Among the novelty consumables that reappear in the days leading up to March 17 are green-tinted beverages, such as beer and milkshakes.
It may be an amusing way to recognize St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, but how about a culinary adventure of Irish cuisine?
Why not make a classic Irish dish to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, instead?
Classic Irish food is usually inexpensive fare, and this recipe pretty much follows that path. A rustic casserole, it is made up of potatoes and sausages baked to perfection with a chicken broth, cream, and Guinness beer.
I always question a recipe that calls for adding water. Why not add wine, broth, juice, or beer? Water has no flavour. Guinness beer is a very clever way to add flavour intricacy to a dish.
This recipe is fairly easy to prepare, has great flavour, and definitely will help make the dinner table a celebratory venue in recognition of St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy and happy cooking-
Recipe created by Chef Dez
12 large pork, beef or Italian sausages
4 extra-large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced very thin
8 bacon strips, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
4 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried sage
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup Guinness beer
Finely chopped parsley, for garnish
1. Heat large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until browned on all sides, approximately 8 to 12 minutes. Set sausages aside and discard the fat from the pan.
2. While the sausages are cooking, preheat oven to 350ºF, and arrange potato slices into a large casserole dish, or preferably a large ceramic coated cast iron pot.
3. Return the pan to the stove and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the bacon, onions, garlic, salt, sugar, sage and season with pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and slightly browned, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Spread this onion/ bacon mixture evenly over the potato slices.
5. Pour the broth, cream and beer over the entire dish.
6. Place the sausages on top. Cover and cook for 1 hour in the preheated oven.
7. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve "family style", by dishing it out at the table.
Serves 6 to 8 people.
Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4