Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a meal featuring beer bread, beef with beer sauce and a fresh, green tabbouleh salad.
By Rosemarie Aquilina
Photography by Viviana Pernot
My family by lineage is not Irish, but we have many Irish friends. While we don’t drink green beer, we honor our Irish friends with a meal that my mother served us as children and is a staple on our table: beef and beer sauce. The beer tenderizes the meat. Multiple helpings are guaranteed. Beer bread complements the meal as it soaks up the rich flavorful sauce. I also serve tabbouleh salad because the parsley and vivid green color reflect the traditional green of the lucky four-leaf clover. Happiest of St. Patrick’s Days to all!
I like to serve this bread with soups, stews and salads. I do not prefer dark beers because it can leave a bitter taste or give a flavor that is too strong for everyone to enjoy. Place any leftovers in an airtight container or zip-close bag.
Makes 1 loaf
3 ½ cups self-rising flour
½ cup sugar
1 beer, 12-ounce can or bottle, light or nonalcoholic
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Butter or spray a loaf pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix ingredients well. Dough will be a bit sticky but should form a ball. Sides should be clean when the dough pulls away from the bowl. If not, add small amounts of flour.
Flour your hands, then remove dough from bowl and place into a loaf pan, spreading evenly. Place into oven and bake 45-50 minutes or until a long toothpick inserted in the center pulls out smoothly without sticking. Cool 10 minutes and release from pan. When bread cools but remains slightly warm, cut and serve. Eat as is or serve with butter and/or jams.
Tabbouleh Cauliflower Salad
Not only is this easy to make, it pairs with nearly every meal and is a usual salad served to my family. The amount of salad you make can be easily adjusted. As a healthy alternative, cauliflower is used in place of the usual bulgur, which is not missed. Because of the missing bulgur, this salad fits into most keto or other healthy dietary plans.
½ head of cauliflower, grated (use largest holes)
1 bunch flat or curly parsley, bottom long stems cut off, chop remaining parsley
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 green onions, sliced thin into the green stems
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered or sliced smaller, leave seeds on cutting board
½ hothouse cucumber, peeled, deseeded, chopped small
Place all ingredients into mixing bowl. Prepare dressing.
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ to 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric powder
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ to ½ teaspoon garlic paste, optional
Blend all ingredients. Taste, adjust if needed. When satisfied, pour over parsley mixture and mix. Place into serving bowl and serve.
Beef and Beer Sauce
I calculate about a ½ pound chuck roast per person. Serving with your favorite bread or beer bread is a must as the sauce is spectacular for dipping. Other vegetables, if desired, can be added such as zucchini, celery, turnips, etc.
This is a very forgiving meal. To serve more, add extra beef and/or vegetables. Add the vegetables your family prefers — just adding potatoes and onions works well. Remember, dark beer can leave a taste that is not enjoyed by all.
3 pounds chuck roast (adjust amount based on how many you are serving)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 garlic cloves, whole or minced as desired. (If you add them while browning the beef, whole is best.)
1-2 bottles light beer, or nonalcoholic beer
4 bay leaves
2 packages Lipton beefy onion soup mix
4-6 potatoes, peeled and halved or left whole depending on size
4-6 yellow or white onions, halved or left whole depending on size
1-2 cups baby carrots or 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
Mushrooms, as desired
Beef or chicken stock
Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved with water or stock. (Pour into stew and let thicken, if you prefer it thickened.)
Place paper towels on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Cut roast in I-inch pieces, and place on the paper towels. When finished, place paper towel on top and press down. Leave for about 5 minutes until beef is dry — your fingers are not moistened or bloody when you touch the beef.
Season beef with salt and pepper.
In a large Dutch oven heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. I toss in a few cloves of extra garlic to flavor the oil. Place 1/3 to ½ of beef into pan so bottom is covered. Do not overfill. When browned, not overcooked or burned, remove beef and place in a dish. Repeat until all beef is cooked.
Pour about half a bottle of beer into the Dutch oven and scrape bottom until clean with a spatula. This helps flavor the sauce. Return all beef to the Dutch oven and pour in remaining beer, bay leaves, beefy onion soup mix, and beef or chicken stock to cover contents.
Add vegetables — potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms and any other, as desired. I usually add diced mushrooms for flavor as the stew cooks. Bring to a simmer and cook for about an hour to an hour and a half. Cook with lid on.
Beef will be tender, vegetables cooked and sauce thickened. Add additional seasoning to taste if needed. If sauce needs to be thickened, use cornstarch as directed. You can toss fresh parsley on top before serving for color. Serve with bread.