Last weekend was glorious! My mom and I traveled to the Pacific Northwest for a wedding. Now this was no ordinary celebration. First, this was my cousin, and she wanted to have a specific ceremony. A Scottish handfasting! She and her husband have been planning this event for over two years, maybe longer. Yet, I recall a certain conversation several years ago about tartans and Scotland in my daughter's kitchen with them. The scenery for the handfasting was spectacular--deep in a forest with a light rain shower or two to bless the couple. Laughter, tears, delicious food, and many toasts with single malt whisky filled the evening. Babies and fur friends were in attendance, as well. I left that weekend with a renewed sense of family, peace, love, and faith in "happily ever after."
My cousin prepared most of the food, so I thought I would share two of my all time favorites. Guinness Stew, which I found out that she cooked in a slow cooker for 24 hours! And Scotch fudge. The best fudge I've ever tasted! Sláinte
Paulette's Guinness Stew
A tip from Paulette: Keep in mind that although I look at a recipe, I'm not good at following it completely. It's kinda like a pirate with parlay--a guideline, not rules.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. beef stew meat (She uses half venison and half beef)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour
4 large potatoes, diced into large pieces
2 large carrots, diced into 1-inch pieces
2 large parsnips, diced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 gloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 bay leaves
4 cups beef broth
1 bottle of Guinness
In a large bowl, toss meat with flour, salt and pepper. Put oil in frying pan and brown meat. While meat is browning, place potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onion, garlic, celery, Worcestershire, and tomato paste in slow cooker. Stir to coat.
Add meat, broth, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and Guinness. Cook on Low 8-10 hours; High 3-4 hours. OR you can do as Paulette did with hers and let it cook on low for 24 hours. Everything (meat and potatoes) will break down more.
One final side note: Paulette doesn't peel her vegetables, but feel free to do so with yours. And if you're brave enough, do cook on low for 24 hours.
Paulette's Scotch Fudge
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) Nestlé® Carnation® Evaporated Milk 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 cups miniature marshmallows 1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) Nestlé® Toll House® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsel 1 teaspoon Orange extract 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Scotch
1. Line 8-inch-square baking pan with foil. 2. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 3. Stir in marshmallows, morsels, and orange extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted.
4. Add Scotch and stir in
Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.