Blackguard Soup and Fir Bolg Irish Beef Stew

collinsCollins Bakery is one of those Youghal treasures – a traditional delicatessen and bakery, just opposite the local Post Office. The smell of fresh bread wafting out the door of a bakery in the morning has to be one of life’s ways of reminding us it’s the little things that count. It’s a pretty regular haunt of ours, not just because of the delicious lunch rolls but the fresh bread, cakes and scones are regular filler for us during brew days. A 4th generation bakery, established in 1880, it’s fair to say they know a thing or two about what works.

I didn’t need to be asked twice to call down. Eileen Quill had hinted that she might experiment with our beers in some dishes and so before she had the phone hung up I was at her door. Spoon in hand.

collins-munsterbrewery-1First up was a vegetable soup with a stock made with Blackguard beer. Golden in colour with a coarse yet creamy texture, it whacked the taste buds with a long lingering tangy aftertaste that was all good. This is a soup you’d return to time and time again.

Next up was a beef stew with the beef marinated first in Fir Bolg. Lots of chunky veg and bite sized beef and a sauce rich in colour.  The deep malt taste of Fir Bolg came through in the beef, a subtle undertaste that added a complexity to the stew.

The recipes are below. Easy to make, they’ll be impressive for family and guests alike.

Blackguard Soup

3oz butter
Teaspoon sunflower oil
3 medium onions
2 medium leeks chopped, washed strained
5 carrots medium peel and diced
1 bottle blackguard
Pint and a half of chicken stock
2 oz fresh coriander or Dill.
2 celery sticks
2 oz cream

Sweat off the onion, leeks, celery, carrot and herbs in butter and sunflower oil in a large soup pot for five minutes.
Add the Blackguard beer (Keep a glass back for the cook!) and simmer for ten minutes.
Add chicken stock
Cook to boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
Blend to desired consistency adding more stock if necessary.
Finish blending in 2 oz cream
Dress with a sprig of dill




Fir Bolg Irish Beef Stew

1kg round steak, cubed.
Beef Stock
Vegetables as desired – Mushrooms, Carrots, Swede
1 onion – diced
Spoon sunflower or vegetable oil
1 bottle Fir Bolg
Pinch pepper.

Marinade the beef in Fir Blog (less a glass for the cook!). 24 hours is ideal but anything over 4 hours will do. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge while marinading.
In a heavy pot over a medium heat, cook the beef, onion and pepper in the oil until the beef is browned on the outside.
Add the stock and cook for an hour.
Add the vegetables and cook for a further half hour or until vegetables and beef are tender.
Season to taste.
Garnish with fresh parsley.