After an overly extended college career (you’d think in seven years, a guy would learn something), I decided to take a break from life and spend some time kicking around Ireland. During my time over there, I’m pretty sure I drank my weight in Guinness. I figured, on average, I sipped (okay, gulped) a minimum of five pints a night over the course of a month or so and one ill-advised night in Killarney had about 12.


Back stateside, and with my first real job, I was too poor to enjoy more than a pint at a time and then only on special occasions–like Saint Patrick’s Day. So there was no way I was going to waste the precious pints by cooking with them. Then one night, needing a little bit of liquid for a chunk of antelope rump I was roasting, I dumped in half the bottle of stout I was drinking at the time. (It must have been payday.)

The resulting roast, swimming in dark, creamy gravy, made a hearty meal. I’ve since used Guinness in a number of recipes, and although I’d still rather drink it, would recommend it to adventurous cooks. To get you started, here are five suggestions for anyone wanting to add a bit of the Irish to their kitchen:

Welsh-Irish Rabbit: Guinness makes a great substitute in place of the water or ale in my Welsh Rarebit recipe, which you can find here.
Guinness Antelope Roast:** Brown an antelope (or deer or elk or moose) roast in bacon fat then transfer to a Dutch oven, pour in about half a bottle of Guinness Extra Stout and the same amount of game stock, add some carrots and potatoes, cover tightly, and roast low and slow (about 275 for a couple of hours).

Guinness Pot Pie: I haven’t tried this recipe, but by substituting the beef with venison, I think you’d have a winner.
Mushrooms in Guinness:** If you’re ever in Dublin, I suggest playing the tourist with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, where I can promise you a pint tastes better than you can imagine. If you’re plans don’t call for a hop over the pond, at least check out their website, where you’ll also find plenty of recipes including this one for a stout and mushroom side dish.
Guinness Cupcakes:** My friend Amanda Rucker is a cupcake connoisseur and she’s been known to bake a batch of them using Guinness. They look heavenly…but then, I wouldn’t know because she’s never sent me any.