1725 was the year a legend was born. Guinness, one of the most successful beer brands worldwide, is a popular Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) at St. James’s Gate, Dublin. Brewed in almost 60 countries, Guinness is available in over 100. Annual sales total 850 million litres (1.5 billion imperial or 1.8 billion US pints) For more history read here and visit Guinness.com to view the timeline. On March 17th, approximately 13 million pints will be raised in honor of Saint Patrick.
Like many Irish Americans, I feel a deep sense of cohesiveness on the festive day where we wear green and raise pints to our Irish ancestors and those relatives still living across the pond. The Irish began marching in New York City while fighting with the British in the U.S. Revolutionary War, to reconnect with their Irish roots. Other parades in years and decades after were held in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and now are spread through out the entire United States creating bonds of solidarity in Irish communities.
It’s ironic then is it not, that St. Patrick was not an Irishman. Factual information about his life and times are vague, although it is known he was born in Britain around A.D. 390 into a Romano-British family, with both his father and grandfather Deacons in a Christian Church. He was kidnapped at the age of 16 by Irish raiders, sent overseas to tend sheep in the chilly mountainous countryside of Ireland where he remained for seven years. Folklore suggests he had dreams and heard voices that told him to escape his captivity, which he then did, found passage on a ship and returned home to Britain.
Patrick was ordained as a Priest and guided by voices, he returned to Ireland and spent the remainder of his years traveling the isle and converting the Irish to Christianity. His life was not an easy one, he was beaten by thugs, harassed by Irish royalty and admonished by British superiors. There are many myths surrounding the Priest who would eventually become a Saint. On any given day 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed around the world and on the anniversary of his death over 13 million pints are raised in his honor.
Let’s begin with my favorite toast as we raise a glass ~ “May you be half an hour in Heaven, Before the Devil knows you’re dead.”
Guinness Irish Beef Stew by Jelly Toast. With Saint Patrick’s Day just around the corner, assembling the menu for our Week of Guinness, yes, we do set aside an entire week, is top priority.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds beef chuck
- salt and pepper
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 ounces tomato paste
- 12 ounces Guinness Extra Stout
- 4 cups low sodium beef broth
- 2 Tablespoons Worcester sauce
- 4 medium carrots
- 2 turnips
- 1 large potato
- minced parsley for garnish. For full recipe and method please visit Jelly Toast