I had no plans to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day this year other than having a pint of Guinness or two. To be truthful, I don’t really believe this saint’s feast day was ever meant to become the green smattered drunk fest it is today. Green beer, no thanks! Let’s face it, Irish cuisine isn’t all that exciting either (to me anyway). Still, I felt like we could use a bit of a celebration and a nod to the Emerald Isle wouldn’t hurt either. I found this really interesting nacho recipe by happy accident and decided right then and there that it was ‘Irish enough’ for me. After all, it had potatoes, Irish Cheddar, and Guinness.
Potato Nachos with Guinness Cheese Sauce (recipe adapted from Closet Cooking)
For the Potatoes: Six medium potatoes cut into 1/4 inch slices
olive oil, salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F. Place the potato slices in a bowl and make sure they are well covered with oil, salt, and pepper. Place the slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake 15-20 minutes on each side until they are crispy.
For the meat layer: one pound fresh chorizo; casings removed OR four dried chorizo; diced
1 onion, diced
2 small red jalepenos, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Cook the sausage, onion, and peppers in a pan over medium-high heat, breaking the sausage up as you go (if using fresh chorizo), until the sausage is browned and the onions are tender, about 8-10 minutes. If you are using dried chorizo just cook over med-high heat until some of the fat is rendered out and the onions get soft. Add garlic.
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 cup Guinness or other Irish stout
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 cups Irish cheddar (or aged white cheddar), shredded
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a saucepan until it turns a golden brown, then add flour and cook until the flour also changes to a golden brown. Add the Guinness, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and sugar and cook, while stirring, until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cheese and cook, stirring until it melts. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. This last part is important because if you let the sauce get too hot it will break and the cheese will become gritty like mine did. I ended up having to bring the sauce back together in a blender.
Construct the nachos by placing a bottom layer of potatoes then layering cheese sauce and chorizo/onions/peppers with more traditional nacho toppings (diced tomatoes, red and green peppers, pickled jalepenos, green onions, etc.) Repeat. Then top with sour cream and diced avocados or guacamole.