Celebrate St. Patrick's With Fun And Food



Everybody wants to be a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day, so celebrate with some Irish food favorites.

St. Pat's Beef Pot Pie is a tasty -- and simple -- version of the savory meat pies so beloved in Irish cookery. Starting with tender, quick-cooking beef chuck top blade steak, frozen vegetables and refrigerated pie crust, this delicious pie can be on the table in under an hour.

If corned beef is your choice, try this lively rendition accented with pickling spice and simmered in dark beer. Apple-Onion Sauté makes a colorful, contemporary side-dish option for the Spicy Corned Beef Brisket. (And don't forget to make those Reubens from the leftovers!)

St. Pat's Beef Pot Pie

Total preparation and cooking time: 35 minutes

1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck top blade steak or 1 1/2 pound boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick

1 package (8 ounces) cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 1/2 cups frozen crinkle cut carrots

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided

1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 can (13 3/4 to 14 1/4 ounces) ready-to-serve beef broth

1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of a 15-ounce package)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut beef steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Spray large, nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add mushrooms; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add carrots, peas, 1 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon garlic; cook and stir an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until carrots and peas are defrosted. Remove from skillet; set aside.

In same skillet, add 1/2 of beef; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon; set aside. Repeat with remaining beef.

Dissolve cornstarch into beef broth; add to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir about 1 minute or until sauce is slightly thickened and any browned bits on bottom of skillet are dissolved. Return vegetables and beef to skillet; stir to combine.

Place beef mixture in 2-inch-deep pie plate or similar sized round baking dish. Unfold pie crust on flat surface, pressing out fold lines with fingers. Place crust over beef mixture allowing edges to drape over pie plate. Sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon garlic evenly onto top of pie crust. Place pie plate on 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake in 425 degree oven 16 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from oven to wire rack; let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Makes six servings.

Cook's tip: For a richer-flavored sauce, remove skillet from stovetop and add 1/4 cup Irish whiskey to skillet. Return skillet to heat; add the beef broth mixture. Cook and stir about 1 to 2 minutes or until any browned bits on bottom of skillet are dissolved.

Corned Beef Brisket Basics

A few simple tips can ensure that your corned beef brisket will be cooked to perfection -- tender, moist and flavorful.

  • Use the correct size roasting pan (without the rack). Place the brisket flat in the pan.
  • Add seasoning and a small amount of liquid as suggested in the recipe.
  • Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven, without opening the oven or lifting the foil, for the minimum cooking time suggested in the recipe. At that time, check the beef. When the beef is done (fork-tender), a fork can be easily inserted in to the meat without resistance.

Spicy Corned Beef Brisket with Apple-Onion Sauté

Total preparation and cooking time: 2-3/4 to 3-3/4 hours

2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pound boneless corned beef brisket

2 cups chopped onions

5 cloves garlic, peeled

1 1/2 teaspoons pickling spice

1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer

Apple-Onion Sauté (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place corned beef brisket in large roasting pan. Add onions and garlic to pan. Sprinkle brisket with pickling spice. Pour in beer. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil. Cook in 350 degree oven 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours or until beef is fork-tender.

Remove brisket from pan; trim fat. Carve diagonally across the grain. Serve with Apple-Onion Sauté.

Makes six to eight servings.

Apple-Onion Sauté

Total preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes

3 tablespoons butter, divided

2 medium onions, cut into thin slices

1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 large Jonathan apple, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Add apples, remaining 1 tablespoon butter and brown sugar to onions; cook and stir an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until apples are crisp-tender.

Makes 4 cups.

Classic Reuben Sandwich

Layer thinly carved leftover corned beef brisket on a slice of marbled rye bread. Top with drained sauerkraut, a drizzle of Thousand Island dressing and sliced Swiss cheese. Top with second bread slice and grill in heated nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted.

Recipes from Family Features Editorial Syndicate Inc.

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