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March 16, 2013

Local chefs serve up Irish food, drink


So why use the Guinness at all? Oberkircher said the beer in the brownies is not there to produce a boozy effect, but to lend a noticeable flavor to the baked goods.

“The beer acts as the liquid for the batter instead of water,” Oberkircher explained. “When alcohol is added to food, the cooking process does diminish the alcohol content, but it takes more than two hours of cooking to reduce it to negligible quantities. The brownies will cook for about 20 to 25 minutes so about 60 percent of the alcohol from the beer will cook off. Therefore, there will be alcohol left in the prepared brownies, but it is a very minute amount per pan and even smaller per brownie.”

Of course, there are many savory dishes that can also benefit from the addition of some suds. 

A shepherd’s pie, cooked with beer, is on the menu at the Shire Pub in Delhi, and as a St. Patrick’s Day special, the chef there has created a recipe for Guinness wings. The wings are dredged in beer batter and, after they are cooked, saturated with a sweet barbecue sauce made with molasses and Guinness beer.

The Autumn Café, on Main Street in Oneonta, has long been a place to celebrate the Irish holiday, and this year is taking full advantage of good timing. 

“We always do something for St. Patrick’s Day,” said Autumn Café owner Tim Johnson. “We have been here for over 30 years and every year we do something for St. Patrick’s Day. This year, because the day falls on a Sunday, we are offering our traditional Irish breakfast.”

The menu will include eggs poached in beer, served over Irish soda bread toast; bacon and sausage; pan-fried tomato slices and potatoes. A Guinness chocolate pudding, and slow-cooked corned beef in Guinness, will also be available. 

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