Every winter, Brooklyn Brewing comes out with their winter black chocolate stout and every winter I drink it as often as I can while it is around. Which is not very much since it is very strong and does not lend itself to having more than one or two.
Kerrie and I were walking through Wegmans trying to figure out what meals to have before the upcoming Christmas Eve Fish Feast and I saw the stout sitting on the shelf, after drooling for a moment it became my focus for a meal to serve to so friends for dinner. Partly because I knew that Chris would join me in drinking one as well. They come in a convenient 4 pack. One for the stew, one each for Chris and I before dinner, and one as I sit here and type this.
Each year for our annual St. Patrick's Day dinner I make Guinness beef stew so I figured this would be a perfectly yummy substitute. I use the basic beef stew recipe from The 1997 Joy of Cooking. It works very well as followed in the book, it also works great if you brown the meat and saute the vegetables in a pan then load all the remaining ingredients into a crock pot. The only significant variation I make is that instead of just sprinkling the meat with flour I use a mix of flour, paprika, salt, pepper, and thyme. I am sure the recipe has not changed in the Joy of Cooking in decades. I also almost always use some of the vegetable variants instead of just potatoes and carrot. Parsnips and turnips in particular often make it to the pot. Parsnips are a favorite of mine and are one of those magical trans-formative ingredients.
I will leave it to Kerrie to post her biscuit recipe when she is ready but tonight's were wonderful.
The side is a dish I have been wanting to make again for over a year. I threw it together at Thanksgiving last year and it was a hit. It brings together several rich deep flavors and comes together in a way I didn't quite expect. The Pomegranate molasses is something I love to have on hand. I saw it used on a cooking show and Alton's recipe is wonderful and simple. It is great on pork, fish, couscous, and today's veggie, brussel sprouts.
You will need
12-18 brussel sprouts, all about the same size.
2 Tbsp Butter
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup crumbled feta
Cut the stems off of the sprouts and peel off any leaves then come of easily. then cut in half, or quarters if your sprouts are bigger than walnut.
Heat a large pan to medium high, ( I use my Calphalon 12-Inch Everyday Pan) and add the butter.
Once the butter melts and sizzles then add the sprouts cut side down to the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes until they are nice and brown. Try not to mess with them too much. Once they have browned add the chicken stock and a pinch of kosher salt and put a lid on the pan. Reduce the hit to medium low and cook for another 6-8 minutes. Check to see if the sprouts are tender. Add the sprouts to a serving dish, sprinkle with feta and drizzle with the molasses.
I love this dish and it makes a tasty accompaniment to just about anything.