If your idea of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day consists of eating green-dyed food and tossing back a few pints of Guinness at your local watering hole, then you’re missing out. There’s a whole wonderous culinary world of deliciousness beyond a simple pint of Ireland’s famous brew (no shade intended) and it starts with two pub fare staples–Pub Cheese and Shepherd’s Pie. Okay, so you might be asking, “How gourmet can that possibly be?” Well, if you have a Whip-It! stainless steel dispenser, N2O chargers, and torch, you can get quite fancy indeed.
We’ve all seen plastic tubs of “pub” or beer cheese at the grocery store, even dipped crackers and crudites in them at parties. It’s a great, often inexpensive bar snack. Many inspired chefs have put their creative spin on it, mixing gourmet cheeses and craft beer to give what is essentially a plebeian dish culinary flare. This got us thinking, what if we could combine everyone’s favorite cheese in a can, Cheez Whiz, with beer cheese and take it to another level? Chef Shane Lyons of NYC’s Distilled cleverly transformed creamy, decadent cheese sauce (a.k.a. mornay) into a fancified version of Cheez Whiz by charging it up with N2O and dispensing the aerated mixture from a cream whipper. Inspired, we came up with our own spin by adding Guinness Extra Stout to the classic cream sauce, sharp aged yellow and white cheddar cheeses, cream cheese, mustard, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. We placed the velvety cheese sauce into a .5 ltr Whip-It! stainless steel dispenser, screwed on one N2O charger…and voila!
Another pub fare favorite, especially on St. Paddy’s Day, is Shepherd’s Pie. Traditionally made with ground lamb, it’s cooked with chopped onions, carrots, and parsnips, bound in a thick hearty gravy, topped with mashed potatoes, and baked to a crusty golden brown. Our lighter, elegant bite-sized version replaces the ground lamb with ground turkey and features two kinds of potatoes–halved boiled baby Dutch potatoes for the base and pureed sweet potatoes for the topping. The creamy smooth sweet potato is sprinkled with a little grated white cheddar and bruléed with a Whip-It! Flex Torch. For added depth of flavor, we deglazed the pan with Guinness Extra Stout.
Guinness Pub Cheez Whiz
- 2 T. unsalted butter
- 2 T. all-purpose flour
- 7 oz. Guinness Extra Stout
- 6 oz. heavy cream
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 t. dijon or brown mustard
- 1 t. hot sauce
- 1/2 t. worchestershire sauce
- salt & pepper taste
- 1/3 c. shredded aged sharp yellow cheddar
- 1/3 c. shredded white cheddar
- 1 T. cream cheese
- 1 Whip-It! N2O charger
- Melt the butter in small sauce pan on medium heat until bubbly, then whisk in flour. Continue cooking and whisking for about 2 mins.
- Combine the Guinness and cream and gradually whisk into the cooked roux.
- Whisking continuously to avoid lumps and scorching, bring the sauce to a simmer; then add nutmeg, mustard, worchestershire, hot sauce, and salt/pepper to taste.
- Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the cheeses a little at a time, whisking to incorporate melted cheese before each addition. This will prevent the sauce from splitting.
- Once the sauce is completely smooth, pour the mixture into a .5 ltr Whip-It! stainless steel dispenser.
- Secure the head, fitted with a plain tip, and screw on one N2O charger. Invert the dispenser and shake briskly for about 10 secs.
- Dispense the cheese into a bowl and serve with toasted bread, crackers or other accompaniments.
Another pub fare favorite, especially on St. Paddy’s Day, is shepherd’s pie. Traditionally made with ground lamb it’s cooked with chopped onions, carrots, and parsnips, bound in a thick hearty gravy, topped with mashed potatoes and baked to a crusty golden brown. Our lighter, elegant bite-sized version replaces the ground lamb with ground turkey, and features two kinds of potatoes–halved boiled baby Dutch potatoes for the base and pureed sweet potatoes for the topping. The creamy smooth sweet potato is sprinkled with a little grated white cheddar and bruled with a Whip-It! Flex Torch. For added depth of flavor, we deglazed the pan with Guinness Extra Stout.
Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Bites
- 10 baby Dutch potatoes
- 2 medium small sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
- 2/3 c. whole milk
- 3 T. unsalted butter
- pinch of nutmeg
- 4 T. olive oil
- 1/3 c. yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 6 oz. ground turkey
- 1/2 t. ground sage
- 1 t. fresh chopped thyme
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1/4 c. petite frozen peas
- 2 T. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. Guinness Extra Stout
- 2/3 c. chicken broth
- 1 t. worchestershire sauce
- 2 T. finely grated white cheddar
For the potatoes:
- Boil the baby Dutch potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain and cool.
- Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the center with a small spoon or melon-baller to create a shell for the turkey filling. *Reserve the scooped out potato to mix with sweet potatoes.
- Place potato “shells” onto a sheet pan and lightly season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 1 T. olive oil. Bake in 350F degree oven for about 15 mins. or until golden.
- Boil sweet potato chunks in lightly salted water until fork tender. Drain and place in a bowl or blender along with the reserved baby Dutch potato.
- Add the butter, milk and nutmeg. Puree until very smooth with an immersion blender or in a stand blender. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer pureed potatoes into a piping bag fitted with star-tip.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet under medium heat. Saute onion, carrots, and garlic until barely soft, then add in ground turkey and herbs.
- Cook the turkey until no longer pink, then add the peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in flour to coat the meat and vegetables, then deglaze the pan with Guinness.
- Add the broth and worchestershire. Simmer for about 2-3 mins. to thicken gravy.
- Pack each potato shell with turkey filling.
- Pipe dollop of sweet potato puree on top and sprinkle with cheese.
- Keep the assembled bites warm in the oven until ready to serve.
- Pass a torch flame over the tops to brulee.