The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 03.14.06


Wearing the Green, drinking the stout

It is almost time to wear the Green and to perform an annual ritual. The coming celebration of St. Patrick's Day is not limited to your heritage, as Irish folk will gladly bestow you with honorary status at least for one day.

Chances are good that an Irish friend may offer you a stout ale in honor of the saint and should you partake, chances are even better that the offering will be in the form of Irelands proudest export, Guinness beer.

Guinness is good for "sinking" but even greater for providing a certain depth to many dishes. Enjoy a pint should you wish but do reserve some for cooking with on green day. The Irish are famous for delivering good jokes occasionally. Here is one that proves an allegiance to the famous ale.


    Lost at Sea, two Irishmen, Patrick & Michael, were adrift in a lifeboat following a dramatic escape from a burning freighter. While rummaging through the boat's provisions, Patrick stumbled across an old lamp. Secretly hoping that a genie would appear, he rubbed the lamp vigorously.

    To his amazement, a genie came forth. This particular genie, however, stated that he could only deliver one wish ,not the standard three.

    Without giving much thought to the matter, Patrick blurted out, "Make the entire ocean into Guinness Beer! The genie clapped his hands with a deafening crash, and immediately the entire sea turned into the finest brew ever sampled by mortals.

    Simultaneously, the genie vanished. Only the gentle lapping of Guinness on the hull broke the stillness as the two men considered their circumstances. Michael looked disgustedly at Patrick and after a long, tension filled moment, he spoke. "Nice going Patrick! Now we're going to have to pee in the boat."

Steak & Guinness Pie


1 2-lb Round steak
pie pastry for double 10-12 in. pie
1 TBSP Flour
1 TBSP Brown sugar
1 TBSP Raisins
5 small-med onions
1 bottle or can Guinness stout
8 Slices bacon
3 TBSP shortening
Chopped parsley


For double-crust pie in deep pie dish. -- Cut the steak into bite
sized cubes, roll in seasoned flour, and brown in the shortening with
the bacon, chopped small.
Place the meat in a casserole, peel and chop the onions, and fry until golden before adding them to the meat.
Add the raisins and brown sugar, pour in the Guinness, cover tightly and
simmer over a low heat or in a very moderate oven (325-350F) for 2 1/2
hours. Stir occasionally, and add a little more Guinness or water if the rich brown gravy gets too thick.

Meanwhile, line a deep pie dish with half the pie crust: bake it: then add the Guinness/beef mixture from the casserole, cover with the top layer of pie crust, and bake until finished, probably about 10 more minutes.