Guinness Beef Stew

I am trying to get ahead of the game for once and share a holiday recipe before said holiday, when it is most relevant. Here is one for St. Patrick’s Day.

In my normal fashion I didn’t write anything down. I just put the stew in the oven so I am typing before I forget

1lb stew beef



1 onion

2-3 stalks celery

Tomato paste

3 cups chicken broth

4 tbsp flour

3cloves garlic

Thyme & bay leaf

Season the beef pieces with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Add a few glugs of olive oil to a Dutch oven and brown all sides. 

Remove meat from pan and set aside.This is the good stuff, leave it in the pan, it is the flavour. 

Add 200g chopped meaty bacon ( I used a maple wood smoked).  Add chopped onion and minced garlic and cook until softened. 

Once softened sprinkle with 3-4 tbsp flour and stir around to coat everything and add 1 can of Guinness.


When we are done with Guinness, the leftover foam always gets put into a small bowl for Max, he loves it! After he laps it down he runs off to his bed to roll around.

Back to the cooking.  

Add carrot and parsnip, celery, chicken stock and 4 tbsp tomato paste. Stir again to mix and dissolve the paste.

Add the meat back to the pot along with any accumulated juices

Add 2 bay leaves and a tsp of dried thyme.

I think I added about 1/2 tsp salt and a generous 1/8tsp pepper. Cover and cook in 325F oven for 2 1/2 hrs.

Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Probably best to let people add their preferred amount at the table.

Serve with bread or crusty rolls for soaking up the gravy.



Slow Cooker White Bean Soup

IMG_6164I have been trying to post this for quite awhile, weeks really.  I thought the timing today was good as alot of people have leftover ham after Easter and this is a great easy way to use it up.  Don’t throw out that ham bone!  We had a ham bone in the freezer from Christmas (that a friend had leftover and was going to throw out, so I took it home to freeze).  I decided I would try to make a slow cooker white bean soup to use it up before it was too old and ended up in the garbage. I am not good with freezer cooking and I often put things in the freezer with the best of intentions, but then never use them and they end up freezer burnt.

A couple of notes, you will need to soak the beans overnight and our ham bone as frozen so we thawed that in the fridge overnight as well.

Here are the ingredients that my helper wrote out so we would remember what we added:

1 ham bone with some leftover ham attached

8 cups water


We placed the thawed ham bone in the slow cooker. Put in the white beans (which had been soaked overnight).  FYI-the garlic was minced. Threw everything else in on top of that, poured in the water and cooked for about 6-7 hours on high (you could do 8- hours on low).



At the end of the cooking time, carefully lift out the bone and cut off some bits of meat to add back to the pot. We don’t like ham very much so I didn’t add much back to the pot, but add back as much as you would like to suit your taste.  Try it for flavour at this point and add a little more salt if needed.

After all day cooking you have this tasty very frugal soup, that went great with crusty bread


Evie’s Favorite Tofu Broccoli Stir Fry

I hope I haven’t lost you on the mention of tofu.  If a five year old is asking for tofu stir fry for supper it must be good! It reallllly is good and the tofu is chewy sort of reminiscent of chicken and it absorbs the flavours of the sauce that is added.  The recipe is from one of Evie’s favourite restaurants and she asks for me to make it.    It is a vegetarian restaurant that we visit whenever we get a chance, but we do have a copy of their recipe book to make some of our favourite dishes at home.  I have only actually made two recipes from the book.

This is one of them.

1 block of firm or extra firm tofu ( I use extra firm if I can find it), cut into small dice size cubes

fry in oil, about 1/3 of a cup, I always try to use a little less. *note: make sure the oil is hot and sizzles when you touch a piece of tofu to it before you add the tofu.


fry turning until it is golden and has a crispy edge.


not done yet, a little more like this


while the tofu is frying I make the sauce and set it aside.

Now for the sauce, mix together in a small bowl:

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup tamari soy sauce, sometimes I use kikkoman

2tsp freshly grated ginger

4 cloves minced garlic


Once the tofu is fried, add 1 cup of carrots thinly sliced, cook for about two minutes

add 4-5 cups of broccoli, florets, and some of the stem thinly sliced.  Add sauce to pan and cook for 5 to 7 minutes turning to coat everything in the sauce. Broccoli should be turned bright green but still firm.



While this is cooking make the glaze.

Mix 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder with 1/4 cup water until dissolved.

Add this to the pan and stir until thick which will only take a few seconds.


Recipe source:  The Green Door Restaurant – Vegetarian Cookbook.  Adapted slightly by me.

You can purchase a copy of the cookbook here it seems to be much cheaper than amazon, a third of the price!