Stout Chilli

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once more and though the Irish appear to have forgotten how to play rugby – they got stuffed by the Italians – this stout chilli is certainly cause for celebration. Indeed, as you may have inferred, ‘stout’ refers not to the build of the dish, though it is rather meaty, but to its contents. Guinness is, of course, the most popular stout and is one that, as popular opinion would have it, the Irish drink almost perpetually from birth. Could there be a more perfect St. Patrick’s Day meal? Probably not.

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Ale Braised Ox Cheek

As you may have deduced, when an animal is slaughtered every part of it is butchered. Though this may appear, on the surface, to be a somewhat obvious and worthless statement, it does highlight potentially important ramifications. Remember, every popular cut of meat (leg of lamb) has a less-loved or even unknown counterpart (ox cheek, lamb neck or breast) – the meat that isn’t used gets wasted or goes under appreciated. This is a travesty on so many levels, not least because less popular cuts are often the most delicious and economical.

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Welsh rarebit, or rabbit, is a traditional twist on the classic cheese on toast. In truth, I don’t suppose this is a dish confined to our small corner of the world, since English rarebit, Scotch rarebit and Irish rarebit also exist. However, I’m not certain if those rarebits made in the other corners of the British Isles bare the exact credentials of the well-known Welsh version. It is important to highlight that the original dish was called Welsh rabbit, rather than rarebit. It makes sense, perhaps, that the name was changed to distinguish it as a non-meat dish.

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