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Guinness® Irish Stew

Reviewed: Oct. 12, 2013
In order to really enjoy this, I did have to make some off-the-cuff modifications. First off, it sure takes a LOT more than the specified amount of flour and oil to brown that much meat. I used cubed London Broil and I doubled the batch. Additionally, as there wasn't much liquid specified, I added several cups of beef broth. It would have been horribly dry without that. I used a crock pot instead of a dutch oven which I don't own. Guinness wasn't available so I used Deschutes black butte porter - it has a stronger flavor and color than Guinness. I also don't peel potatoes - carpal tunnel syndrome is a royal pain. The way I did it turned out quite nicely. It's keeping well for leftovers though I wouldn't take a chance on freezing it as it would likely destroy the texture of the spuds.
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Ham and Potato Casserole

Reviewed: Oct. 12, 2013
When I first cooked it, I substituted orange and red bell peppers as I'm not fond of green and added garlic as that wasn't on the list of ingredients. I used fresh broccoli and used thick-sliced crimini mushrooms. I used black forest ham. Even with that, the recipe was overwhelmingly bland. I mean - you have white spuds, white soup, white cream cheese, white monterey jack and white sour cream. It was not only bland, but boring to look at. So, I took the leftovers and added a lot more in the way of bell peppers - got the mini red/orange/yellow ones, threw in more sauteed onion and garlic and a bunch more ham. Didn't feel like making white sauce like bechamel for moisture so i used a jar of alfredo sauce I had on hand. The reprise of this was SO much better and got far more enthusiastic reviews from my family and friends. So, if you want yours to be tasty, kick it up a notch. Food should be appealing to look at as well as flavorful and the original recipe was simply disappointing.
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