Brewery, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, Long Ireland Beer Company, Port Jeff Brewing Company & Spider Bite Beer Company): This IPA is a bit more full bodied than the All Day IPA, and the taste is on the other end of the spectrum. There is a caramel malt presence throughout, with some grassy hop bitterness and some fruit in there as well. This is also a fairly easy drinking IPA, as the hop presence is not overwhelming and it is really balanced out with bready notes. At 5% it could be considered a “session ale” too. With our stew, the bitterness of the ale increased and an earthy quality developed. The malt presence really formed a good team with the stews sweetness and the hop bitterness prevented it from being too one dimensional. Again, this IPA brought out more of the meaty qualities of the stew, but the aftertaste was balanced and the two seemed to work nicely together throughout the meal.

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