Now that I finally have some time to sit down and do some writing, I can talk a little bit about our trip to Dublin and our food and beverage experiences. We weren’t quite sure what to expect in terms of food when we arrived in Dublin. I am sure I am not the only one who has heard horror stories about cooking from Britain and Ireland. I can tell you that we did not have a bad meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner, while we there. Everything was great. Granted, we did not always have a lot of time to do meals because we wanted to do a lot of things and only had 4 days to do it all. We also knew that we were going to spend an entire day with Guinness while we there, as they had requested since they sponsored the contest I won.
When we arrived in Dublin the first day, it was about 11 AM. We went over to the hotel and couldn’t check in until 2, so they graciously held or luggage for us and we went exploring around the immediate area. The rain was torrential that day, which we really limited where we could go and do things. We walked aimlessly in the rain for a while trying to figure out where we could go. We eventually ended up at the Dublin Wax Museum, which was a nice treat. It is housed in an old bank so all the rooms are in old bank vaults, making it seem a little creepier. We had a great time walking around there and took some great pictures (you can check my other blog soon or my Facebook page now to see them). By the time we were done there, it was still only about 12:30, so we decided to get some lunch.
We walked around trying to find some places to go. There are pubs everywhere (we would later find out that Dublin has 750 pubs, and that doesn’t include the pubs in the hotels, which pushes it over 1,000). We found a place near the hotel called Peter’s Pub. It was a small, quiet location that was perfect for us. We sat down and were met by a very friendly barkeeper who sat us at a table right in the window. They have a very simple lunch menu, which included the lunch special, which is soup, a sandwich and a pot of tea for 10 Euros. Michelle and I each decided to have that. We both ordered the same thing, a tuna sandwich a pot of tea and the spiced beef soup. I was not familiar with the Irish spiced beef before, so I wanted to give it a try. It was worth it, for sure. The spiced beef was certainly a different flavor to the soup. It took a little investigating on my part, but I was able to find that spiced beef is very close to what American’s would call corned beef. The difference is while we use a brisket, they use a rump roast. It is something they use for holiday meals and is traditionally served cold. I was able to find a recipe for the spiced beef if you want to give it a try.
Irish Spiced Beef
6 lbs sirloin tip roast or 6 lbs beef eye round
3 bay leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground mace
6 ground cloves
1 clove garlic, crushed and made into a paste with
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
2 teaspoons molasses
2 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 cup salt
1 bottle Guinness stout
Mix all the flavorings and spices together. Place the beef in a large bowl and rub all over with the spice and flavoring mixture. Cover and refrigerate the beef. Rub in the mixture once or twice a day for a week; turn the beef as you repeat the rubbing in process. The spices and flavorings will now be mixed with the juices drawn from the beef.
Tie up the meat firmly and place in a large pot or Dutch oven. Rub in a final teaspoon of ground cloves. Cover the beef with cold water and the bottle of Guinness. Simmer gently for 5-6 hours until the beef is tender. Allow the beef to cool in the cooking liquid. When it is cool, remove it from the liquid, place it on a serving dish and cover it with a weighted plate. Refrigerate until serving time and serve thinly sliced and cold.
Peter’s Pub had diced the beef and served it in a beef broth with some vegetables like potato, carrots and celery. It tasted wonderful with the bread they had served. The tuna sandwich was a simple sandwich but was a large serving with some chips on the side. The whole meal was incredibly filling for both of us and we each had a pot of tea, which really hit the spot after being in and out of the rain for a few hours.
The great thing we noticed about the different pubs and places we went to in Dublin is that no one ever rushed you out. They would let you sir for hours if that is what you wanted to relax and enjoy yourself.. Being from New York, I think we expected to get rushed around and we sat around for about an hour relaxing before we finally asked for the check. He gave it to use with a big smile and wished us a good day.
Tomorrow I will continue posting some recipes of things we came across in Dublin, including the late night snack we had the first night of a lemon tart with raspberry sorbet and Irish coffees and the traditional full Irish breakfast we had the next morning. Check back to see how it was and what was in it. You can also check my other blog where I am going to write more about our trip to lead into getting back into my blogging and what our experiences were like.
I plan to get back to posting regular recipes we made at home at the end of this week so you can check back for them at the end of the week as well. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!