Q. I recently went to an Irish pub that had as a specialty meatloaf made with Guinness stout. I stayed for the beer but was really curious about the recipe. Have you ever heard of something like this?
A. What cannot the Irish make more palatable with a wee application of beer?
We’ve done a little hunting in a few Irish cookbooks and haven’t come up with any historic precedents for a Guinness-spiked meatloaf (not really any meatloaves for that matter). But Ruth Isabel Ross shows how beef and stout complement each other in her recipe for Braised Beef in Guinness in The Little Book of Irish Family Cooking (Canada, UK).
Traditionally, you don’t add a lot of liquid in preparing a meatloaf. You want the meat and eggs (if any) to set up as
they cook, and adding much moisture simply slows the process down. But in the interest of creating more flavor, you can certainly add a half cup or so of beer. You just might need to bake the loaf a bit longer.
If Carol Cutler’s quote on our homepage a while back was true, "A pâté is nothing more than a French meatloaf that's had a couple of cocktails," an Irish meatloaf should surely enjoy the same rights.