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Mom's Spaghetti Sauce
This is another recipe 'stolen' from my mother and adapted. Out of all of the Guinness recipes I've created, this probably uses the least of the draft and also is good without the stout.
The Guinness adds a little bitterness and boldness to the sauce that somehow blends well with all the flavors and textures. Spaghetti sauce (or Bolognese as I call it—even though I'm sure it's not a real Bolognese sauce) is such a simple meal to make, and yet it is very tasty and satisfying.
- 1 pound of chopped beef; I tend to get lean chopped beef, as you don't want much of the fat to meld with the tomato base. 93% lean meat seems to work ok.
- 1/2 pound of carrots; I tend to try to chop these into small pieces so that they cook thoroughly.
- 1/2 pound of mushrooms; I tend to use normal button mushrooms, as the flavors of other more exotic mushrooms tend to overwhelm the sauce.
- 1 large onion, finely chopped.
- 1 large tin of crushed tomatoes; if you are ambitious, you can make your own 'crushed tomatoes' from fresh tomatoes, but as I have no idea how to do this, I use a standard tin of crushed tomatoes.
- Rosemary, garlic, parsley; it's best to use fresh herbs as this is where much of the flavor comes from (the quantity varies and depends on your own personal taste).
- 1 cup of beef stock; you can use shop bought or make your own using 1 cup of hot water and a bouillon cube (or OXO cube).
- 1/4 cup of Guinness; when I add the Guinness to the recipe, I only add a small amount because too much seems to overwhelm the recipe.
When I cook this recipe, I normally cook it for about 8 people, so I double the ingredients as the volume is large. Then I tend to do the cooking in a Wok. You can use a frying pan and regular pan if you wish, but the Wok really works well for me. You can serve this immediately and it is very good, but for some reason, I find it is even better if you leave it overnight in the fridge and heat up the following day
- Brown the chopped beef and drain the excess fat. This is quite important as the fat tends to rise to the top of the sauce if you don't drain it; set the beef aside.
- Fry the onions and mushroom on a low heat for about five minutes. I tend to fry them in a couple of tablespoons of water; it doesn't matter if they are not quite cooked as they will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Add all the ingredients together, stirring well; it doesn't matter what order you add the ingredients here!
- Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for about twenty minutes or until the carrots are tender.
Vegetarian Version With Vegetarian Stout
You can use soybean equivalents of minced beef or simply replace the meat with beans. The method is similar, although you won’t need to brown the vegetable. Replace the beef stock with a suitable vegetable stock. Guinness is not suitable for vegetarians, you’d have to replace the Guinness with one of the stouts below:
- Alloa Stout (bottled)
- Bell's Stout (various)
- Black Isle Brewery Porter Stout
- Bridge of Allan's Glencoe Wild Oat Stout (bottled)
- Hopback Entire Stout
- Isle of Skye Oyster Stout (bottled)
- Linfit English Guineas Stout (bottled)
- Cropton's Scoresby Stout (bottled)
- Dublin's Darcy's Dublin Stout
- Samuel Adams Stout (various)
- Titanic Brewery Stout (bottled)
- This is best served on some spaghetti with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and some hot butter rolls, or hot french bread.
- Try a bowl of this with some cheddar cheese grated on top.
- Make a 'sloppy joe' with this—simply put in between a toasted hamburger roll.