(ETA: Picture above is from 2009 St. Patty's feast.)
I kept to the recipe more or less every year, adding a bay leaf or two and doubling the portion to serve 4. A few more spoons of cornstarch to thicken, and pinches of brown sugar and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce has been added to round out the taste.
The recipe called for the stew to be served with a side of Colcanon, mashed potatoes with kale. I used to just do mashed potatoes, but the public demanded potatoes IN the stew. And I obliged.
The challenge wasn't the stew but the proportion. Let me just say that I have NEVER cooked with 4 lbs. of meat before.
Yep. 4 lbs. of stew beef, 6 carrots, 2 bags of baby Russet potatoes, 3 onions, a pack of whole white mushrooms (because I have it laying around), 2 bottles of Guinness, 1.5 cartons of beef stock, 2 bay leaves, a few sprigs of thyme, about a table spoon or two of brown sugar, a few shakes of Worcestershire, and, as always, a few spoonfuls of cornstarch + broth to thicken things up.
And a VERY big pot.
I fed all 8 with leftover of maybe 4 servings more.
For dessert, I searched the web and found a recipe for a Bailey's Irish Cream Fruit Dip which I modified slightly. Now it doubles fantastically as frosting for Giada's almond cupcakes. (I just did the cake and instead of the raspberry cream, I use the Bailey's dip.)
Mix together:Served with fruits, white/angel food cake, a bar of chocolate. Whatever! Just don't let the kids near it. It has quite a kick for a harmless looking sweet treat. :)
One 8-oz. tub CoolWhip, thawed
One 5-oz. packet vanilla instant pudding
1/2 c. Bailey's
1/2 c. milk (Original recipe called for one cup. I think that may just be too soupy.)