I am taking a bit of time to recover and spend time with the best thing we’ve cooked up yet. Please enjoy posts prepared ahead of time over the next few weeks. I will be back in the kitchen again soon!

We have a tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at our house. It might be with cupcakes, cocktails, or in this case, with a big hunk of braised beef, but come March 17th we break out the green and have some fun. Now what little (if any) Irish heritage we have is long lost. The real reason I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is because by the middle of March I’m ready to welcome any excuse for a party. Good food, Irish whiskey, crazy music? Count me in!

A Guinness braised pot roast studded with crispy bits of bacon and peppery parsnips will feed a crowd and serve as the foundation for a great party. The flavor is amped up before the roast even hits the oven by dry toasting spices in a skillet until they fill the kitchen with intoxicating aromas. These warm spices take a quick turn through a spice grinder and are rubbed all over a big beef roast.

Bacon is crisped in the bottom of a big dutch oven (or a pressure cooker) and then an assortment of root vegetables dances through the bacon fat, caramelizing and softening under the influence of pork. A robust bottle of Guinness beer deglazes the pan and then everything returns to the pot for turn in the oven or under pressure.

The result is a tender hunk of beef that falls apart when a fork even looks in its general direction. Soft chunks of carrot, parsnips, and onion, add a vegetable earthiness to the dish and round out the pot roast beautifully. The Guinness and beef broth cook down into a rich bacon flecked gravy that coats the meat and works magic when spooned over warm egg noodles. Paired with a cold bottle of Guinness or a glass of Irish whiskey, you’ll happily celebrate March 17th whether you are Irish or not!

To feast your eyes on a virtual Paddy’s Day Food Parade jump on over to The Daily Spud on March 17th!

Guinness Pot Roast with Bacon and Parsnips (Printable Recipe)
Serves 8-10
Note: The instructions below have notes for either using a pressure cooker to cook the roast or braising the roast in an oven.

4 lbs beef round roast
2 Tablespoons olive oil
12 oz bacon, diced
1 lb onion, diced
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
4 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon coriander seed
1 Tablespoon fennel seed
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
11.2 oz Guinness beer (1 bottle)
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water
Salt and Pepper, to taste

17 oz dried egg noodles, cooked (1 bag)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. (If using a pressure cooker skip this step.)

Place the coriander, fennel, and peppercorns in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast the spices until they are fragrant, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Transfer the spices to a spice grinder along with the kosher salt. Grind the salt and spices into a fine powder. Rub the spice powder over all sides of the beef roast. (This can be done up to 1 day ahead.)

Set a large dutch oven (or pressure cooker) over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Sear the beef on all sides, until a brown crust forms, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside. Add bacon to the pan, and cook until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and set it aside. Saute the onion, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and garlic in the bacon drippings, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, and set aside. Pour the beef broth and Guinness into the pan, scraping the bottom to deglaze any stuck bits. Stir in the thyme and bay leaves. Return the bacon and beef roast to the pan.

Cover the pan with a lid, and braise in the oven for 2 hours. Add the sauteed vegetables into the pan. If the liquid level looks low, add in a bit of beef broth. Continue to braise the beef and vegetables for another hour. Check the beef by sticking a fork into the roast. If the fork slides in easily and the meat is tender, then the roast is finished cooking. If there is resistance, continue to cook the beef for another 30-60 minutes, until tender. (If using a pressure cooker, cook the beef at high pressure for 25 minutes. Release the pressure, and add in the sauteed vegetables. Return the pot to high pressure and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the beef is fork tender.)

When the beef is done, transfer it to a large cutting board. Set the dutch oven or pressure cooker over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch and cold water. Bring the liquid in the pan to a simmer, and stir in the corn starch mixture. Simmer the liquid until it thickens into a rich gravy. Taste the gravy and add salt and pepper as necessary. Slice the beef or pull it apart into hunks and serve over warm egg noodles. Spoon the vegetables and gravy on top of the beef.

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