Guinness & Mushroom Stew With Herbed Soda Bread Dumplings

Uncategorized Mar 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Rather than drinking green beer to celebrate let's eat some good food!

This recipe is easy to make for Sunday dinner and it's a perfect example where you can have the plants shine and use the meat as an enhancement. The star in this dish is definitely the mushrooms. I use an assortment of what I picked up at the Farmers Market and it's worth it to get a mix so you get a few different textures. It also add a more complex flavour. The bacon is also to add that extra layer of flavour but feel free to leave it out if that's not your thing.

And lastly let's talk about these dumplings! If you've never made bread before this is the place to start. This dough is easy to work with and is great on it's own. The only difference when you make them as dumplings is a little more cutting and shaping. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Irish Eyes are smiling somewhere today :) 

Guinness Mushroom Stew
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 6 tbsp butter, divided
  • 8 cups mixed mushrooms such as shiitake,portabello, oyster, king; sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can Guinness
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Herbed Soda Bread, see recipe below
Preheat the oven to 375*
Prepare the Irish Soda Bread and place in the fridge. 
Heat a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven to medium heat. Add bacon and cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is browned and crispy. Remove bacon and reserve on paper towel. Add the onions to the pan and cook until slightly translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat and cook until onions are soft and a deep brown colour, about 15 minutes. Remove the onions to a plate. 
Add 2 tbsps butter and working in 3 batches add enough mushrooms to just cover the pan and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove mushrooms and continue adding a new batch of mushrooms with 2 tbsp of butter, cooking until all the mushrooms are browned. Return mushrooms and onions to the pan, add garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the Guinness, Worcestershire and bay leaves. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the mushrooms, stirring constantly to prevent any lumps. Remove from heat.
Place the soda bread dough rounds on top of the mushroom mixture. Place the skillet int the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the dumplings are puffed and cooked through. To check to see if they're cooked, insert a knife into the centre. If it comes out clean they're done.
To serve ladle the stew into bowls topping making sure each gets a dumpling. Top with crumbled bacon and parsley. 
Herbed Soda Bread
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375*
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Add the butter and, using your hands, break the butter into peas sized pieces or until the mixture has a sand like texture. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, parsley and rosemary. Remove the flour mixture from the freezer and add the egg mixture to the bowl. Toss together using a fork until just combined. It will look rough. The key is to not overwork the dough. 
Empty the dough onto a floured surface and using your hands, pat together to form a round loaf. 
Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom, about 35 minutes. Best served warm.
If using this dough as dumplings on top the Mushroom Stew; prepare dough as usual, when emptying the dough onto your floured surface, roll into a 10-12 inch log. Cut the dough into 8 rounds and place on a plate. Keep the dough in the refrigerator. Use according to the recipe. 

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