Food & Drink

Niall McKenna: Delicious meals to give you a second bite at your left-overs

Niall McKenna's braised beef and Guinness stew
Niall McKenna's braised beef and Guinness stew

IT'S always a bonus when you have enough left-over dinner to enjoy for a lunch the next day. So, this week’s focus is on light dishes that are perfect for both lunch and dinner. What’s more, with the terrible spell of bad weather in mind, these recipes are warm and homely, which is definitely needed with the endless doses of rainfall we've been experiencing.

The first recipe is a very traditional stew using famous Irish produce, beef and Guinness, while the second is a veggie option, vegetable bourguignon. In our home, we tend to eat red meat at least once a week, chicken for dinners and soups, and then non-meat meals the rest of the week.

Bourguignon is a personal favourite as you can utilise all the vegetables you have in the fridge which you haven’t managed to use yet.

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(Serves 6)


1kg rump of beef, diced


Ground black pepper

Vegetable oil

4 onions peeled, sliced

50g butter

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

75ml red wine vinegar

600ml Guinness

300ml beef stock

4 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

12 potatoes, peeled and boiled


To begin, slice the beef into bite-size chunks and season with salt and ground black pepper. Then place a frying pan on the hob with a little oil and brown the meat in batches on a medium heat. Place the browned meat in a bowl and leave to the side.

In the same pan, add in the chopped onions and garlic with butter, cooking again until browned.

Add in the red wine vinegar and reduce for two minutes. Next, add in one third of the Guinness and cook for three minutes. Remove from heat and place into a warmed casserole dish with a lid.

Top the onions and liquor with the beef, adding in the remainder of the Guinness and stock. Top with the bay leaf and thyme.

Place the lid on and keep on a simmering heat for 2.5 hours. Once this time has passed, remove the fat from the top of the casserole, keeping the lid off to cook out for a further 30 minutes. Leaving the lid off will allow the liquid to reduce.

At this stage, pop your potatoes into a pot of boiling water and cook through. Once ready, place them on a plate with the braised beef, serving with the liquid.

Read more:James Street Recipes: Lamb chops with sage butter and lamb with baby gem and fregola peas

Read more:James St Recipes: Pork terrine and chicken pithivier

Niall McKenna's vegetable bourguignon
Niall McKenna's vegetable bourguignon


(Serves 6)


Olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 aubergine, chopped into bite-sized cubes,

1tbsp paprika,

6 cloves garlic, crushed

4 sprigs thyme

2tbsp juniper berries

125g dried apricots, chopped

2 tins chickpeas

120g chestnuts, chopped

200ml vegetable stock

350ml red wine

½ lemon, zested and juiced

1 bunch parsley, destalked and chopped


To begin, put two tablespoons of olive oil into a casserole dish, placing onto a medium heat and adding the onions, carrots and aubergine. Once cooked for 10 minutes, add in the garlic and paprika, cooking and stirring for a further three minutes.

Following on, add in the thyme, juniper berries, apricots, chickpeas and chestnuts and cover with the vegetable stock and red wine. Then add the lemon zest and juice, bringing it all to the boil and seasoning with salt and ground black pepper.

Because the liquid will not fully reduce, after 60 minutes, remove the liquid from the ingredients and place into a separate pot.

Bring the liquid to a boil, reducing it by half to increase the flavour. Then return the liquid to the vegetables and warm through.

Serve with a generous helping of chopped parsley.

Waterman House Cookery School,

Waterman House,

5-23 Hill Street,

Belfast BT1 2LA

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