Guinness Cheddar Chowder

 

 

Yield: approx 1.5 gal

 

Bacon-                         ˝ lb small diced

Butter (unsalted)-        2 tbsp

White Onion-                          4 large medium diced

Garlic-                         10 cloves peeled whole

Celery-                                    3 stalks washed and medium diced

Chili flakes (dry)-        1 tsp or to taste

Thyme (fresh)              2 tbsp chopped

Brown Sugar-              a few large pinches

Lemon-                        to taste

Guinness-                    2 pints

Heavy cream-              3 cups

Idaho Potato-              2 # peeled and diced

Chicken stock-            3 qts

Aged Cheddar-           2#

Dark Irish bred-          For garnish (optional)

Directions

In large stockpot brown bacon over medium high heat until crispy and well browned.

Remove and drain on paper towels, reserve for garnish later

Add butter, chopped onions garlic and 2 generous pinches of salt

Caramelize over medium high heat for 35- 40 min stirring often

Add chili flakes and thyme leaves and sauté another 5 min

Add Guinness and reduce until almost dry approx 35 min, stir often

Add another pinch of salt, a few pinches of brown sugar, and a few drops of lemon

Reduce heat to medium and ad cream, reducing until very thick, approx 40 min

Add chicken stock, salt, potatoes and simmer for 45 min until potatoes are tender

Take off heat and stir in cheddar until blended

Put in pina colada blender and blend in batches until smooth

Put back in pot to keep warm, taste and adjust seasoning

Garnish with bacon and Irish brown bread if you have some on hand

 

Notes

 

This is certainly not a light soup, its borders the soup/ sauce line so its richness is best for winter and fall.  You may have to add more stock to get the desired thickness. By starting with the browned bacon you are building flavors.  Seasoning from the beginning also helps draw out the most flavor.