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October 17, 2010

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Irish stew and stout

THE moment we entered The Porterhouse, I was transported to Ireland in a nice cozy, tune-filled pub with an impressive array of beers to choose from. I went straight upstairs to the second floor where the manager asked in a lovely brogue what I wanted for lunch.

There's a lot to choose from on the menu but I only knew about fish and chips so the manager selected typical delectable dishes. An Irish stew, carvery and a robust casserole.

While waiting I enjoyed a half pint of black stout. At the Porterhouse they make all the beer themselves and I love dark beer. The foam was so thick that it almost felt like cream on my lips and then the black beer slipped through and the roasty, caramel flavor took over.

Soon I was presented with lovely-smelling dishes to enjoy with the stout. The stew, a traditional Irish lamb stew, slow cooked with root vegetables in a rich stock, served with homemade bread. I liked the dill taste of the stew, which made a great bread dip.

Next came classic beef and plain porter stout stew with carrots and celery, served with creamed mashed potatoes. The beef was well cooked and the porter stout made a very good stew base. It went especially well with the black stout in my other hand.

The last dish was the classic carvery, a selection of roast beef, honey-baked ham, mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes and red wine gravy. The homemade mashed potatoes were delicious.

After this huge lunch, I went down to the kitchen to watch the preparation of classic fish and chips. The batter at The Porterhouse was of course made with stout. Unfortunately, I was too full that day. But I plan another visit.


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