Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Kitchen, My World: Ireland

At 21, my daughter has become a beer connoisseur. Right now, I have more beer and more kinds of beer in my refrigerator than in all of the last six years combined. This obsession served me well this week for my culinary visit to Ireland.
MKMW made a return trip to the Emerald Isle, and I wanted to create something less Americanized than the ubiquitous corned beef and cabbage. Don't get me wrong -- I like that dish very much, but it is really more American than Irish. Soda bread was another possibility, but variations on that theme were popping up all over the blogiverse this week, so I let that one pass as well.

I am, after all, at least a quarter Irish, so I can do as I please. My great-grandparents emigrated from Ireland in the 1840s and 1850s. The families had names like Finnegan and Prendergast and Donelon, and they came from Counties Clare and Mayo and Cork, and from Northern Ireland as well. The majority of them settled in western Iowa, in Sac and Carroll Counties. The old cemetery in Carroll contains their remains. I've walked it, checking out the headstones and seeing the family legacy first-hand.

So, with two bottles of Guinness sitting in the fridge, I decided to make Pork Medallions in Guinness sauce for dinner on St. Patrick's Day, accompanied by Champ (mashed potatoes and scallions) and Broccoli (which you can pretend is the cabbage substitute).

I sliced a pork tenderloin into medallions and sauteed them until brown on both sides. Then I sauteed a small onion, sliced. I placed the pork on top of the onions, then added a splash of cider vinegar and about 3/4 cup of Guinness. The mixture simmered for about 20 minutes. I removed the port, and stirred in some whole grain mustard, reduced the sauce just a bit, turned off the heat, then added in some sour cream. Once again, I returned the pork slices to the pan, coating them with the sauce. For plating, I topped each serving with a sprinkle of sliced scallions, to complement the mashed potatoes.

There were no leftovers.

My daughter made a Black & Tan to go with dinner.

For other Irish treats, go to My Kitchen, My World, where you will also discover our next culinary destinations.


NKP said...

Can I please come over for dinner? I will bring some Canadian beer for your daughter's collection. Heck, I'll bring my daughter - she's 20 this year, I'm sure they'd get on fine.

Megan said...

What a delicious sounding dinner - what time shall I be there? Although I'm not a beer drinker, I use it to cook with quite often.

It makes a mean brisket, and amazing beer bread!

Colleen said...

Sounds great. We had a lot of fun with our Irish meal and I'm thinking about trying out champ one of these days.