Beef in Guinness
2 1/2 lb or 1 kg shin of beef
2 large onions
6 medium carrots
2 tbsp seasoned flour
a little fat or beef dripping
1/2 cup dry cider
1/2 pt/ 250 ml/ 1 cup Guinness with water
sprig of parsley
Cut the beef into chunks and peel and slice the onions and carrots. Toss the beef in the flour and brown quickly in hot fat. Remove the beef and fry the onions gently until transparent. Return the beef and add the carrots and the liquid. Bring just to the boil, reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, cover closely and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Check that the dish does not dry out, adding more liquid if necessary. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with plainly boiled potatoes.
1lb/ 1/2kg/ 4 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1pt/ 1/2 lr/ 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Scoop up handfuls and allow to drop back into the bowl to aerate the mixture. Add enough buttermilk to make a soft dough. Now work quickly as the buttermilk and soda are already reacting. Knead the dough lightly - too much handling will toughen it, while too little means it won't rise properly.
Form a round loaf about as thick as your fist. Place it on a lightly-floured baking sheet and cut a cross in the top with a floured knife. Put at once to bake near the top of a pre-heated oven, 450°F, 230°C, for 30-45 minutes. When baked, the loaf will sound hollow when rapped on the bottom with your knuckles. Wrap immediately in a clean tea-towel to stop the crust hardening too much.
**Wheaten bread or brown soda is made in exactly the same way but with wholemeal flour replacing all or some of the white flour; this mixture will probably require less buttermilk. Another variation is to add 1/2 cup of sultanas (white seedless grapes) to the white bread - this loaf is known as Spotted Dick.
Both these recipes come from the book A Little Irish Cookbook.
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I hope you are all having a great week so far.