A time will come when the memory will fade like the fabric on the old wing chair sitting in the sunny window. Memories are all we have. Blogging is a way of preserving those memories. It took me by surprise when some old memories of William inspired last night’s dinner. The memories are happy and the food is comforting like a warm hug from someone well-loved.
In 2009 while attending a medical conference in San Diego I spent several days with William as he was stationed there and working at the US Naval Hospital, Balboa. We shared some fun adventures as he showed me all his favorite spots including “The Market” on the pier and the Irish pub known as “The Field” in the gas lamp district. The raw bar guy at the Market knew him by name.
However, it is delicious dinner memories of The Field which sends my culinary creativity into action. William insists I order the beef stew in a boxty. What the heck is a boxty? It’s like a crepe marrying a potato pancake. Wrap it around some Guinness beef stew and you have a match made in heaven. It makes for a most memorable St. Patrick’s Day feast.
I love you William. You continue to inspire me every day. Thanks for such wonderful memories. I am so very proud to be your mom and grateful to have had you in my life.
1 (8 oz) Yukon gold potato, peeled, cubed
1 (4 oz) Yukon gold potato, peeled, grated and squeezed dry in paper towels
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
Guinness beef stew, warmed (recipe follows)
Heat oven 200F. Cook cubed potato in salted water until tender. Drain potatoes and mash. Mix mashed potato with grated potato, flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk; blend well. On a medium hot greased skillet, pour 1/3 cup of potato mixture into center of skillet spreading with the back of a spoon to form a 6-inch pancake. Cook about 2 minutes or until edges are dry and pancake is golden brown. Flip and cook other side. Transfer pancake to baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet between pancakes. To assemble, place one pancake on serving plate. Spoon ½ cup of stew down center of pancake; fold over. Serves 6.
Guinness Beef Stew
1 ¼ pounds beef for stew, cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 sweet onions, chopped
1 ½ cups carrots, bite-size
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 ½ cups Guinness beer
½ tablespoon dark brown sugar
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
Season beef with salt and pepper; toss with 1 tablespoon of flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in oven-safe Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown half the beef; transfer to plate. Add remaining beef; brown and transfer to plate. Add remaining oil to Dutch oven. Add onions and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Add tomato paste, garlic and remaining flour; cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and Guinness, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Stir in sugar, half the parsley and all the thyme; bring to a boil. Transfer, uncovered, Dutch oven to 325F. oven. Bake 60 minutes or until beef is tender, stirring after 30 minutes. Stir in remaining parsley. Serves 6